McLaren designs a new lightweight architecture for future
McLaren is currently working on a flexible, lightweight vehicle architecture that will underpin its next generation of electrified supercars. The project is done in the UK at McLaren’s state-of-the-art McLaren Composites Technology Centre (MCTC) in the Sheffield region.
The new products from the company will be electrified when it arrives next year. The 570S replacement will be built on an all-new architecture. The new flexible vehicle architecture, underpinned by the resin transfer molding (RTM) process utilizes innovative, world-first processes and techniques to strip out excess mass, reduce overall vehicle weight, while also further improving safety attributes. This architecture is as revolutionary as the MonoCell chassis which was the basis of the MP4-12C almost a decade ago.
In the new architecture, hundreds of pieces of carbon fiber cloth developed specifically for McLaren are cur for every chassis. The shape and orientation of each cut piece are controlled by software to optimize the strength and mass of the finished chassis. Lasers then guide the alignment of cut material into 2D preforms. Hello CNC.
These preforms are then loaded into an RTM machine developed by McLaren and the resin is infused while the parts are clamped together under a massive force. The molded lightweight chassis is then removed from the press and machines with extreme accuracy to accept the mounting of multiple components during the final vehicle assembly.
These chassis will form the basis of the next generation of McLaren hybrid models as the supercar company enters its second decade of series vehicle production. The first new McLaren hybrid supercar to be based on the all-new architecture will launch in 2021. This new, ultra-lightweight carbon fiber chassis boasts greater structural integrity and higher levels of quality than ever before.