Iconic sports car is in McLaren’s plan for 18 new vehicles by 2025
“By 2025 we will have a replacement for the P1,” said Jolyon Nash, McLaren executive director of global sales and marketing, at a press conference at the Goodwood Festival of Speed where executives related the car company’s updated business plan to 2025, a plan known as Track 25.
“It will be the ultimate expression of McLaren expertise and prowess,” Nash said. For years the supercar company has been asked when the P1—McLaren’s trademark car and first hybrid hypercar that came out in 2013—will be replaced. The answer was always: not until it can represent a significant change in technology and prowess.
We got a few more details from McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt. The P1 replacement will be out in the 2025 calendar year, but it has not been decided if it will be a ’25 or ’26 model-year vehicle. The single model year will be built over a couple years as all McLarens are hand-built, and the plant in Woking, U.K. makes about 20 cars a day and has to handle the full lineup.
The P1 replacement will be a limited number Ultimate Series car. The CEO is not saying how many will be built, but it will exceed the 375 of the original P1.
“P1 shocked the world,” Flewitt said, as it offers power in a lightweight, aerodynamic car. “It has to be that significant again,” he said. The leap will come in the form of driving dynamics, software controls, powertrain technology, and being lightweight. “A high performance super-aero car that will probably do things only a racecar can do in the past. And be a great car to drive on-road,” he said.
It does not have to be a hybrid like the original, Flewitt said. He is not disclosing powertrain details and smiles when asked if it could be McLaren’s first pure electric vehicle. “It will be the right solution,” is all he said.
And McLaren will help develop a superfast-charging, high-power battery system with a range of more than 30 miles (48 kg) around a race track.
“I’ve never had a customer ask me for an electric McLaren,” Flewitt said. And there is not an electric car in the Track 25 plan, but that does not exclude doing one, he confessed. There could be a limited volume Ultimate Series EV before 2025 to see if the demand is there, said the CEO. Is it the P1, we wonder? Would McLaren continue the P1 legacy as a segment buster: the first hybrid and then the first EV?
Flewitt is clear: no EV until the technology has evolved to the point that it is true to the brand, and that means the ability to do 10 laps of the track in Nardo, Italy. It must be a pure McLaren sports car, lightweight and aero, even if it has batteries.
The Track 25 business plan calls for the full lineup to be hybrid by 2025 with the exception of possible limited edition Ultimate Series cars –again P1?
McLaren used the Goodwood festival for the public debut of the new 600LT, a $240,000 USD Sport Series car you can order now. The first deliveries begin in November and production is slated to end at the end of 2019. The firsts six months’ worth of production is already sold out. Officials do not know how many ultimately will be built over the course of a year.
The 3.8-liter twin-turbo V-8 generates 592 hp and 457 lb ft torque for a 0-60 mph time of 2.8 seconds. Nearly a quarter of McLaren 600LT parts are new compared to the McLaren 570S Coupé, including a unique top-exit exhaust system and two all-new, ultra-lightweight alloy wheel designs. The longtail is 47 mm longer than the 570S and it has a lower ride height. It has the first Pirelli Trofeo R tires for a Sport Series. Thinner glass allows more exhaust notes into the cabin.
Flewitt said the 600LT will be notable for how it drives with quick response, feel, and involvement more important than comfort.
The longtail was part of the old business plan, known as Track 22 because it ran to 2022. Track 25 is a $2.1 billion USD investment in 18 new vehicles or variations by 2025, starting with production of the BP23 Ultimate Series hyper GT.
McLaren’s continued growth will take it from 3,400 vehicles sold last year to more than 4,000 this year and 6,000 by 2025 at which point the Woking plant will be at capacity. Currently, McLaren gets the carbon fiber bodies from a supplier in Austria, but the automaker is building a plant in Sheffield, U.K. It will make the first prototypes by the end of the year with production by the end of 2019.
There are now 86 dealers in 31 countries. McLaren wants to expand into new markets, growing to 100 retailers by 2025. It is studying expansion into Russia, India, and Central/Eastern Europe.