McLaren has a new chassis for the first time in a decade

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Illustration from the article titled McLaren has a new chassis for the first time in a decade

Photo: McLaren

McLaren is the Mexican restaurant of the automotive world. Before you jump into the defense of McLaren, think about it now. If you go to a Mexican restaurant, you are going to end up with a combination of cheese, meat, vegetables and beans on, in, or under a tortilla. If you buy a McLaren they are all built on the same chassis and use a variant of the same thirty year old Nissan V8 engine. Some are hybrids, some have an opening roof, some have holes in the doors, some go super fast, but at their core, the entire McLaren range for ten years has been at the heart of the same car.

In my opinion, Mexican food is very good, and mixing these ingredients in a different order results in some amazing flavor combinations and I’m here for it. It would appear that McLaren is similar in that everything it builds from these core ingredients is world class. To recap: Mexican food is good, McLaren is also good.

Every McLaren, from the MP4-12C to the Speedtail, is based on the same MonoCell carbon tank architecture. A few years ago, for the P1, McLaren introduced a beefed-up version of the MonoCell called MonoCage, but it’s still basically the same crap. That is, until now. McLaren is starting from scratch for its next generation of sports, super and hyper cars. This one is allegedly lighter, stronger, safer, and built specifically to accommodate hybrid powertrains. That’s important, as McLaren aims to transition to 100% electrified supercars in the near future, whether hybrid or battery-electric.

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This new chassis doesn’t have a fancy new name yet, but rest assured it will be soon. McLaren developed this entire chassis in-house at its new McLaren Composites technology center in Sheffield.

There is very little information on the new chassis available, but McLaren says it will launch a new hybrid supercar next year based on this new architecture.

Here’s what McLaren Automotive CEO Mike Flewitt had to say about the new chassis design.

“The revolutionary new vehicle architecture is just as groundbreaking as the MonoCell chassis we introduced with the company’s first car, the 12C, when we first entered production vehicle manufacturing ten years ago.

“This new ultralight carbon fiber chassis offers greater structural integrity and higher quality levels than ever before, with our new MCTC facility quickly becoming recognized as a global center of excellence in composite material science and manufacturing.

“Our advanced expertise in lightweight composites manufacturing and processes combined with our experience in advanced battery technology and high performance hybrid propulsion systems means that we are uniquely positioned to provide customers with levels of high performance electrified powertrain that until now were simply inaccessible. “

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