McLaren has announced that the first prototype carbon fibre chassis to be built at its newest facility has been delivered to begin crash testing at its factory.
Named PLT-MCTC-01, the carbon fibre ‘tub’ was built at the £50m McLaren Composites Technology Centre (MCTC) in Sheffield, Yorkshire, and then sent to the firm’s main factory and home base in Woking, Surrey.
Opened last year, the MCTC will be the home of McLaren’s chassis building for the foreseeable future and is set to increase the rate of carbon fibre chassis innovation – helping to reduce the overall weight of the brand’s super and hypercars.
Wes Jacklin, plant director at the MCTC, said: “The delivery of the first prototype carbon fibre 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; we innovate to continually fulfill our promise to create iconic sportscars. It’s increasingly clear that with future heavier powertrain requirements, exploiting innovative light-weighting techniques and technologies is going to be a significant key to unlocking all the handling and agility characteristics that our customers demand.”
The MCTC facility currently employs 60 people, but will have upwards of 200 when full series production begins at the site in 2020.