Cars New McLaren Sports Series hybrid: revealing prototype spotted

20:15  05 february  2020
20:15  05 february  2020 Source:   autocar.co.uk

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A test mule for what appears to be McLaren's upcoming hybrid Sports Series model has been spotted - with a glimpse of the dashboard revealing what may be the car's design.

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McLaren's CEO, Mike Flewitt, told Autocar back in April that the first non-Ultimate Series hybrid would be the replacement for its Sports Series lineup, which includes the 540C, 570S, 570GT and 600LT, and it would be launched some time this year.

This new test mule, marked out as a hybrid by mandated badging and complex interior wiring, is based on a 570S, but with repositioned exhausts and carbon fibre aerodynamic body addenda. More interesting, however, is what can be seen in the interior shots.

Within a new digital dial design, this prototype features a 'car status' menu  based around a detailed graphic of what looks like a McLaren 720S with a redesigned front-end. Although not confirmed, it's possible that it could give us a glimpse at the design of the next-generation Sports Series model.

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a close up of a device © Provided by Autocar

The 720S is only fractionally longer and wider than the 570S, and uses the same 'Monocell II' carbon fibre passenger cell underneath. It's shape also makes it one of McLaren's most aerodynamic models ever, which could be the main motivation for the brand using a 720S inspired design for the Sports Series models.

The exact specifications of what’s under the skin of these prototypes remains closely under wraps. Rumours strongly suggest that the Woking car maker will be switching to V6 power for the new hybrid system, saving weight and increasing efficiency, with electric power more than making up for the loss in cylinder capacity.

The Sports Series replacement is also expected to come with a charging port, making it a plug-in hybrid rather than the recuperative hybrid system found in the P1.  It will also put both petrol and electric power through the rear wheels only.

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While it won’t be possible to fully cancel out the weight penalty of a hybrid system, Flewitt hopes to minimise it. “I’ve always said my ambition was to launch the hybrid at the same weight as the outgoing car,” he told Autocar last year.

“We’re not going to hit that, but we’re going to be within 30-40kg. When you think the P1 hybrid system was 140kg, we've done a huge amount to manage the weight. I've driven a prototype of it and the car is very compelling. We wouldn't be launching it if it wasn't going to be.”

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