McLaren has released its vision for the future of Formula One by designing a concept car featuring futuristic technology.
Although the design is only a marketing exercise, the MP4-X showcases real technologies McLaren believes could be put to use in the future. Much like the Ferrari concept car released earlier this year, it also offers a glimpse of what Formula One's future might look like.
The MP4-X features energy recovery systems along the same lines as the ones in use today, but McLaren says it would have a "new approach to the internal combustion engine" and "thin batteries" that form part of the crash structure. It would also feature solar panels built into the bodywork that would contribute to the car's power ... although not at night races.
From a safety perspective, the car features a canopy over the cockpit, an idea that has gathered momentum following the death of Justin Wilson in IndyCar earlier this year.
"I was one of many drivers who said, 'This is open-cockpit racing, it should stay as open-cockpit racing,' but I think we've had enough now," McLaren driver Jenson Button said. "We've got to get a canopy on the car of some sort, because we can't have these sorts of accidents happening as much as they have over the last few years. It's not the 1970s any more, we should know better. Canopies probably are the way to go, but obviously that takes time."
But it's not all new technology, the MP4-X has been designed with ground-effect aerodynamics -- a concept that was banned in Formula One in 1982. The smaller internal combustion engine and fuel tank would allow for huge Venturi tunnels in the car's floor to create a "powerful aerodynamic effect".
In addition, McLaren claims the chassis would change shape to adapt to different aerodynamic demands -- think super-advanced DRS. The shape-shifting bodywork would also feature digital billboards that can tailor sponsors' messages to its audiences.
"Just like the webpages you view, the adverts are chosen specifically for you -- meaning that the car will look different to everyone," McLaren claims.
Put simply, the MP4-X will be able to read your mind.