Every McLaren road car will be a hybrid by 2025, the company has confirmed, building on its previous target of adding electrical assistance to at least half of its range by 2022.
Currently only the Woking company's flagship P1 hypercar, built between 2014 and 2016, has a battery pack and electric motor attached to its petrol engine, but within eight years the entire range will be powered in a similar way.
As part of its Track22 mission statement McLaren plans to launch 15 new cars between now and 2022, starting with the non-hybrid 720S next month. Although this car is petrol-powered, its successor will almost certainly include a hybrid-electric system to meet ever-tightening emission regulations.
"Our goal to move to 100% hybridisation by 2025 is the only way we can meet tough future emissions targets." McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt told Auto Express at the announcement of the company's new £50m manufacturing plant in Sheffield. "I truly believe electric is the direction for McLaren and, eventually, the industry as a whole," he added.
Flewitt's prediction echos that of his opposite number at Ferrari, Sergio Marchionne, who said in November 2016 that all of his company's road cars will be hybrids by 2019. The transition was described by the Ferrari boss as a "fundamental shift" in how the world's most famous supercar maker produces its vehicles. As with McLaren, only Ferrari's million-pound hypercar, the LaFerrari, currently uses a hybrid-electric motor.
Not only is McLaren planning to add batteries and electric motors to its cars, Flewitt also suggested the company's 3.8-litre, twin-turbocharged V8 engined, used in all of its current cars, could soon be downsized.
When the suggestion of a smaller-capacity V8 or a V6 is put to the McLaren boss, he said: "In a few years you will see a shift in the power balance between the combustion engine and electric motors". It looks like smaller engines and larger battery packs are on the horizon at Woking and Ferrari's Maranello alike.