British exotic manufacturer McLaren has been touting its driving performance superiority over other similar brands while retaining the purist configuration of rear-wheel-drive.
But the strategy might have to change in the ongoing race for horsepower and better track times, considering even Mercedes-AMG or BMW M have conceded to the might of grip coming from all-wheel drive configurations for their E63S and M5 sedan rockets. During a recent interview on the sidelines of the recently concluded Goodwood Festival of Speed, McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt hinted the brand is looking at all-wheel-drive as an option for its future models on the long run.
“We’re not there yet, but I’d say we’re getting close to the limit,” explained Flewitt. “We’re not planning [all-wheel drive] right now, but we’re conscious it’s a direction that we may well want to go in.” If and when the team of engineers do start work on an AWD system, they’ll opt for an unconventional approach – most likely an electrically powered front axle working with the traditional mechanic rear. The CEO added “our hybrid architecture will be flexible, and from an engineering point of view there’s no point bringing a shaft down to the center of the car.” And while traditional AWD adds weight, Flewitt suggests their future models could actually become lighter by losing the rear subframe entirely and getting the engines hooked to the carbon-fiber chassis, similar to a race car.
Via Car and Driver