McLaren’s next supercar will feature Top Gun technology

McLaren is one of the biggest brands in the automotive world, known for building some of the fastest cars. Lockheed Martin is one of the largest companies in the aerospace and military industry. And now they join forces through a collaboration that more than one has dreamed of: together They will create a new way of designing the future supercars of the British firm.

While McLaren is developing, under the leadership of Michael Leiters, a new range of models and even its first SUV, the British brand has signed a collaboration agreement with Lockheed Martin and, more specifically, with Skunk Works: the Advanced Development Programs of the American company.

technology collaboration

Skunk Works was born in the 1940s and has a long history of secret projects. These are the F-22 Raptor, the F-35 Lightning II, the F-117 Stealth Fighter, the U-2 spy plane and the SR-71 Blackbird. And if none of this sounds like you, you might recognize the plane that appears, next to the McLaren Artura, in the photos. It’s him Darkstar, the concept hypersonic jet designed by Skunk Works for the movie ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ which appears in the first scenes.

What exactly is this collaboration? Design only? Technology too? McLaren did not give many details: a mystery that, ironically, coincides with the multitude of secret projects managed by Skunk Works throughout these decades. The British brand talks about “technology collaboration” so it’s likely that the outcome of this association will focus more on optimizing vehicle development processes than anything McLaren customers will be able to see in their models.

simulator software

Darren Goddard, technical director of McLaren, recalled that they have always pushed the limits “in search of new innovative and disruptive solutions to manufacture the best supercars”. From their words, it’s clear that they used Lockheed Martin and Skunk Works to provide a more futuristic approach to design of the next generation of its vehicles.

However, the most interesting thing for McLaren will be access to Lockheed Martin’s pioneering simulation software. The goal is to adapt it to be able to apply it to supercars and, more specifically, to high-revving engines. This would allow the parameters to be defined more precisely and more quickly than with traditional design methods. McLaren scientists and engineers will work alongside their counterparts at Skunk Works to test and explore how this advanced technology could be applied commercially in the world of motorsport.

Knowing that in 1976, the SR-71 Blackbird broke the absolute top speed record with 3,529.56 km/h, It’s interesting to imagine what the supercar that will emerge from its alliance with McLaren might look like.

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