McLaren Debuts Next-Gen Carbon Fiber Tub for 2021 Hybrid Supercar Series

McLaren's new carbon fiber design aims to assist hybrid powertrains as the brand enters the 2020s.
Brad Bergan

McLaren debuted a next-gen carbon-fiber tub for its 2021 Super Series vehicles — an innovative new style for the automaker's second decade of vehicle production, according to a press release from the brand's official website.


McLaren debuts carbon fiber tub for hybrid supercar

The first hybrid lined up for McLaren's 2021 Super Series will feature a carbon-fiber tub. McLaren's expensive Speedtail hypercar was the brand's first venture into the hybrid model industry since the P1, but there's much more to come, reports The Drive.

They will add next-gen powertrain tech, in addition to innovative new manufacturing techniques to make them surprisingly strong and light. Mclaren Automotive introduced the MP4-12C supercar in 2011 — which was built around a carbon tub tailor-made for mid-ship layouts, called the MonoCell. Weighing only 175 lbs (79.38 kg), the single-piece unit is manufactured in four short hours via resin transfer molding (RTM) technology, in addition to preform carbon fiber textiles.

McLaren Hybrid Supercar Drivetrain
The development process for the carbon fiber tub. Source: McLaren

'Lightweight, flexible' architecture in store for next-gen electric supercars

When it was time for the 57S, McLaren included the MonoCell II in all of its Sport Series models, in addition to the MonoCell II-T variant (the T stands for Touring) — for use in the GT model. Faster roadsters and coupes — like the hybrid P1, the 765S, the 720S, and the Senna use an architecture family that's even stiffer — called the Monocage I, II, and III.

McLaren's Composites Technology Center (worth $65 million) produced its first "Prototype Lightweight Tub" last March — called the PLT-MCTC-01. After crash analysis in Woking, and the setup for the composite plant's series production, company CEO Mike Flewitt confirmed the introduction of McLaren's "all-new, flexible, lightweight vehicle architecture which will underpin its next generation of electrified supercars," reports The Drive.

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McLaren Carbon Fiber Tub Supercars
The carbon fiber tub will help hybrid powertrains. Source: McLaren

The race is on for the best hybrid supercar

McLaren is transitioning to a 100% electrified lineup — and it starts with a new hybrid product launching in 2021. But the coronavirus crisis has forced Woking to slow its Track 25 business plan down. Initially, this included 18 new or derivative models slated for a 2025 launch.

However, all we have to anticipate is a possibly V-6 powered hybrid — although still rated at the same speeds we've come to expect from McLaren.

With other companies like Porsche alleging its first hybrid 911 will offer overwhelming speeds when it goes on sale sometime in 2021, the race to bring hybrid and all-electric supercars is on. May the best luxury supercar manufacturer win.

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