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Meet McLaren’s shape-shifting MP4-X Formula One concept car

McLaren has revealed details of a Formula One car called the MP4-X, a futuristic concept the British manufacturer describes as ‘a race car that could exist in the distant future’.

We sure hope it does, not just because Formula One has become a bit stale recently, but mainly because it looks like an absolute beast and has a few neat tricks up its aedodynamically-tuned sleeves.

The standout feature of the MP4-X is its ability to change shape during a race so it can ‘adapt to different aerodynamic demands’. The idea is that cornerning downforce can be improved before a corner then reduced for the straights for higher speeds.

Not only that, it can communicate with the driver if there is a problem or some sort of mechanical failure and will be powered by ‘alternative power sources’, referring to a greater focus on electrical energy regeneration wasted when braking and solar panels.

It also has a windscreen to better protect the driver and digital billboards on its exterior that adjust the adverts depending on who is looking at the car, meaning it will look different to everyone who sees it. And you thought unskippable YouTube video adverts were bad.

Drivers will also benefit from a head-mounted augmented vision display that gives a 360-degree view of their surroundings, making contact with other drivers less likely.

The MP4-X was designed by technologists and designers at the McLaren Applied Technologies (MAT).

Speaking on its own website, McLaren group brand director John Allert said: “With the futuristic McLaren MP4-X concept racecar, we wanted to peer into the future and imagine the art of the possible.”

“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.”

Not everyone is impressed with the MP4-X, it must be said. One YouTuber commented: “So basically an uglier Red Bull X1.” No pleasing some people, hey. Scroll down for the video.

McLaren MP4-X Concept Car video


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