McLaren unveiled a concept car called the MP4-X which is its “conceptual vision for the future of motorsport technology.”
The MP4-X could be what future Formula 1 racing will look like. The design is fairly similar to current Formula 1 vehicles, but certainly appears to be more ‘evolved’.
The McLaren MP4-X concept car.
The MP4-X features a closed cockpit, a hybrid powertrain, as well as a chassis capable of adapting to different aerodynamic demands.
The MP4-X design includes electrodes fitted to the surface of the car’s wings which would electronically control the bodywork, enabling downforce to be dialed in for cornering, and then dialed out on straights.
McLaren says that by running a car with inherently stalled aero, powerfully charged electrodes could be switched on into corners to turn the air around the wings into plasma.
“Plasma flow control would require a lot of power, but, in the future we could take power from the engine and divert it to charge the system.
“It’s banned in current F1 regs- but it’s great for achieving high top speeds, particularly at circuits like Monza, where you want to shed all the downforce along the straights and then turn it back on again for the corners,” says Geoff McGrath, Chief Innovation Officer, McLaren Applied Technologies.
McLaren MP4-X concept car video:
McLaren added that the car could receive additional recharging by using inductive coupling built into the track. This could lead to more sustainable racing, but also be the catalyst for a shift-change in vehicle powertrain architecture that would benefit everyday car drivers.
The MP4-X also couples solar energy capture with more traditional regenerative systems that are currently employed to ensure that there is a readily available source of usable energy.
“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.
“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.”
“Formula 1 is the ultimate gladiatorial sport, and the future we envisage will be a high tech, high performance showcase that excites fans like no other sport.”