|Headquarters||McLaren Technology Centre, Woking, Surrey, United Kingdom|
Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company (57%)|
Peter Lim (18%)
Ron Dennis (11%)
Mansour Ojjeh (11%)
McLaren Technology Group (3.6%)
McLaren Automotive (often simply McLaren) is a British automaker founded in 1963 by New Zealander Bruce McLaren and is based at the McLaren Technology Campus in Woking, Surrey. It produces and manufactures sports and luxury cars, usually produced in-house at designated production facilities.
Origin and founder
McLaren's founder Bruce McLaren was born in 1937, McLaren learned about cars and engineering at his parent’s service station and workshop in his hometown, Auckland, New Zealand. By 15, he had entered a local hillclimb in an Austin 7 Ulster; winning his first race in the car. In 1958, McLaren arrived in United Kingdom with the ‘Driver to Europe’ scheme, intended to help Australian and New Zealandian racers to compete in Europe. His mentor, Jack Brabham introduced him to Cooper Cars, a small team based in Surbiton, Surrey. Auspiciously starting to his F2 career in 1958, McLaren joined the F1 team a year later. That same year, he won the US Grand Prix at age 22, making him the youngest Grand Prix winner previously. He stayed with Cooper for a further seven years, winning three more Grands Prix and others, driving for Jaguar and Aston Martin, winning the Le Mans 24 hours in 1966 with Ford.
McLaren founded Bruce McLaren Motor Racing in 1963. A year later, the company built the first McLaren race car – the M1A; 24 were produced. Its successor, the M1B, allowed McLaren into the Can-Am championship and emerged the dominant victor with 43 victories, almost three times more than rival Porsche. In 1965, the first McLaren F1 car, the M2B, debuted at the Monaco Grand Prix.
After his victories and time in the F1, McLaren was designing and testing a prototype M6GT-registered OBH 500H, a light sports car with an estimated top speed of 165 mph and zero to 100 mph time of eight seconds. However, McLaren died in 1970 before the prototype could be completed.
Merging, spinoff and growth
In 1980, the company merged with Ron Dennis’ Project 4 Racing team. The merger brought back designer, John Barnard, interested in using carbon fibre composite. Carbon fibre was already used in aerospace applications but had never been applied to a complete racing car monocoque. McLaren pioneered the use of carbon fibre in motor racing with its new car, the MP4/1, bringing new levels of rigidity and driver safety to Formula 1. In August 1988, Dennis, Team Principal and Gordon Murray started to develop a new car and in 1992, the F1 was launched with a total production run of just 106 units.
Following a brief collaboration with Mercedes-Benz for the SLR McLaren, McLaren Automotive was re-launched as a standalone manufacturer in 2010, spinning off McLaren Racing. The company launched the 12C in 2011 and the Spider model in 2012 The limited-run supercar P1 went into production in 2013 and ended in 2015. After introducing a business plan to release a car or model every year, the company unveiled the 650S in Coupé and Spider models in 2014, and unveiled the new Sports Series range comprising the McLaren 570S and 540C in 2015. The company debuted a car for kids, the P1TM, after the P1, in September 2016 and announced the same month that they are developing a powerful battery for Formula E. On October 2016, councillors were reported to be looking at a proposition for land opposite of the McLaren Technology Centre for construction and announced the "Pure McLaren Arctic Experience" the same month, an event where a participant is trained to drive a 570S in the Arctic Circle.
Logo and branding
The first McLaren crest logo was designed in 1964 by Michael Turner. The logo focused on a kiwi, which was based upon New Zealand's national symbol. The ‘Speedy Kiwi’ version was introduced in 1967, once again designed by Michael Turner to emphasize the higher speeds at which Bruce’s cars were racing. Its colour palette featured a papaya orange, which became known as ‘McLaren Orange’ and was introduced in their cars
In 1991, the three chevrons of the logo were replaced by just one, and the font was modernised. The logo was again rebranded in 1997 and featured a streamlined speedmark which bares similarities to the vortices created by a McLaren racing car. After their move into the McLaren Technology Centre, the logo was refined and updated in 2002 with a more modern design; the now familiar speedmark was retained.
Products and strategy
McLaren launched its three-tier product structure in 2015, introducing a new naming strategy that includes range names (Sports, Super and Ultimate Series) and derivatives (LT, S and C) followed by power output in PS. The move intends to take McLaren through its next decade of growth. The entry-level Sports Series consists of the 570S Coupé and 540C Coupé; the Super Series, the core McLaren model range is made up of the 675LT and 650S, both available in Coupé and Spider derivatives; and the most exclusive McLaren range is the Ultimate Series, led by the McLaren P1 and P1 GTR.
The LT badge worn by the 675LT stands for Longtail. A “Longtail” McLaren embodies the ethos of lighter weight, increased power and improved driving dynamics, just as the F1 GTR nicknamed “Longtail” designed to do in 1997. The S suffix of the 570S and 650S stands for Sport, underlying the levels of performance and engaging driving experience. Finally, the C or Club (entry-level racing category), highlights a more accessible and less extreme model in terms of character.
Initially made up of the 570S Coupé, and 540C Coupé, the Sport Series is the newest range added to the McLaren Automotive line-up joining the existing Super Series (650S Coupé and 650S Spider) and Ultimate (P1 and P1 GTR) Series. In January 2016 the 570GT joined the line up of the most accessible range in the brand’s three tier model strategy. By the time the lineup is complete in 2017, the Sports Series is expected to account for two thirds of the total annual sales volume.
The McLaren Sports Series focuses on ultimate driver’s engagement coupled with high performance and everyday usability. All cars in all Series feature range feature carbon fibre chassis – a trademark of McLaren road cars since the F1.
The first model in McLaren’s Sports Series, the 570S Coupé marks McLaren’s move into the luxury sports car market for the first time. The 570S Coupé, which was unveiled at the 115th New York International Auto Show in April 2015, utilises McLaren’s lightweight carbon fibre MonoCell II chassis and weighs 1,313 kg.
A newly developed suspension system was also designed to enhance levels of driver engagement and refinement on both road and track. The system uses front and rear anti-rollbars, dual wishbones, independent adaptive dampers and retains the Formula 1 derived Brake Steer system. With a 3.8-litre twin turbo V8 engine, the 570S Coupé has a power-to-weight ratio of 434PS per tonne.
The second member of the McLaren Sports Series is the entry-level 540C Coupé. Launched in April 2015 at the Shanghai Motor Show, the 540C Coupé is the fourth McLaren launched in 2015 and customer deliveries will commence in Q2 2016.
The McLaren 540C shares the light weight carbon fibre MonoCell II with the McLaren 570S. Its mid-mounted 3.8-litre twin turbocharged V8 engine produces less power (540 PS) and torque (540Nm) than the 570S resulting in a top speed of 320k/h (199 mph) and 0–100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.5 seconds.
The newest member of the McLaren Sports Series, the 570GT, was launched at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. Branded as the most luxurious and refined McLaren to date the 570GT is designed with a dynamic setup to reflect its positioning, yet retains the supercar levels of engagement as the 570S. The newest McLaren model is designed with everyday use in mind, focusing on day-to-day usability and long distance comfort. Unlike the 570S, the revised design of the new two-seat sportscar has a standard fixed glass Panoramic Roof. As with the 570S, the 570GT provides 150 liters of stowage in the front luggage area, however this newest model also provides a further 220 liters of space behind the seats on a leather-lined Touring Deck, accessible via the side opening Glass Hatch. The first deliveries are due to commence late 2016.
650S (Spider & Coupé)
The McLaren 650S was launched in 2014 at the Geneva Motor Show and is available in both Coupé and Spider derivatives. The car features a 3.8-litre twin-turbo M838T V8 engine resulting in the Coupé model accelerating from 0–100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.0 seconds with a maximum speed of 333 km/h (207 mph). The 650S Coupé weighs 1330 kg and features a range of Formula 1 inspired technologies such as a carbon fibre MonoCell chassis, optimized powertrain, braking and suspension systems, mid-engine architecture, carbon ceramic brake discs, and active aerodynamics.
The McLaren 675LT was launched at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show and is the first modern McLaren to wear the LT (’Longtail’) badge. It takes inspiration from the McLaren F1 GTR ‘Longtail’ that debuted during the 1997 race season. According to McLaren, ‘focus on outright performance, weight reduction, and ultimate levels of driver engagement’ define a ‘Longtail’. Embodying the ‘Longtail’ ethos, McLaren have focused on reducing the weight, optimizing aerodynamics and increasing downforce to generate more performance on the track just as with the original ‘Longtail’ F1 GTR.
McLaren’s aim with the 675LT was to create the most track-focused road legal model in the Super Series. To achieve this, McLaren reduced the weight by 100 kg to 1,230 kg through an increased use of carbon fibre and lighter components. With a newly developed M838TL 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine, the 675LT achieves a top speed of 330 km/h, sprinting from 0–100 km/h (0-62 mph) in 2.9 seconds.
The 675LT is fitted with adjustable settings for both Handling and Powertrain though the Active Dynamics Panel rotary switches. The Sport and Track settings are uniquely calibrated to the 675LT with the track experience in mind.
The car has been designed with a focus on track use and features P1-inspired carbon fibre grearshift paddles mounted on a rocker behind the steering wheel.
In December the 675LT was joined by a Spider variant. Both Coupé and Spider guises were limited to only 500 units globally.
In 2016, McLaren Special Operations (MSO) created a very limited high-performance version of the 675LT called, "HS," or High Sport. The HS has the same 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine as the regular 675LT; however, it is tuned to generate 679bhp and 516 lb.ft of torque. The body of the HS features more aggressive aerodynamics, including a fixed wing and canards. To save weight, a number of components were crafted using lighter materials such as carbon fiber and titanium. Only 25 cars were produced, each being bespoke to the owner.
The McLaren P1 debuted in production form at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. According to McLaren their ultimate objective was to create the best driver’s car in the world on road and track. The last of the limited run of 375 McLaren P1 supercars was delivered to its customer in December 2015.
The McLaren P1 uses an IPAS (Instant Power Assist System) petrol-electric powertrain comprising a 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 petrol engine, coupled to a single electric motor, collectively known as M838TQ. Combined power output is 916 PS (903 hp). As important as absolute power is the electric motor provides instant torque and offers a range of 11 km (6.8 miles) in full electric mode on the NEDC cycle, which sees emissions drop to zero. In non-electric mode, the P1 returns 34.0 mpg (8.3 l/100 km) on the EU combined cycle, with CO2 emissions of 194 g/km.
Top speed is electronically limited to 350 km/h (217 mph), with the 0–100 km/h standing start acceleration taking 2.8 second. The McLaren P1 will power from rest to 200 km/h in 6.8 seconds, and on to 300 km/h in 16.5 seconds – 5.5 seconds quicker than the McLaren F1.
The McLaren P1 features a bespoke braking system developed with Akebono. The specially formulated carbon ceramic discs, coated in silicon carbide, bring the McLaren P1 to a halt from 62 mph (100 km/h) in a distance of 30.2 metres.
Two areas of Formula 1 technology evident on the McLaren P1 include IPAS (Instant Power Assist System), a development of KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) used on Formula 1 cars, and DRS (Drag Reduction System), used to give extra power and straight-line speed at the touch of a button. Similar to Formula 1 cars, the McLaren P1 is made entirely of light-weight carbon fibre.
In addition, the McLaren P1 also features adjustable ride height as part of the new hydro-pneumatic suspension. A RaceActive Chassis Control (RCC) can lower the car by 50mm in Race mode, to produce ground effect aerodynamics.
The McLaren P1 name is also inspired by Formula 1. P1 refers to ‘first place’ or ‘position one’. The name, historically, can also trace back to the McLaren F1 - initially known internally within McLaren as Project 1, or P1.
To celebrate 20 years since their victory in the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans, McLaren announced that they would resurrect the GTR name by launching a track-only version of the P1, the McLaren P1 GTR. The concept car made its debut at the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance and the P1 GTR production model was officially unveiled at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. It is available only to existing McLaren P1 customers.
The McLaren P1 GTR has been modified from the road-going McLaren P1. The front track is 80mm wider and the car sits 50mm lower to the ground on centre-locking 19-inch motorsport alloy wheels.
The lightweight windscreen from the McLaren P1 road car has been retained, while the side windows of the P1 GTR are motorsport-specification polycarbonate with a sliding ‘ticket window’ on the driver’s side. The chemically toughened glass panel in the roof has been replaced with carbon fibre to give the cabin a more enclosed, cocooned environment, as has the engine bay cover. The weight saving measures on the McLaren P1 GTR combine to strip out 50 kg over the road-going model.
Significant updates and modifications to the IPAS powertrain have also been made with significant focus on track performance. The McLaren P1 GTR integrates a 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 petrol engine with an enhanced lightweight electric motor. Combined, they generate 1,000PS(986 hp); 800PS(789 hp) is produced by the petrol engine, and 200PS(197 hp) available from the electric motor.
McLaren P1 GTR owners have an opportunity to become a member of the McLaren P1 GTR Programme. The programme offers full access to the know-how and resources available at McLaren and is designed to hone and optimize driving skills. It offers drivers insight into the steps McLaren race drivers take after signing for the team and teaching them how to get the best of themselves and the car.
The McLaren M6GT project started when Bruce McLaren decided to enter Le Mans endurance racing in the late 1960s. The plan was to take an M6 Can-Am car and develop a coupe body that would be competitive in long distance racing. Regulations at the time required that a minimum of fifty cars be manufactured. However, homologation problems led to the project being abandoned.
Having always harbored an ambition to build his own road car, Bruce McLaren wanted to turn the project into the ultimate road car. He wanted to build the fastest and quickest accelerating car in the world, using expertise developed on the racetrack to create the definitive road-going sports car. In early 1970, McLaren began work on the GT to use it on the road to find out what problems the design would have to overcome.
Together with chief designer Gordon Coppuck, McLaren planned to refine the prototype, eventually aiming to produce up to 250 cars per year. Only two M6 GTs were ever built — the original prototype and a second built by coach-building company called Trojan. The original prototype became Bruce's personal transportation, and remained so until his death at Goodwood 1970.
In 1988, McLaren took the decision to expand from Formula One and design and build what it described as “the finest sports car the world has ever seen”. In March 1990 the team that was to create the F1 came together for the first time and three years later, in December 1993 the first production car was born. Even by today’s standards, the McLaren F1 road car is considered by many to be one of the greatest road cars of all time.
McLaren F1 was the world’s first carbon fibre road car featuring the Formula 1 inspired monocoque weighing only 100 kilograms. The car also defined the McLaren road car DNA: low weight, clever packaging, superb quality and innovative design, resulting in an outstanding driving experience. The revolutionary central driving position was designed for visibility and no compromise on control positions for the driver.
The F1 was launched in 1994, and over the course of the next four years 64 F1, 5 F1 LM and 3 F1 GT road cars were produced, together with 28 F1 GTR race cars. Six additional prototypes were also manufactured.
In 1994, after pressure from owners, McLaren developed a racing version of the F1 road car to run in the FIA GT1 category in the 1995 season. Despite a design and development period of just 3 months, the F1 GTR won the 1995 GT1 Championship, and the 24 Hours of Le Mans on its debut where it finished in 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 13th places. The F1 GTR secured for McLaren a unique position in motor racing history, as the only manufacturer to win the Formula 1 World Championship, the Indianapolis 500 and the Le Mans 24 Hours.
12C (Coupe & Spider)
Formally known as the McLaren MP4-12C, the McLaren 12C was the first production car wholly designed and built by McLaren since the McLaren F1. Launched in 2011, nearly two years since the car’s final design by Design Director Frank Stephenson was unveiled in September 2009, the 12C features a carbon fibre MonoCell chassis.
A convertible version of the car, the MP4-12C Spider was later renamed the McLaren 12C Spider in 2012. The 75 kg ‘MonoCell’ required no additional strengthening for the Spider model. The result is a sports car almost identical to its fixed roof equivalent in performance terms, and weighing only 40 kg more with the addition of a convertible roof system.
With the roof raised, the area under the tonneau can be used for storing additional luggage and provides 52 litres of additional storage space.
Headquarters and facilities
The McLaren Technology Centre officially opened in 2004. and a McLaren Production Centre was founded in 2011. The two facilities are connected by a subterranean walkway with the MPC was built partially underground to minimise its presence. Designed by Lord Norman Foster, the MTC is an embodiment of the company’s design and engineering expertise.
Situated on more than a hundred acres, the MTC curves around an artificial lake that helps cool the building and adjoining wind tunnel that is used for testing aerodynamic parts and set-ups. Facilities include design studios, laboratories and testing and production facilities for both McLaren Racing and Automotive, a cafeteria, a fitness centre and swimming pool.
The McLaren Technology Centre Boulevard also houses over 50 years of McLaren cars, starting 1929 Austin 7 Ulster in which McLaren won his first race in 1954. MTC is also home to over 500 McLaren Racing Trophies, majority of which come from podium place finishes in F1 with the remaining consisting of a mix of Indycar, Can-Am and off-track awards.
McLaren SLR (P7)
In 1999, McLaren agreed to design and manufacture the SLR in conjunction with Mercedes-Benz. DaimlerChrysler was the engine supplier to McLaren Racing through its Mercedes-Benz division. The final stages of production of the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren took place at a designated assembly facility at the McLaren Technology Centre.
The SLR featured a 5.5 litre supercharged V8 engine that produced 626 bhp (467 kW; 635 PS). It can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph (0–97 km/h) in 3.8 seconds and 0 to 100 mph (0–161 km/h) in 6.3 seconds.
In 2006, the Mercedes-Benz McLaren SLR 722 Edition was announced. The "722 Edition" produced 650 bhp (480 kW; 660 PS), with a top speed of 340 kilometres per hour (210 mph) (6 km/h more than the standard SLR). A new suspension is used with 19-inch (480 mm) light-alloy wheels, a stiffer damper configuration and 0.4 inches (10 mm) lower body.
In 2007, the Mercedes-Benz McLaren SLR Convertible was announced, which has been available from late 2007. The car uses the same supercharged 5.5 litre V8 that is in the coupé.
A limited edition called the SLR Stirling Moss was introduced. The car was the final SLR produced and a tribute to Stirling Moss. Beneath the scissor-doors is a plaque with Moss' signature on it.
The partnership between Mercedes-Benz and McLaren resulted in three further cars being proposed. The P9 was to be a mid-engined baby supercar with a less expensive model, the P8 or "SLS", competing with cars such as the Ferrari F430, the Bentley Continental GT and the Aston Martin DB9. Both cars were to be powered by naturally aspirated V-8 engines. The P10 would have been an SLR replacement.
All three cars were aborted in 2005, with Mercedes rumored to have considered the projects simply too costly to turn into a solid business case, although Mercedes' AMG subsidiary produces the SLS alone as the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. The car has a naturally aspirated V8 with over 570 bhp (430 kW; 580 PS); however, it's not thought to be related to the P8 project.
McLaren Special Operations
Despite being officially launched at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 2011 to provide a bespoke personalisation service for McLaren customers, McLaren Special Operations’ (MSO) origins date back over 20 years, as the division grew out of the McLaren Customer Care Programme that was set up in the early 1990s to service, maintain and personalise the McLaren F1 for owners.
Today MSO offers five tiers that identify the levels of bespoke work available. Through MSO Defined, MSO Bespoke, MSO Limited, MSO Heritage and MSO Programmes, McLaren Special Operations offers a complete tailoring of any McLaren model.
MSO Defined forms the first of the five tiers of personalisation offered by MSO. This tier’s offerings include numerous factory-fit options such as a weight-saving carbon fibre rear deck lid, carbon fibre rear diffuser and extended side door blades.
Within MSO Bespoke McLaren Special Operations allow their customers to modify their vehicles based on their personal preferences with nearly limitless scope for personalization. Examples include unique exterior paints, personalized interiors or one-off vehicles designed and engineered based on specific customer requirements.
Since the launch of the 650S, around 20 per cent of vehicles built at the McLaren Production Centre have featured MSO Bespoke content. Approximately 95 per cent of all McLaren P1 hypercars have been personalised through the MSO Bespoke service
MSO Limited develops and produces limited-run and special edition McLaren vehicles. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of McLaren in 2013, MSO produced a commemorative model: the McLaren 50 12C. It was strictly limited to just 100 examples, split equally between the 12C and 12C Spider. Each featured increased levels of downforce, upgraded carbon ceramic brakes, unique lightweight wheels and an anniversary dedication plate.
In 2014, McLaren Special Operations confirmed it would build 50 bespoke examples of the MSO 650S. Available in Coupe or Spider body styles, the team at MSO worked closely with McLaren Automotive Design Director, Frank Stephenson to enhance the visual appeal and performance attributes of the 650S.
MSO celebrated the 20th anniversary of McLaren’s victory at the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans with a limited edition 650S. The 650S Le Mans, designed by MSO in consultation with Peter Stevens, the designer of the McLaren F1, is inspired by the race-winning #59 McLaren G1 GTR. Wearing a McLaren Orange ‘Le Mans’ logo, the coupé only model was limited to 50 globally and deliveries commenced in late 2015.
In honour of the 50th anniversary of the inaugural Can-Am racing season, MSO has designed and created a limited production 650S Can-Am. All based on the 650S Spider, the commemorative model will be available in three colours, Mars Red (inspired by the M1B raced by Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon in the debut season)Papaya Spark (a modern take on the Can-Am racing McLaren Orange) and Onyx Black(similar to the base colour used by many of McLaren customer teams). Production will be limited to 50 examples globally, and deliveries are scheduled to commence early 2016.
McLaren Special Operations grew out of McLaren’s Customer Care programme, originally created to maintain and personalize the McLaren F1 for owners. Today those duties continue at McLaren through MSO Heritage, which offers vast amount of knowledge and expertise related to heritage McLaren vehicles.
McLaren Special Operations are also responsible for managing the McLaren P1 GTR Programme including assembly and preparation of participating vehicles and organization of track events
McLaren GT is the GT race car manufacturing arm of McLaren Automotive, established in 2011 to develop, build and support all McLaren track and GT race activities. Based in Woking, Surrey, the company is currently responsible for the design, development and production of the 650S GT3, 650S GT Sprint.
The first car developed by McLaren GT was the 12C GT3, which was launched in 2011, and following a development year, 25 examples were delivered to customers for racing throughout Europe in 2012. The debut season saw 13 McLaren GT customer teams visit 14 countries and between them, the teams claimed a total of 19 race victories in the FIA GT1 World Championship, Blancpain Endurance Series, Barcelona 24hours, British GT, City Challenge Baku, FFSA French GT and GT Cup.
A total of 19 McLaren GT customer teams contested the 2013 season, entering 108 races across 15 championships globally. In total, the teams claimed 27 pole positions, 23 victories, a further 39 podium finishes and three championship titles.
Following the successful 2013 season, McLaren GT expanded its customer support with the competitive debut for the 12C GT3 car in the Pirelli World Challenge championship in North America.
Around 15 examples of the 650S GT3 made race debuts during the 2015 race season, claiming a number of victories. Most notably the McLaren GT customer racing team Von Ryan Racing took victory at the Blancpain Endurance Series at Silverstone, marking the first win in the Blancpain Endurance Series for the 650S GT3 in its debut competitive season.
The 650S GT3 was the dominant GT car in 2016. In February, Australian team Tekno Autosports won the 2016 Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour at the Mount Panorama Circuit in Australia with drivers Álvaro Parente, Shane van Gisbergen and Jonathon Webb. In the 2016 Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup, British team Garage 59 won the 3 Hours of Monza and the 1000 km on their way to the title with their team of van Gisbergen, Rob Bell and Côme Ledogar.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to McLaren vehicles.|
- McLaren Automotive official website
- McLaren Performance Technologies official website
- How It Works magazine article
|McLaren Automotive road car timeline, 1990s–present|
|Ultimate Series||F1||Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren||P1|