The first prototype carbon-fiber MonoCell has been shipped from McLaren’s new £50m (US$66m) innovation and production centre in Yorkshire to the McLaren Production Centre (MPC) in Woking, Surrey.
Codenamed ‘PLT-MCTC – 01’ – which stands for ‘Prototype Lightweight Tub, McLaren Composites Technology Centre – 01’ – the tub traveled 175 miles (281km) to the British sports car and supercar maker’s global headquarters to undertake stringent crash-testing duties.
Carbon fiber has long been part of McLaren’s DNA, the company having first introduced the material to Formula 1 in the early 1980s. Given the material’s lightweight and strength characteristics, McLaren hasn’t produced a road car without it since.
“The delivery of the first prototype carbon fiber tub to McLaren HQ is not only an exciting day for everyone who has directly worked on the project but also a significant milestone for McLaren Automotive’s ambition to be world-beaters in lightweight and composites technology, which goes hand-in-hand with our move to hybrid powertrains as part of our Track25 business plan,” said Wes Jacklin, plant director of the McLaren Composites Technology Centre.
“It’s increasingly clear that with future heavier powertrain requirements, exploiting innovative lightweighting techniques and technologies is going to be a significant key to unlocking all the handling and agility characteristics that our customers demand.”