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McLaren shows us what its future supercars could look like

We will finally be able to tell the automaker’s cars apart

Tobias Sühlmann will take the helm of McLaren design from here on out. PHOTO FROM MCLAREN

Epic. Athletic. Functional. Focused. And intelligent.

Those are the five pillars on which McLaren will base its future design language under new design chief Tobias Sühlmann.

In case that name sounds familiar, the new chief designer is also kind of the old one. Sühlmann previously worked at McLaren as chief designer of Special Projects, before briefly joining Bentley as director of Design.

Now, the German executive is back in Woking and busy creating the shapes and lines of future supercars by the brand.

Expect to see more of the heritage design in future McLarens. PHOTOS FROM MCLAREN

The new design language leans heavily on the 60-year racing history of McLaren, and will take its inspiration from Formula 1, Can-Am, and GT cars.

Icons like the McLaren F1 will also add some of its own design DNA, and fans of the brand can look forward to elements such as the central driving position, the jet fighter-style canopy (as seen on the Solus GT), and the quad-exhaust of the 765LT making appearances in future supercars.

Some fans might also hope for a little more individuality between the various models, as keeping them apart has become increasingly difficult in recent times.

The five pillars will manifest themselves in things like muscular bodywork with high aerodynamic efficiencies, bold designs aimed at creating an emotional reaction, and performance-driven ergonomics.

The latter point means a cabin that is built around the driver and offers unparalleled visibility, and an environment where everything the pilot sees, feels, or touches is designed to maximize the experience and the car’s performance.

McLaren cars will no longer all look the same. PHOTOS FROM MCLAREN

Future McLarens will also include innovative new materials that are still being developed, and that are aimed at making the cars lighter, stronger, more durable, and at the same time more sustainable.

Innovative tech like the cooling used on the Artura Spider or the aerodynamics on the Senna and the P1 will also be carried into the future, and Sühlmann speaks of “a new era, with new vehicles, more product differentiation, and with Performance by Design at the heart of it.

The sketches McLaren shared as part of the press release only give a little glimpse of what we can expect from the company in the future, but seeing as McLaren is keen to build on the fantastic looks of previous racing cars, hopes are high that we’ll be in for a treat. Some also say that the statement about product differentiation could hint at an upcoming SUV.

Frank Schuengel

Frank is a German e-commerce executive who loves his wife, a Filipina, so much he decided to base himself in Manila. He has interesting thoughts on Philippine motoring. He writes the aptly named ‘Frankly’ column.