“We’ve got a pure EV [electric vehicle] mule and part of the reason for that is to ask how we can deliver driver engagement in a fully electric world. But there’s still quite a journey from here to there in terms of our products,” Dan Parry-Williams, McLaren’s engineering design director, told Autocar.
To be more precise, high-performance EVs face two main challenges, namely cooling matters, which, for instance, are the ones that keep Teslas from blitzing the Nurburgring and battery limitations.
While McLaren certainly has the engineering resources to deal with the temperature issues, the limits imposed by the current battery technology have yet to be pushed.
“Let’s say you want to drive on track for half an hour,” Parry-Williams explained. “If that was an EV, that car would have over 500 miles of [road] EV range, and it would be flat as a pancake at the end. The energy required to do really high performance on track is staggering. And then you have to recharge it,”
Battery development is a global matter and while advances are being made, most of these obviously target superior driving range rather than short bursts of uber-performance.
“[Battery development] It’s definitely on the up still,” the exec stated, “but which direction is it going? There’s a lot more investment going into energy-dense batteries [used for more generous range] rather than power density [this offers superior performance],”
Since McLaren has already kicked off the electric offensive with the hybrid P1, the carmaker is accelerating its electrification plan, as, for instance, 50 percent of all Maccas sold by 2022 will be fitted with gas-electric powertrains.
As for an all-electric McLaren, it seems we still have some waiting to do until getting to meet such a velocity tool.