Virtually every supercar maker is incorporating some form of an electric powertrain in their lineup, but McLaren isn't quite ready to go all-electric yet.
The brand's design director, Dan Parry-Williams, revealed that the reason behind the prototype was to work towards driver engagement in an all-electric environment. McLaren's engineering design director Dan Parry-Williams says that the reason for the full EV test vehicle is to try and figure out how to deliver driver engagement in an EV.
To be more precise, high-performance EVs face two main challenges, namely cooling matters, which, for instance, are the ones that keep Teslas from blitzing the Nurburgring and battery limitations.
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Biggest issue, says Parry-Williams, is not creating a hypercar with an acceptable range on the road but one that can cover a decent distance at high speed on a track. Parry-Williams said that the batteries would be completely juiced after half an hour on the track. If that was an EV, that vehicle would have over 500 miles of EV range (for road driving), and it would be flat as a pancake at the end.
McLaren plans for half of their sales to be hybrids by 2022. They also get very heavy once you start accounting for the energy requirements of a supercar. "And then you have to recharge it". "It's definitely on the up still", said the engineer, "but which direction is it going?" He says if you have a full EV, you can't do that charging lap.
A pure EV McLaren is expected to arrive as part of the company's Track22 strategy, and sit just below the P1 in the pecking order.
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