The vehicle you see here is not necessarily a first for McLaren. In 2012, the incredible P1 was unveiled to the world with a 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V8 mated to a single electric motor, developing a combined output of 903 horsepower. This camouflaged McLaren probably won’t have as much oomph under its hood, but it will have electric power.
This is only the second time that we catch McLaren testing their new hybrid model in public. The first time was in April, although unfortunately no camouflage has been lost since then. We see a shape that looks relatively conservative, although we suspect that the panels behind the camouflage trim obscure a more flamboyant body.
Still, the side vents are long and thin compared to the larger scoops on the 570S, and we don’t see anything resembling the aerodynamic trickery behind the fenders similar to the 720S. However, we make see the 720S-style dual pipes sticking out high on the rear fascia, and the breaks in the camouflage suggest that a deployable wing sits on top of everything. The front and rear lights are rather dimmed, but LEDs are clearly the order of the day.
The big news for this new supercar will obviously be what’s under the skin. The rumor is still pretty quiet on this front, with sources on the power of the V6 or V8. Considering this is a Sports series machine, going for a plug-in hybrid V6 with over 600 horsepower makes sense. It would be a modest improvement over the 570S, and McLaren promises its all-new platform with heavy use of carbon fiber will reduce weight to compensate for hybrid components.
That leaves us with only one question. When all these other answers to questions? The coronavirus has certainly delayed projects with all automakers, and McLaren’s financial situation is not the best these days. Testing for the new hybrid is obviously continuing, and McLaren has confirmed a launch in 2021. Whether early or late in the year remains to be seen.