McLaren has chosen the Goodwood Festival of Speed to announce its plans for the next seven years… and it’s big news. The strategy is codenamed Track 25 and features a £1.2bn investment, which will fund the delivery of 18 new models between now and 2025, with the range becoming 100 per cent hybrid by the middle of the next decade.
Woking’s last foray into the hybrid arena delivered the spine-tingling P1, so McLaren has form. For a company whose engines have always delivered on performance, but often fallen short in the emotional stakes that rivals Ferrari and Lamborghini deliver, it’s an intriguing prospect.
About that P1. With production of the Senna (the latest in McLaren’s Ultimate Series) currently ramping up and the much anticipated three-seat BP23 soon to see the light of day, the other big news in Track 25 strategy is the confirmation of a third Ultimate Series vehicle: a bona fide successor to the iconic P1.
With the Senna pitched as McLaren’s most track-focused offering and the BP23 chasing ultimate speed, it will be fascinating to see where the successor for the P1 is pitched. McLaren’s Jolyon Nash said the P1 successor will be the “ultimate expression of McLaren’s technical expertise and prowess”. Expect to see it towards the end of the Track 25 plan.
McLaren also talked about its exploration of “augmented driving features” to help develop a lighter, superfast-charging, high-power battery system for performance applications. These are predicted to deliver over 30 minutes of electric range around a race track. Time will tell what technology the team from Woking will need to deploy to deliver to its track-loyal audience, but with battery technology developing at an exponential rate, and energy-dense fast charging solid-state tech on the horizon, it would seem like a reasonable guess at a future direction for McLaren’s hybrid solution.
Beyond the highlight of hybridisation and the third car in the Ultimate Series, Track 25 is a welcome bit of good news for UK Plc too. The increased range will help drive McLaren’s annual production figure to 6,000 cars a year (a 75 per cent increase on current numbers), all of which will be hand-assembled in the UK. The company’s going to need a bigger factory. The brand’s continued focus to “win the new supercar ‘weight race’ by ensuring each of the products is the lightest in its segment” will be delivered through its investment in the development and manufacturing of future lightweight technology in the soon-to-open £50m McLaren Composites Technology Centre in Sheffield.
With over-the-air software updates, enhanced cyber security and increased vehicle tracking also mentioned in the statement at Goodwood today, McLaren is clearly keen to tackle a key bugbear of early McLaren ownership: the frustratingly recalcitrant NAV and HMI system.
Top Gear will be sitting down with McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt over the Festival of Speed weekend to dig into the detail of this vision for the next seven years, and we’ll update as we discover more.
For now though, today’s announcement is a clear statement of intent from a brand that, in the decade since its launch, has delivered products and grained traction and credibility in the supercar and hypercar space that has taken its rivals generations to deliver. Track 25 plots a fascinating future.