McLaren's MP4-X is the F1 car of the future

Thought-controlled concept highlights include an enclosed cockpit, active aero and solar panels

McLaren has showcased its vision for the future of motor racing by unveiling the MP4-X concept. The single-seat, closed cockpit racer previews technology currently in development by McLaren’s advanced solutions arm McLaren Applied Technologies.

'With the futuristic McLaren MP4-X concept racecar, we wanted to peer into the future and imagine the art of the possible,' said John Allert, Group Brand Director, McLaren Technology Group.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to our exclusive new offer and SAVE 39% on the shop price, get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £20!

'We have combined a number of F1’s key ingredients – speed, excitement and performance, with the sport’s emerging narratives - such as enclosed cockpits to enhance driver safety, and hybrid power technologies.'

Race technology plays an important role in the development of road cars. The MPX-4 will use a powertrain that builds on the existing hybrid motors and energy recovery systems already used in the McLaren P1 hypercar and Formula E. Further enhancements will employ solar cells for recharging and exploit aerodynamics with ultra-thin batteries which can be placed within the chassis and body structure.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

Using a structurally-mounted glass canopy the enclosed cockpit increases driver safety and allows for new systems, such as a 360-degree augmented vision display offering an unrestricted view of surroundings. A heads-up display will replace traditional instruments and could even include a fighter-pilot style display system to highlight the position of rivals.

Additionally, self-powered tyre sensors could monitor pressures during races, and paired with an on-board pressure regulator unit, adjustments could me made to achieve the optimum traction performance.

'MP4-X’s wheel covers have an aero benefit, but, because the wheel is now fully encased, they also offer far greater visualisation of what the tyre is doing and how it is behaving,' said Tim Stafford, head of business development at McLaren Applied Technologies.

'It provides the perfect opportunity to map the entire surface of the tyre with wear and temperature sensors.'

McLaren says that a vehicle with no physical controls in 'entirely possible' – as such, the MP4-X is designed to use technology developed in partnership with GSK to help patients with neurological diseases. Electrical signals within the driver’s brain can be monitored and combined with gesture detectors to control the vehicle.

The MP4-X is a long way from being seen on the track but, regulatory issues aside, its sci-fi tech indicates the direction that McLaren technology can take racing and perhaps even road cars.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/porsche/911-turbo/202379/new-porsche-911-turbo-gains-lightweight-and-sport-packages
Porsche 911 Turbo

New Porsche 911 Turbo gains Lightweight and Sport packages 

The 2020 Porsche 911 Turbo hasn’t been with us for long, but a raft of packages and optional extras are already in the pipeline
26 Mar 2020
Visit/land-rover/defender/202375/new-land-rover-defender-x-p400-review
Land Rover Defender

New Land Rover Defender X P400 review

Land Rover’s all new Defender proves to be worth the wait and is now as capable on road as it is off it. It’s no driver’s car but as a do everything m…
25 Mar 2020
Visit/corvette/202016/1200bhp-hennessey-c8-corvette-shown-testing-on-video
Corvette

1200bhp Hennessey C8 Corvette shown testing on video

The C8 Corvette has only just hit showrooms, but Hennessey Performance already has big plans...
26 Mar 2020
Visit/hyundai/i30-n-hatchback/201775/hyundai-i30-n-versus-hyundai-i30-tcr
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 N versus Hyundai i30 TCR

Can Dickie Meaden beat Steve Sutcliffe in a straight(ish) race? We sent them to the Circuit Nuvolari with a pair of Hyundai i30 Ns to find out.
20 Sep 2019