McLaren’s carbon fiber chassis milestone

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The first prototype carbon fiber MonoCell, the tub that forms the main structure of McLaren’s range of cars, has been shipped 175 miles (282km) from the company’s new £50m (US$66m) innovation and production center in Yorkshire to the McLaren Production Centre (MPC) in Woking, Surrey.

Codenamed ‘PLT-MCTC – 01’ (a slightly snappier shortening of ‘Prototype Lightweight Tub, McLaren Composites Technology Centre – 01’), the tub will be involved with stringent crash testing duties. The tub is significant for the company as the firm is looking to achieve weight savings, especially as all McLaren’s sports cars and supercars will be hybrid by 2024.

“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,” stated Wes Jacklin, plant director at MCTC.

“We never innovate for the sake of it; we innovate to continually fulfil our promise to create iconic sportscars. 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.”

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Adam divides his time as an editor between the worlds of aviation and motoring. These worlds may seem a little diverse today, but autonomous technology and future urban mobility is bringing them ever-closer. Adam is also chairman of the Vehicle Dynamics International Awards.

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