English supercar maker McLaren Automotive has been in the news a lot lately, and not because of its performance on the track.
McLaren, which traces its roots back to its McLaren Formula 1 (F1) race team, has been independent since its inception, but now the rumor mills are churning about its future — and which German automotive giant it may soon be a part of.
As for right now, the company had another record year, with sales up 14% compared to a year ago. Here in the U.S., McLaren sold 10,000 vehicles for the first time. And all of this happening without the company having an SUV among its product portfolio, which seems to be a must in this market.
Instead, McLaren is sticking to its sports car roots. “So we have no plans within our product plan to launch an SUV. Our focus is really on building and producing the vehicles that our customers long for, and these are driver-focused vehicles, track-type vehicles or track vehicles for the road,” Nicolas Brown, McLaren’s new president of the Americas told Yahoo Finance Live in an interview. “And everything really revolves around this Formula One DNA that our customers love.”
McLaren’s vaunted F1 history is what draws many fans to the brand. The team has been active in F1 since 1965, formed by Bruce McLaren, and winning eight F1 constructors’ world championships and seven F1 Driver World Championships. In 2011, McLaren Automotive was formed to build road-going supercars, capitalizing on its on-track success.
And now the future of the brand is here with the Artura hybrid, which will debut in the summer of 2022.
“[The Artura] is the most significant launch that we've had since we introduced the 12C back in 2011,” Brown says.
When asked why McLaren didn’t go fully electric with the car, Brown hinted at that F1 DNA, where the race team currently uses hybrid technology.
“One of the great things about being so interconnected with racing with Formula 1 is that for us, it's not about bringing out a hybrid simply for the sake of bringing out a hybrid. It's about answering the question as to how will this benefit the customer, and how will this enhance the visceral feeling that customers come to expect from McLaren?”
And the benefits are this, Brown says: 570 horsepower, immediate acceleration off the line for a sub 3 second 0-60 mph time, and “You'll have over 50 miles per gallon.”
It’s fair to say that is a shocking figure — 50mpg for a car that can immediately be taken to a race track and pushed to the limit. It is quite a target to hit, but one that McLaren knows is the electric future of where the brand is headed, as even supercars go green.