News - McLaren
McLaren driven by R&D boost
Supercar-maker McLaren to allocate $A2b to electrification, new models
20 Sep 2018
By NEIL DOWLING
MCLAREN has announced ambitious plans for a pure hybrid range by 2025 fed by a $A2 billion research and development program, which is the biggest in the company’s history.
The UK-based brand detailed its future plans at the launch in Sydney yesterday of its limited-edition 600LT sports coupe.
The R&D budget represents almost 20 per cent of McLaren’s revenue, far above the industry average of eight per cent, and has been locked in to fund the high cost of introducing electrification.
McLaren Automotive Asia Pacific managing director George Biggs told GoAuto that McLaren was on target to have all its cars offered with hybrid or electric power by 2025 in the lead up to a full electric range.
He said the electric and hybrid program was well advanced and would see the “imminent” release of cars with internal-combustion engines and electric motors fed by lithium-ion batteries.
Mr Biggs said lithium-ion batteries would only be a short-term solution while McLaren and its unnamed suppliers perfected the production of smaller, lighter and denser solid-state batteries that would give the future sportscars a suitable range.
Mr Biggs said McLaren would not deviate from making sportscars and had “definitely” no plans for a sedan or SUV.
In Sydney to launch the 600LT, Mr Biggs said the company would progressively produce sportscars and planned hypercars including the upcoming Senna which has been billed as “the ultimate road-going track car”. Only 500 will be made and all are sold.
“We plan to bring an example (of the Senna) to the Motoclassica in Melbourne next month,” Mr Biggs said.
“At the Geneva motor show earlier this year we launched the Senna GTR the track-going version of the Senna. We plan to produce 75 of these units and, yes, they’re all spoken for.”
Mr Biggs said McLaren’s roadmap for the future includes the 100 per cent hybrid production by 2025.
“We’ll make 6000 units by the same year,” he said of total unit production.
“Also in this period we will bring a successor to the P1, the Speedtail, to market. In order to do that, we have committed to spend $A2 billion on R&D to ensure we can keep ahead of our opposition.
“We gave the Speedtail its name (previously known as the BP23) just a couple of months ago. We plan to produce 106 units of this car which are unique to every customer’s specification.
“This will be an extremely special car and we will announce details later.”
Asked about the incident involving a crash between a cyclist and a female blog-writer driving a McLaren on a launch in Sydney earlier this year, Mr Biggs said: “We had to ensure that the cyclist is moving ahead in the right direction first.”
“But in regards to the case, we are not at liberty to make a statement because the case has yet to go to court.”
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