UK has “Golden opportunity” to be global home of electrified supercar manufacturing, says McLaren CEO

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McLaren Automotive Michael Leiters Chief Executive Officer. Photo credit: McLaren

The UK now has a “golden opportunity” to be the global home of electrified supercar manufacturing provided it can future-proof its supply chain and attract investment in critical technologies, says British luxury automotive McLaren.

Speaking at the FT Future of the Car Summit in London, McLaren Automotive CEO Michael Leiters said that the UK must attract investment in key areas including power-dense, high-performance battery technology.

Mr Leiters said the technology – which is crucial for delivering a fully-electric driving experience that exceeds that of today’s combustion engine supercars – would be ready within the decade.

The comments coincide with Michael Leiters announcing a multi-year partnership with UK engine supplier Ricardo to manufacture its next-generation of McLaren-designed high-performance V8 engines at the heart of its hybrid powertrains.

McLaren has said that over 90% of its supercars would have some form of electrification within five years.

Mr Leiters, however, warned that investment in the supply-chain of critical technologies is essential for UK high-performance car manufacturers to remain competitive on a global scale. He continued that if McLaren was to switch powertrains to pure-electric today, the amount of British-sourced components would drop from 75 to 35 per cent.

“The UK has a rich history in motorsport and performance car manufacturing which – with the correct playing conditions – means the UK is ideally placed to lead the world in the development of the next generation of supercars and related technologies.”

Mr Leiters added that McLaren’s core technological expertise in lightweight carbon fibre and aerodynamics can help improve energy efficiency and is not only applicable to supercars but is also “attracting strong interest from other sectors including the aerospace industry”.

McLaren Automotive is a creator of luxury, high-performance supercars. Every vehicle is hand-assembled at the McLaren Production Centre (MPC) in Woking, Surrey, England.

Launched in 2010, the company is now the largest part of the McLaren Group.

The company’s product portfolio of GT, supercar, Motorsport and Ultimate models are retailed through over 100 retailers in over 40 markets around the world.

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