Report: McLaren readying 900-plus horsepower hybrid V-8 for F1 successor, hybrid V-6

McLaren P1

McLaren P1

If you thought the buck stopped at the bonkers McLaren P1, the automaker’s CEO, Mike Flewitt, wants to make it clear there’s more to come. Specifically, the famed McLaren F1’s successor sounds like it’s in for some serious power.

Speaking to Car and Driver at the 2017 Geneva auto show, Flewitt reiterated half of its cars would arrive with a hybrid system of some sort by the year 2022. As part of the plan, the first hybrid will be the BP23, the code name for what we’ve referred to as the F1’s successor.

Previous reports state the BP23 will pay homage to the Gordon Murrary design, and is said to revive the three-seat layout of the F1, too. Keeping with the spirit of the F1, the BP23 will, of course, be seriously quick with a 4.0-liter V-8 married to the aforementioned hybrid system. Horsepower is said to be north of 900 ponies.

“The BP23 is going to be a very quick GT car, so you won’t see us racing it around tracks or cutting the roof off to make a spider. It’s a sleek, aero-efficient low-drag GT car with three-seat packaging, and it will have our most advanced hybrid engine going in, so it will be extraordinarily quick,” Flewitt said.

Mike Flewitt

Mike Flewitt

Speaking specifically about the powertrain, he added: “If you think that the base engine that went into the P1 has now developed into the 4.0-liter in the 720S, then that side [of the powertrain] will clearly evolve. And it’s going to be a different battery pack.”

As for other future McLaren powertrains, Flewitt confirmed a second hybrid system is in development and it will be available across an entire model range at launch. Car and Driver speculates that this could be the Sports Series cars—the 540C, 570S, and 570GT—and the engine will likely be a turbocharged V-6.

Flewitt wouldn’t confirm displacement or engine configuration for this powertrain, but he did say McLaren is never fixated on a single engine configuration, leaving the future wide open for the automaker’s engineers.

“For us, it’s all about the attributes,” he said. “If we can get the performance, then it doesn’t matter if it’s 12 or 10 or eight or six. That’s not to say the whole world thinks like that; I still get questions about ‘Why can’t we get a V-12?’ We’re all enthusiasts, we’d love a manual-shifting V-12, but that’s 20 years out of date. So we’re not wedded to cylinder count, but we are wedded very much to performance and excitement.”

–Sean Szymkowski

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