McLaren Christens New Factory, Ferrari Talks EVs and SUVs

McLaren marked a new factory yesterday with donuts in the new McLaren Senna. While at the same time, the CEO of Ferrari talked about plans for an SUV and a possible electric supercar.

McLaren Automotive inaugurated a new facility that will build carbon fibre tubs starting next year. The ceremony marked the completion of the new McLaren Composites Technology Centre located in the Sheffield region.

The building was ready, but the equipment to start manufacturing carbon chassis was not yet in place. That meant that McLaren had a big empty warehouse and nothing to do with it.

So they brought in a McLaren Senna to break it in right. The Senna is a special model based on the 720S and named for Brazilian Formula 1 driver Ayrton Senna. The driver won all three of his world championships behind the wheel of a McLaren. The car uses a modified 4.0L twin-turbo V8 that makes 789 hp and 5910 lb-ft. All of it sent to the rear wheels.

That meant a light show and donuts to christen the new shop floor.

Meanwhile, at the Detroit auto show, Ferrari CEO Sergio Marchionne was talking SUVs and electrification.

Marchionne confirmed that Ferrari would be introducing the company's first SUV by late 2019 or 2020, saying that it would be "the fastest on the market."

The CEO also told Bloomberg that "if there is an electric supercar to be built, then Ferrari will be the first." He added that "People are amazed at what Tesla did with a supercar: I’m not trying to minimize what Elon did but I think it’s doable by all of us."

While Ferrari has added a Formula 1-type KERS hybrid system to one flagship hypercar, the La Ferrari, the brand hasn't focused on electrification.

That is soon to change. "We do it because we have to do it," Marchionne said. The new plan for Ferrari will be released in the first half of this year and it will include hybrids, he said.

Once there are Ferrari hybrids, "going from there to an electric is easy," said Marchionne.

Macca donuts, electric Ferraris 1/17/2018 1:59:51 PM