McLaren, more than most manufacturers, has a particularly keen eye on the future. So much so that it would surprise us little if certain people at the McLaren Technology Centre didn’t already know what the P1‘s replacement looks like, what its performance is anticipated to be and what kind of technology it will employ.
As if McLaren’s healthy obsession with the future needed bolstering, our favourite Woking firm has now shared with us its thoughts as to where F1 might be going.
Quite a stir was created about a year ago when transport designer Mark Hostler shared with the world his vision of a future LMP challenger for Jaguar. We were, frankly, bowled over by it. Of course the design was intended to feature KERS and regenerative braking technology as well as a raft of anticipated technologies, but above all it just looked stunning.
Similarly, the McLaren MP4-X looks spectacular. Group Brand Director John Allert has said of it: ‘…we wanted to peer into the future and imagine the art of the possible. We have combined a number of F1’s key ingredients – speed, excitement and performance, with the sport’s emerging narratives – such as enclosed cockpits to enhance driver safety, and hybrid power technologies.’
A swift glance at the intended features of the powertrain reveals that, like the Jaguar, the MP4-X would feature batteries which are integrated into the very structure of the car as well as – get this – ‘inductive coupling built into the track’. Presumably Scalextric don’t have a patent on that one!
Elsewhere, decals will be a thing of the past; replaced by a complex ‘digital billboard’ which reflect viewer’s preferences and browsing habits, electrodes fitted to the wings would electronically alter the nature of the car’s bodywork and an enclosed canopy would allow the driver to ‘see through walls’ (no, seriously…).
It’s fascinating stuff and encouraging that someone like McLaren has gone way beyond a few sketches and an outline of what could be done. We’d recommend taking a look yourself here for a full run-down of what F1 might look like.
Hopefully McLaren will forgive us for saying that as mind-blowing as the anticipated technology is, we’re sufficiently happy that it just looks superb!
Photography and video courtesy of McLaren