New McLaren 'High-Performance Hybrid' supercar confirmed for 2021

New McLaren with hybrid power and electric driving mode on the way; official and unofficial images show prototype testing under disguise

McLaren hybrid

McLaren has confirmed it'll launch a new 'High-Performance Hybrid' supercar in the first half of 2021, kicking off a range of electrified cars that will supersede its current 'Sports Series' line-up of 540, 570 and 600 models. The range will sit above the recently launched GT and below the 'Super Series' 720 models in the McLaren hierarchy.

No pictures or sketches of the new model have been released yet, however an official image released by McLaren (above) and spy shots from earlier in 2020 (below) show a McLaren hybrid test mule undergoing evaluation, wearing the bodywork of a current 570S model.

Earlier reports of an all-new V6 petrol engine for McLaren's hybrid line-up have now been officially confirmed by the manufacturer. It will also develop a new carbon-fibre structure for the car, called McLaren Lightweight Carbon Architecture (MCLA), specifically designed to accommodate hybrid drivetrains.

McLaren says the first High-Performance Hybrid model will offer what it describes as "medium-range" pure-electric driving capability. CEO Mike Flewitt said: "This all-new McLaren supercar is the distillation of everything we have done to date; all that we have learned and achieved. This is a new kind of McLaren for a new era, an extraordinary drivers’ car that offers blistering performance as well as an all-electric range capable of covering most urban journeys." 

Under the brand’s Track22 plan, half of the British brand's range is set to be electrified by 2022 – starting with the already-confirmed Speedtail hyper-GT. An all-electric McLaren project has yet to get off the ground, however, apparently mainly due to technological constraints like weight and battery performance.

As McLaren hunts for solutions to make its eventual all-electric model fit in with its brand, the imminent wave of hybrid models will take the fight to rivals like the forthcoming Porsche 911 hybrid and already-launched Ferrari SF90 plug-in hybrid.