Your new McLaren supercar for 2021 will offer “blistering” performance, an intense driver experience and be able to drive through the city on electric power alone. Farewell Sports Series, hello all-new McLaren HPH.
HPH stands for high performance hybrid and, as confirmed by Woking this week, represents the new generation of supercars from McLaren Automotive. For the first time, McLaren has shown us pictures of the car, wearing its disguise but clearly displaying a familiar mid-engined McLaren profile and signature design details, along with twin exhaust pipes. The new car, to sit between the GT and the 720S, will be officially unveiled in the first half of 2021.
“This all-new McLaren supercar is the distillation of everything we have done to date; all that we have learned and achieved,” says McLaren Automotive chief executive Mike Flewitt.
“This is a new kind of McLaren for a new era, an extraordinary drivers’ car that offers blistering performance as well as an all-electric range capable of covering most urban journeys.”
The car will have two fewer cylinders than any previous McLaren. Its V6 is said to be all-new, though no other details are so far known. It will work with electric motors as part of a plug-in hybrid drivetrain that offers supercar performance as well as a zero tailpipe emissions mode for short urban journeys – just like McLaren’s pioneering electrified model, the P1. The P1 could only travel around 10 miles in EV mode; the new HPH is expected to double that range at least, making it a more realistic urban commuter.
The HPH – its showroom designation is yet to be confirmed – is the first McLaren to get a new carbon-fibre structure dubbed McLaren Carbon Lightweight Architecture (MCLA). This being McLaren, light weight is key but the MCLA is also flexible enough to be able to underpin not just the car you see here but the entire next generation of McLaren hybrid supercars.
Despite the hybrid tech and inevitable extra batteries, expect the HPH to mark a new high point in the company’s quest to keep weight down as a way of maintaining handling agility – on both road and track.
Mike Flewitt tells us: “For us, light-weighting and high-performance hybrid technology go hand-in-hand to achieve better performance as well as more efficient vehicles. Our expertise in carbon-fibre manufacturing, combined with our experience in cutting-edge battery technologies and high-performance hybrid propulsion systems, makes us ideally placed to deliver uncompromised levels of electrified high-performance driving that until now have simply been unattainable.”
With the arrival of the new-generation hybrids, the “entry level” McLaren since 2015, the Sport Series, dies. The last Sports Series model is the 620R, the GT4-inspired car we at GRR have already raved about.
Disguised HPH test cars are now out and about on public roads as part of the final phase of their testing regime, so look out for them. You might not hear them coming of course…