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McLaren Aims to Triple Sales

More products coming – but no plans for SUV.

by on Mar.03, 2016

The new McLaren 570GT.

British supercar manufacturer McLaren Automotive has some ambitious plans for the next six years, with a goal of adding new models and tripling its current sales volume to somewhere between 4,000 and 5,000 vehicles a year.

One of the newest manufacturers in the high-performance market, McLaren brought its latest entry to the Geneva Motor Show this week in the form of the new 570GT. It’s part of a three-segment strategy aimed at expanding its range of buyers and, among other things, bringing in more women. But, unlike key competitors including Aston Martin, Lamborghini and Ferrari, don’t expect to see McLaren add an SUV to the mix, its CEO said in Geneva.

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McLaren only began building cars in 2010, but logged sales of 1,654 vehicles last year and, CEO Mike Flewitt told the Reuters news service, “4,000 is a very good business model for us. I actually think volume by 2022 will be more consistently around 4,500 and I don’t think it will go above 5,000 cars,”


McLaren Releases Performance Numbers for New 650S

Top speed of 207 mph; 0 to 60 in under 3 seconds.

by on Feb.28, 2014

The 641-hp McLaren 650S is faster than the maker's legendary F1 supercar.

While we got our first look at the new McLaren 650S earlier this month there was something critical missing. After all, what’s a supercar without the numbers?  The advance images were certainly handsome enough, but we were left wondering about those little details, like 0 to 60 times and top speeds.

Well, with just days to go before the McLaren 650S makes its official debut at the Geneva Motor Show, we’re getting the blanks filled in and they’re clearly impressive. To start with, the new 2-seater is a full half-second faster from a standing start to 200 kmh – 124 mph – than the current 12C and significantly faster than the legendary McLaren P1.


To quote directly from the British maker’s release, here are some of the basics:  “The latest addition to the McLaren range accelerates to 100km/h (62mph) from rest in just 3.0 seconds, and can reach 200km/h (124mph) in just 8.4 seconds. The standing quarter mile (400m) takes 10.5 seconds, and top speed is 333 km/h (207 mph). This performance puts the latest model from McLaren a full second quicker than the iconic McLaren F1 road car to 200 km/h, and 0.6 sec faster over the standing quarter mile, underlining its performance focus.


McLaren Pulls the Covers off the New 650S

Supercar set for Geneva debut.

by on Feb.17, 2014

The emphasis was on aerodynamics with the design of the new McLaren 650S.

McLaren is set to unleash the latest in its fast-growing line-up of supercars, the new 650S set to make its debut at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show.  But the maker is offering up an early sneak peek at the new model with these two official images.

The 641-horsepower will slot into the McLaren line-up between the current 12C 2-seater and the P1 hypercar, with the 650S being offered in both Coupe and electrically retractable hardtop Spider body styles, both expected to reach showrooms by spring.

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The debut of the new McLaren 650S is in keeping with the British maker’s plan, first revealed by in 2010, to roll out an entirely new model roughly once a year.  And, as with both those earlier models, the new 650S will use a carbon fiber chassis – with the lightweight material being used extensively in body, interior and other componentry, as well.


Is a McLaren Honda Headed for Showrooms?

Maker look to extend their F1 track partnership to the street.

by on Aug.02, 2013

McLaren CEO Martin Whitmarsh with his Honda counterpart CEO Takanobu Ito, as they announced their new F1 partnership.

They’ve already announced a formidable alliance on the track, but according to new reports Honda and McLaren just might have some aspirations for the street, as well.

The two new Formula One partners have been sending some mixed signals, but McLaren’s CEO broaded hinted last weekend that it might be interest in an opportunity to “collaborate” with Honda on what would likely be a very high-performance vehicle.

Honda already has one coming in the form of its Acura NSX supercar which is expected to return to production by late 2014. Notably, the reborn NSX will rely on a new, three-motor hybrid drivetrain. McLaren, in turn, adopted a hybrid system for its latest entry, the million-dollar P1 ultra-car.

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It was barely three months ago that the two makers agreed to pair up on a “full, open and productive” Formula 1 program that will be ready to run by the 2015 season. In a joint statement issued on May 16th, they cautioned, “all our focus is towards the development of the 2015 Formula 1 car and powertrain, and there are no plans for collaboration on other projects at this moment.”

Of course, anyone who follows the auto industry knows better than to take “no” for an answer, especially in an age when collaborative efforts are the norm, rather than the exception.


Muscle Car Wars

Horsepower getting as much attention as mileage.

by on Apr.01, 2013

Chevrolet's new 2014 Camaro Z28 is attracting big crowds at New York Auto Show.

“Where’s the Z/28?” asked 16-year-old Michael Kimberly as he wandered through the Jacob Javits convention center in New York on Saturday morning, tagging along on a tour his parents had signed up for at the New York International Auto Show.

The two older Kimberlys were there to check out all the “green cars,” including the new Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid and Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid models making their debuts at the annual show. But younger Michael, about to get his driver’s license, had something decidedly different in mind – the super-high-performance version of the 2014 Chevrolet Camaro that was the biggest surprise introduction at the 2013 NYIAS.

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The 550-horsepower “pony car” has been drawing deep crowds to the Javits Center’s somewhat-isolated North Hall since the show opened its doors to the public last week. But it’s not alone.


McLaren P1 Performance Numbers Likely to Leave You Breathless

0 to 60 in “less than three seconds,” ultracar tops out at 218.

by on Feb.28, 2013

McLaren hopes to one-up Ferrari when it launches the P1 ultra-car at the Geneva Motor Show.

If supercars and other high-priced exotics are your game you’ll likely want to keep a close eye on the Geneva Motor Show next month with everyone from Bentley to Ferrari weighing in with new entries – and upstart McLaren intending to clamber to the top of the heap.

The maker has finally released production numbers for the P1, the track-ready supercar it previewed in Paris last year.  And the word, “breathless” quickly comes to mind, the 2-seater promised to deliver 0 to 100 kmh (0 to 62.5 mph) times of “less than three seconds,” with a rated top speed of 218 mph.

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Supercars have a lot in common with baseball, where the game is as much as anything about statistics. And for the number crunchers here are some equally impressive figures. The McLaren P1 will dash from 0 to 200 kmh (0 to 125 mph) in under seven seconds, with the launch to 300 kmh rated at 17 seconds.


McLaren Teases New P12 Supercar

“Spiritual successor” to the McLaren F1.

by on Sep.14, 2012

A car Tron might love - if he could afford one. A tease of the new McLaren P12.

McLaren has made the bold promise to roll out a new car every year for the foreseeable future and now that the Spider version of the original MP4-12C has made its debut it’s time to move on.  Company officials are now confirming they’ll roll out an all-new flagship at the upcoming Paris Motor Show, and this Tron-like image gives us a sense of what’s apparently in store.

The McLaren P12 is being billed as the “spiritual successor” to the legendary McLaren F1, a supercar that routinely collects winning bids of as much as $3.5 million on the classic auction circuit.  While the new flagship won’t be quite so expensive, it could nudge into seven figures, company insiders hint, or roughly four times as much as the current MP4 coupe.

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One thing’s for certain, the P12 will continue McLaren’s tradition of relying on super-strong and ultra-light carbon fiber for the monocoque and other key components.  The British maker has gotten increasingly good at that process, slashing the time it takes to produce carbon fiber parts and pieces.


McLaren Reveals One-Off X1, Spider 12C – and Hints at More to Come

F1 successor reportedly planned for Paris.

by on Aug.21, 2012

The controversial McLaren X1.

For such a little company, McLaren has a lot going on.  The supercar company is making good on its promise to roll out at least one new model annually, with its second offering debuting at the Pebble Beach Concours and a third set to be revealed at the Paris Motor Show next month.

The annual Pebble Beach even actually saw two new products from British-based McLaren, if you include the one-off X1 model produced for a secretive client.  The maker also rolled out its 12C Spider, the convertible version of the MP4-12C coupe that went on sale earlier this year.

But the real question is what’s to come next month, and if industry sources are to be trusted, it will likely mean the introduction of a formal successor to McLaren’s legendary F1 supercar, a 3-seater that marked the first serious use of carbon fiber in a street car.  Super-strong and ultra-light, it is now the material of choice for McLaren – while other makers struggle to expand its use.

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“This is going to be an incredibly important year for us,” Tony Sheriff, McLaren’s managing director, tells  Officially, he won’t discuss the next model, nor even confirm it is scheduled for a Paris debut.  But he then hints that “It’ll be expensive.”

McLaren's one-off X1 shares the scissor doors but not much else with the original Coupe.

The F1 was, at its time, the world’s most expensive car, at more than $1 million.  The Bugatti Veyron now holds that honor, at around $1.4 million.  So, it’s anyone’s guess what McLaren will be targeting.

One thing is certain, the next-gen McLaren F1 will have to deliver some eye-popping numbers.  Today’s top supercars are pushing up and even beyond the 1,000-horsepower mark and delivering 0 to 60 times of well under 3 seconds, with top speeds that blow through the 200 mph mark without breathing hard.

The new McLaren 12C Spider comes in at only 616 hp – which is still a 25 hp bump from the earlier MP4-12C Coupe.  (It also gets some more subtle improvements, such as twin A/C modes.) The new Retractable Hard Top, or RHT, folds away in a matter of seconds.

But coupe and convertible have some key things in common, notable the use of a carbon-fiber monocell chassis that is critical to their light weight and rigidity.

The McLaren 12C Spider gets its Pebble Beach premier.

In fact, noted Sheriff, “Most companies take a coupe and cut the top off – losing rigidity in the process, which they have to spend money and mass on to get back.  But we started by developing the Spider and then turned it into a Coupe.”

That strategy means the Spider adds only a minimal amount of mass to the Coupe’s already segment-leading weight.

Production starts in November and U.S. customers can expect to start taking delivery by January, with the base price for the McLaren Spider set at $265,750 plus $2,500 for delivery.

No price has been revealed for the X1, but then again, no one else will be able to order one. The distinctively polarizing supercar is the first to roll out of Special Operations unit which will oversee bespoke cars.

It took 2.5 years to develop the vehicle for the “anonymous car enthusiast,” in McLaren’s words, who ordered it.  The design alone was an 18-month project for McLaren’s Hong Yeo.  He reportedly incorporated elements of such classic luxury cars as a 1939 Mercede-Benz 540K, as well as the Citroen SM and even an Airstream trailer.

Like the new 12C Spider, it will be powered by McLaren’s 3.8-liter twin-turbo V-8.

The X1 now will return to McLaren HQ in Woking, Surrey, England for a final checkout before being delivered to an unspecified market.

First Look: 2013 McLaren MP4-12C Spider

Second entry goes al fresco.

by on Jul.11, 2012

McLaren will add a hardtop convertible version of its MP4-12C supercar.

McLaren is going topless.  The British maker, which recently returned to the consumer automotive market, is getting ready to reveal the al fresco version of its 200 mph MP4-12C supercar.

Best known for its staggeringly successful racing program, the marque will literally pull the covers off the McLaren 12C Spider at next month’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.  But we’ve got a few early images to share with readers.

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The Spider is the second in what McLaren promises to be a series of new supercars it hopes to roll out at a pace of roughly one a year for the foreseeable future, Managing Director Antony Sheriff told earlier this year.