McLaren’s move to a modular carbonfibre platform for its McLaren 720S super sports car has the brand considering additional body styles, including a 2+2 seater to rival the Ferrari GTC4 Lusso and even a single-seat track special.
McLaren’s announcement about the opening of a new factory in England to build future carbon tubs was pretty much ignored in the excitement of the 720S debut, but it looks set to dramatically change the way the company’s cars are made.
Flewitt further admitted to the possibility of building differently sized McLarens, including those with extra seats. While the company is already working on a three-seater, the McLaren F1-inspired BP23, we might be seeing other variants.
“We’ve had people internally speculating about a single seater as a track car,” he told Wheels. “Would we go to a 2+2 or a four-seater? I wouldn’t rule it out.
“It isn’t on the plan today, 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.”
McLaren’s tubs have previously been made in Austria by contractor Carbotech, but the company has decided to bring next-generation production in-house with the switch to a more flexible architecture. The tubs will be made in a facility in Sheffield, which will employ 200 people.
Every modern-era McLaren road car so far has been built around a version of the same basic structure. The new one, however, will offer vastly more flexibility.
“It’s going to evolve,” he said, “[the platform] is lighter and stronger and there’s more opportunity for different forms and different packaging.”
In the short term, having the ability to move previously fixed hard points will only be used to help package different powertrain configurations, most obviously the battery packs that will be used by McLaren’s forthcoming hybrid powertrain, which is believed to be an e-motor assisted V6 engine.