The carbon fiber MonoCell, the tub that forms the main structure of McLaren’s cars, has been shipped from the company’s innovation and production center to the McLaren Production Centre for stringent crash testing.

The Prototype Lightweight Tub, McLaren Composites Technology Centre – 01 (PLT-MCTC – 01) Technology Centre – 01’ was developed at the MCTC, which was opened in Yorkshire last year by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, among others, as part of McLaren’s plans to continue to innovate the lightweight carbon fiber chassis that are a key component of all its cars. McLaren first introduced carbon fiber into Formula 1 in the early 1980s, and given the material’s lightweight and strength characteristics, it hasn’t produced a road car without it since.

The work done at the MCTC will help designers and engineers to find further weight savings for McLaren’s next generation of vehicles as the company works to lead the race to lightweight.  Lightweighting will become more important as cars move towards hybrid powertrains, which are generally heavier than their traditional powertrain counterparts. By 2024, all McLaren’s sportscars and supercars will be hybrid.

Wes Jacklin, Plant Director at the MCTC, commented, “The delivery of the first prototype carbon fiber tub by the new MCTC 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.”

“We never innovate for the sake of it;” Mr. Jacklin continued, “we innovate to continually fulfill our promise to create iconic sportscars. It’s increasingly clear that with future heavier powertrain requirements, exploiting innovative lightweight techniques and technologies is going to be a significant key to unlocking all the handling and agility characteristics that our customers demand.”

To support the development, engineering, and manufacture of its range of innovative sportscars and supercars, McLaren Automotive partners with world leading companies to provide specialist expertise and technology, including AkzoNobel, OnePlus, Pirelli and Richard Mille.