McLaren focusing on efficient sportscars, hybrids in the pipeline

McLaren MP4-12C at company unveiling – Click above for high-res image gallery

McLaren seems to think it's possible to have your cake and eat it too. Judging by the company's past and present performances, we wouldn't doubt them. Managing Director Anthony Sheriff sat down with Inside Line at the company's official launch, and plenty of interesting information was gleaned. For instance, McLaren has committed itself to producing the lowest carbon emissions per horsepower of any car on sale.

In order to promote both efficiency and performance, McLaren has set its target on reduced weight. Says Mark Vinnels, McLaren Automotive's program director, "Weight will always be the fundamental enemy of what we're trying to achieve. Our focus will be on achieving the best lightweight solutions at the given price point." That likely means that future models from the sportscar manufacturer will use exotic materials, possibly including heavy doses of carbon fiber and composites in structural areas.

Powertrains won't be neglected when it comes to efficiency either. Last summer, McLaren posted an ad looking for a hybrid powertrain engineer. Sheriff wouldn't rule out hybrid drivetrains, but was coy about their future applications. "We're about applying high technology to make our cars faster and more efficient. And we may make things in a different way to what you expect," he said.

Photos by Vlad Savov / Copyright ©2010 Weblogs, Inc.

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