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McLaren Unleashes P1 “Ultimate Supercar”

A spiritual successor to the original McLaren F1.

by on Sep.28, 2012

McLaren is keeping key details close to the vest, for now, but confirms the P1 will go on sale by spring 2013.

McLaren is billing the new P1 as the “ultimate supercar,” a claim the folks from Ferrari and Lamborghini might protest. But it’s the closest we’ve yet seen to the legendary McLaren F1 of more than a decade past – and its rollout at the Paris Motor Show generated more excitement than just about any other introduction at the biennial show.

Since its founding as a race team, McLaren has never been anything but ambitious – and its success on the Formula One track is proof positive of its capabilities, underscored Chairman Ron Dennis, who declared, “”The McLaren P1 will be the result of 50 years of racing and road car heritage,” during the well-attended unveiling at the Mondial de l’Automobile.

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Like rival British sports carmaker Lotus, McLaren has laid out an ambitious target – in this case, rolling out a new model every year.  In McLaren’s case, it’s delivering.  The P1 will be its third new offering starting with the MP4-12C and the newer convertible version of that 2-seat supercar.

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First Drive: McLaren MP4-12C

From track to tarmac.

by on Mar.27, 2012

The new McLaren MP4-12C.

Move over Ferrari.  Step aside Lamborghini.  There’s a new kid on the supercar block and it’s got some mighty big aspirations.

“We’re a 50-year-old start-up,” suggests Antony Sheriff as he offers us our first close-up look at a running McLaren MP4-12C during a visit to Auto Club Speedway, on the outskirts of Los Angeles.  The exotic 2-seater is the latest attempt by the British maker to move from track to tarmac.  Its first effort was the $1 million McLaren F1, the second a joint venture with Mercedes-Benz that gave us the SLR AMG.  This time, McLaren is back to doing it alone — and taking direct aim at Italy’s two better-known supercar manufacturers.

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It’s not that the company founded by New Zealand’s Bruce McLaren is an unknown entity.  In its nearly half century of motorsports McLaren has taken the checkered flag at one out of every four races it’s ever entered, making it a force to be reckoned with, year after year, on the Formula One circuit.  But the MP4-12C is aiming to strike the same fearsome chord on the street, giving gold chained Ferraristas reason to take pause – and perhaps to reconsider where they buy their next bella macchina.

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