McLaren's Future Hybrid Supercars Will Have A V8 Heart

The V8 engine has powered some of the most iconic cars in the world for decades. But given the recent push toward more environmentally-friendly transport, many manufacturers are turning away from the gas-guzzling eight-cylinder option. Instead, they are opting for smaller-engined hybrids or dumping internal combustion engines altogether in favor of electric vehicles. McLaren isn't like other manufacturers, and it certainly isn't getting rid of the V8. The British supercar manufacturer does have a hybrid on the horizon though, and it's hoping to offer the best of both worlds to the gearheads who can afford it.

McLaren's next-generation V8 will be the product of a partnership with engine supplier Ricardo and is an extension of what is already a long history of collaboration between the two U.K.-based companies. Ricardo has been working with the legendary supercar manufacturer since the days of the McLaren 12c, supplying roughly 34,000 powertrains since 2011.

Speaking about the partnership, Michael Leiters, Chief Executive Officer, McLaren Automotive says: "Our new high-performance, hybrid V8 powertrain will form an integral part of McLaren's next-generation product line-up delivering best-in-class performance and thrilling driver engagement," before going on to describe the agreement between the two companies as an "important part of McLaren's 'Future of Performance' strategy." The new deal does not mark the end of Ricardo's current projects with the supercar manufacturer next door. Instead, the company is expected to supply both McLaren's hybrid and standard powertrains for the foreseeable future.

McLaren's hybrids are already on the market

Hybrid vehicles are obviously a large part of McLaren's future plans. While hybrid powertrains are most closely associated with fuel economy, their motors can also be used to give standard combustion engines a not-insignificant boost in performance. Last year McLaren launched the Artura, a production hybrid supercar that can be yours for just shy of a quarter of a million dollars.

Unlike the vehicles that came before it, and the hybrids that will follow the new deal with Ricardo, the Artura was fitted with a V6 instead of a V8. While bigger sometimes means better, the loss of two cylinders didn't put too much of a dent in performance. It will still go from zero to 60 mph in just three seconds and hit a top speed of 205 mph. Alone, the motor will produce 94 horsepower and can get the vehicle to 81 mph on its own. Add the 3-liter engine in and you get another 577 horsepower, bringing the total up to 671. McLaren is already getting a staggering amount of power from what is a relatively small supercar engine, so who knows how far it can go when it starts pumping out V8-powered hybrids.