Don’t rule out a four-seater McLaren sports car just yet.
Much of the buzz surrounding McLaren involves the debut of its new 720S, but the company has also announced it will be opening a new factory in England to build carbon fiber tubs for its future models. While that may not be as interesting as a new supercar, it opens the doors for future McLaren models to be larger and easier to adapt to different sizes, as the brand turns to a scalable architecture like other automakers.
Currently, McLaren’s tubs come from Austria and are manufactured by Carbo Tech. But with the new factory in England, McLaren will move the production in-house and its next-generation models will have a more versatile architecture unlike current models.
Speaking to Car and Driver, McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt confirmed the new tub is going to evolve and it will be lighter and stronger. But more importantly, “there’s more opportunity for different forms and different packaging.” He admitted there’s the possibility of not just different-size McLaren models in the future, but maybe even extra sets. “Would we go to a two-plus-two or a four-seater? I think I wouldn’t rule it out, although it isn’t on the plan today,” he said. “But as the brand grows, maybe. If you look at the 570GT that we launched last year, it’s a superb GT car. In that segment, maybe there’s scope to grow and offer more occupant space.”
In the same interview, Flewitt also shared a few details about McLaren’s current development on a fully-electric vehicle. The company plans to build a single test mule to gauge interest, but it isn’t interested in just making a fast car. “The key is making a car that’s as exciting as a 720S. That’s where the challenge lies,” Flewitt added.
There’s always the chance McLaren develops the EV mule and decides it’s not the direction the brand wants to go. In other words, the car isn’t exciting enough to drive. He does however hope that isn’t the case and believes there’s a place for EVs in the brand’s lineup.