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Life left in the petrol V8! Partnership with engine supplier confirmed for McLaren's hybrid V8 future

McLaren’s next-gen supercars will still feature the brand’s signature V8 power.

McLaren's next-gen supercars will still feature the brand's signature V8 power, with the British marque's favourite engine supplier confirmed to bring hybrid bent-eights along for the next series of models.

Ricardo, which started supplying the brand with V8 engines for the 2011 McLaren MP4-12C supercar, will be the engine manufacturer for McLaren's next generation of "lightweight, high-performance hybrid supercars".

At Ricardo's plant in coastal Shoreham, south of London, the company will build "both hybrid and non-hybrid variants" of V8s for McLaren, with more than 100 staff working on the program.

Ricardo has already been responsible for "around 34,000 McLaren powertrains" and will continue to build V8s, alongside V6 engines for McLaren's Artura supercar.

The future V8 drivetrains, hybrid as mentioned, aren't details yet, so it's not clear whether they'll derive any hybrid tech from the company's past as with the McLaren P1 plug-in hybrid, or whether they'll charge themselves with an MGU-style generator.

Ricardo began supplying the brand’s V8 engines when the MP4-12C was designed.

Michael Leiters, McLaren's CEO, says the new powertrain is vital to the future of the brand, saying "our new high-performance, hybrid V8 powertrain will form an integral part of McLaren's next generation product line-up".

Similarly, Ricardo CEO Graham Ritchie says the deal confirmed the two brands' relationship into "the next decade" meaning McLaren's going to be combustion-powered in at least some way for at least another seven or eight years.

The future V8 drivetrains, hybrid as mentioned, aren’t details yet, so it’s not clear whether they’ll derive any hybrid tech from the company’s past.

"We are extremely pleased to have concluded this new engine supply agreement with McLaren Automotive for their next generation high-performance V8 powertrain, which extends the long-term relationship between both companies into the next decade."

The exact nature of the partnership, and whether V8s will still be around past 2030, isn't crystal clear yet, but it remains good news for fans of petrol-powered supercars.

Chris Thompson
Racing video games, car-spotting on road trips, and helping wash the family VL Calais Turbo as a kid were all early indicators that an interest in cars would stay present in...
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