McLaren The Evolution of the Sports Car

In McLaren by Jonathan HumphreyLeave a Comment

The new McLaren Production Centre on film

2011 is not just the launch year for the McLaren MP4-12C, but for a new car company in the evolution of the sportscar. McLaren with its past and future rooted in motorsport and with technological innovation, manufacturing skill, and a unique heritage at its core.

Close to £50m has been invested in the development of the new McLaren Production Centre (MPC), which will be the birthplace of all future sports cars from McLaren Automotive.  MPC was opened on 17 November 2011 by UK Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. David Cameron MP. A new film, presented by McLaren Group Executive Chairman and McLaren Automotive Managing Director Antony Sheriff, marks this milestone in the development of McLaren Automotive.

The first MP4-12C from MPC was produced approximately 18 months after ground was broken on site. During this term, McLaren Automotive has announced the launch of a network of 35 retailers in 18 countries, which will be responsible for the sale and service of the new MP4-12C and a future range of sports cars.  McLaren London is the company’s flagship retailer and is located at the prestigious One Hyde Park in Knightsbridge.

  • New film presented by McLaren Group Executive Chairman Ron Dennis and McLaren Automotive Managing Director Antony Sheriff marks official opening of McLaren Production Centre
  • Government campaign to encourage young students to choose engineering as a career supported by McLaren Group
  • McLaren Automotive named ‘Best British Luxury Brand’ by Walpole
  • New MP4-12C avoids ‘Gas Guzzler’ tax in North American markets
  • New MP4-12C GT3 achieves podium finish in Macau as part of McLaren GT development programme

‘See Inside Manufacturing’ with McLaren Group

The commitment of McLaren Group to developing its race and road cars through innovation in engineering made the company a valuable partner for the British Government’s ‘See Inside Manufacturing’ campaign – an initiative aimed at encouraging young people to see engineering as an exciting and viable career choice, while also increasing awareness of the importance of a strong manufacturing base to the future of the UK economy.

The campaign saw groups of local students partake in the ‘McLaren Manufacturing Challenge’ – a competition designed to get students thinking about engineering and manufacturing in a practical, hands-on sense by designing, and building, a motor-less vehicle to carry an object over a 10 metre distance in the quickest time possible.

Woking College took the chequered flag with their ingenious mouse-trap propelled vehicle, which completed the distance in an impressive 2.28 seconds. The winning team wasinvited to the official opening of the new McLaren Production Centre, where UK Prime Minister, David Cameron presented them with the winning trophy. A short film capturing the occasion and taking viewers inside the McLaren Group headquarters.

McLaren Automotive named ‘Best British Luxury Brand’ by Walpole

Underlining the progress made in developing its brand identity, McLaren Automotive has now been awarded the title of Best British Luxury Brand by Walpole, the not-for-profit organisation that represents the British luxury industry and 170 leading luxury brands. The award gives recognition to the British luxury brand that has had the greatest national impact in terms of sales, customer service and business & media exposure in 2011.

McLaren Group Chairman Ron Dennis accepted the award on behalf of McLaren Automotive and said: “We set out to build a world leading automotive business, manufacturing and marketing category-leading high performance vehicles.  To be recognised by such esteemed peers as having also built Britain’s Best Luxury Brand is both an honour and reaffirmation for our team that we are moving in the right direction.”

New MP4-12C avoids ‘Gas guzzler’ tax in North America

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced that the 2012 McLaren MP4-12C will not be subject to a federal gas guzzler tax.

Tony Joseph, Director of McLaren North America said: “Avoiding gas guzzler tax provides us with a unique advantage and selling point over our competitors. The 12C is unequalled in this segment.

“It was a priority to make this vehicle both high-performing, but also relatively modest in terms of overall carbon footprint. Thanks to its lightweight body, based around a carbonfiber MonoCell and developed through innovative engineering, we were able to achieve exactly that.”

The 12C is powered by a twin-turbocharged, 3.8-litre V8 which produces 592 bhp. 0-60 can be reached in 3 seconds, and the 12C can complete a quarter mile sprint in 10.4 seconds. Engineering the car for optimum fuel efficiency versus competitors in its market segment was a priority from the 12C’s inception.

Geoff Grose, Head of Vehicle Development said: “Class-leading fuel economy and low emissions are additional aspects of vehicle performance that we have worked hard to develop. Developing our own engine and transmission, together with pioneering lightweight technologies across the whole vehicle, has helped us achieve good results at the EPA and gives us a platform to develop for the future.”

The 2012 McLaren MP4-12C goes on sale throughout McLaren Automotive’s North American dealer-partners starting in late 2011. The car will have a base price of $229,000 in the US, with $2400 for destination and port processing.

Development phase McLaren MP4-12C GT3 achieves podium finish in Macau

One of the most exciting challenges faced in 2011 by McLaren Group has been the creation of McLaren GT. The new race car manufacturer combines the experience of McLaren Racing and McLaren Automotive,  and is tasked with developing of the first racing iteration of the 12C sports car; the new McLaren MP4-12C GT3.

The 12C GT3 was announced to media in May 2011, and subsequently undertook a series of endurance races and independent tests throughout the 2011 season.  With McLaren GT aiming to provide the most reliable, efficient and easy to drive GT car on the grid next year, customers for the 25 cars it will deliver for racing in 2012 were delighted to see a development-phase 12C GT3 liveried in Gulf colours and driven by Danny Watts achieve a podium finish in Macau at the weekend.  McLaren GT managed the 12C GT3’s entry into the Windsor Arch Macau GT Cup in partnership with future customer team United Autosports.

Danny Watts said: “I’m very happy with third for the first time here with McLaren. We’ve learned a huge amount this weekend, developed the 12C GT3 and moved it forward throughout the race weekend. To get a podium on its debut here is just fantastic and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Every year the standard gets higher and higher: the drivers and their cars. The car and team have done extremely well here.”

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