In 2013, I truly thought fast cars had plateaued. The 2014 Porsche 991 911 Turbo S could hit 60 mph (97 kmh) from a standstill in a claimed mere 2.9 seconds. There was no way we could crack that. But cars have since gotten faster and faster. And now we have McLaren’s CEO saying the next McLaren supercar will pull off the feat in a targeted 2.3 seconds. What.
Mike Flewitt recently sat down with Car and Driver to talk about the British automaker’s upcoming projects. The story starts out with a bang:
McLaren’s next-generation supercar will include an all-wheel-drive hybrid model with a targeted zero-to-60-mph (97 kmh) time of 2.3 seconds. That’s straight out of the mouth of McLaren Automotive CEO Mike Flewitt.
This yet-unnamed model will have an electronically driven front axle, which will help put down the power more efficiently, thus achieving that (quite frankly) bananas targeted zero to 60 time.
And besides that, we don’t really know much else about this mystery car. We’ll officially hear about it from McLaren this coming spring when it reveals the next-gen platform and hybrid powertrain. The car will debut before the end of 2020 and go on sale in the U.S. in early 2021, reports Car and Driver.
After that, Flewitt told the outlet McLaren’s entire lineup will be plug-in hybrids in some capacity within the next three or four years. They’d have 15 to 20 miles of all-electric range. He didn’t sound super into all-electric, battery-powered supercars, though:
He says today’s lithium-ion battery technology is too heavy, too expensive, and not energy-dense enough to support McLaren’s performance values. He’s more hopeful for solid-state battery technology, which he expects to be commercialized in 2023 to 2025, but even then Flewitt suggests an electric McLaren could be as far off as 30 years.
The current crop of McLaren supercars are some of the best out there. The acceleration, power, and steering feel all build to give you the sensation you’re driving something truly special. I have some misgivings about what an AWD system might do to that tactile feedback, but I’ll shut my mouth for now. McLaren doesn’t seem like the type of company to screw this up.
You can read the rest of the Car and Driver story here.