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McLaren Automotive

McLaren Automotive
Industry Automotive
Founded 1989
Founder Ron Dennis
Headquarters McLaren Technology Centre
Woking, Surrey
, United Kingdom
Key people
Ron Dennis
Mike Flewitt
Products Sports cars
Revenue GB£285.4 million (2013)[1]
GB£12.4 million (2013)[1]
GB£4.5 million (2013)[1]
Owner McLaren Technology Group (41%)
Mumtalakat Holding Company (41%)
Peter Lim (18%)
Number of employees
1,500 (2013)

McLaren Automotive, commonly referred to as McLaren, is a British automotive manufacturer of high-performance vehicles. The company was established as McLaren Cars in 1989 as a producer of road cars based on Formula One technology but in 2009, a new company was formed as a different company from the McLaren Technology Group and is now owned by a group of different investors. It works closely with McLaren Racing, the Formula One constructor, and is a spinoff of McLaren Group.


  • History 1
    • Early projects 1.1
      • McLaren M6GT 1.1.1
      • McLaren M81 Mustang 1.1.2
    • McLaren Cars 1.2
      • McLaren F1 (Project 1) 1.2.1
      • Maverick 1.2.2
      • McLaren Mercedes MP4/98T 1.2.3
      • McLaren SLR (P7) 1.2.4
      • Aborted projects (P8, P9 and P10) 1.2.5
    • McLaren Automotive 1.3
      • McLaren MP4-12C (P11) 1.3.1
      • McLaren P1 (P12) 1.3.2
      • McLaren 650S (P11M) 1.3.3
      • McLaren 675LT 1.3.4
      • McLaren 570S 1.3.5
      • McLaren 540C 1.3.6
  • Current models 2
  • Divisions 3
    • McLaren Special Operations 3.1
    • McLaren GT 3.2
  • Ownership 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Early projects

McLaren M6GT

The McLaren M6GT project started when New Zealander 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 50 cars be completed. But homologation problems led to the project being scrapped.

Having long harboured an ambition to build his own road car, 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 race track 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, Bruce planned to refine the prototype, eventually aiming to produce up to 250 cars per year. In fact only two M6 GTs were ever built — the original prototype and a second built by Trojan. The original prototype, OBH 500H, became Bruce's personal transportation, and remained so until his untimely death at Goodwood on 2 June 1970 when the road car project died with him.

McLaren M81 Mustang

Ford announced the formation of a Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) division headed by Michael Kranefuss in September 1980. SVO's stated purpose was to "develop a series of limited-production performance cars and develop their image through motorsport." Ford introduced the McLaren M81 Mustang in late 1980. The work of designers Todd Gerstenberger and Harry Wykes, it was another heavily modified hatchback with enough built-in potential for easy adaptation to race duty. Looking somewhat like the IMSA show car, the McLaren sported a grille-less nose above a low-riding "skirt" spoiler, plus functional hood scoops, tweaked suspension (mostly a mix of heavy-duty off-the-shelf components), massive fender flares, and premium German BBS alloy wheels wearing broad-shouldered 225/55R15 Firestone HPR radials.

The McLaren Mustang teamed Ford Design with McLaren Performance of Formula One racing fame. Planned production was just 250 examples. Power was provided by the turbo-four, but it was newly fortified with a variable boost control having a range of 5 psi (0.3 bar)-11 psi (0.8 bar) vs. the regular engine's fixed 5 psi (0.3 bar). Rated output was 175 horsepower (130 kW) at 10 psi (0.7 bar), a big jump over the 132 horsepower (98 kW) stock engine. The price of $25,000 and virtual hand construction limited McLaren production to 10 units (including the prototype).[2]

McLaren Cars

McLaren F1 (Project 1)

The company's first car was the McLaren F1, a sports car that would accelerate from 0–60 miles per hour (0–97 km/h) in 3 seconds. The F1 was a three-seat coupe with the driver situated in the middle of the car. The car was designed by Gordon Murray, who also designed competitive formula one racecars for McLaren. The 6,064 cc (370.0 cu in) V12 engine, which produces 618 bhp (461 kW; 627 PS), was designed and built by BMW.

Production of the original F1 began in 1992. The LM model was then introduced in 1995, followed by the GT model in 1997. The GTR was built from 1995 through 1997. Production of the McLaren F1 drew to a close in May 1998, with a total production of 100 cars. Variants produced were 64 F1 (street car), 5 LM, 3 GT, 9 GTR95, 9 GTR96, and 10 GTR97.

The McLaren F1 GTR was developed from the F1 road car, and proved highly effective in the four hour GT races in 1995, its first season of racing. The Le Mans 24 Hours that year was McLaren's first attempt at this endurance race.

McLaren logo from the sill plate of a McLaren F1

McLaren decided to update the 001 chassis–the original test car–and enter it to augment the five customer cars that had been running all season. It was this car, piloted by former Formula One racers JJ Lehto and Yannick Dalmas and experienced Japanese driver Masanori Sekiya that took the chequered flag. McLaren F1 GTRs finished 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 13th.[3]

The F1 held the record for the fastest production car until 2005, with an independently measured top speed of 242.97 mph (391.02 km/h) at the Volkswagen Ehra-Lessien track in 1998. It has a 0 to 60 mph (0–97 km/h) time of 3.2 seconds. This has been bettered by the Bugatti Veyron 16.4, and the SSC Ultimate Aero TT. However, the F1 is naturally aspirated while the CCX, Veyron and SSC Aero are not.


In 1993, Ron Dennis announced the formation of McLaren Advanced Vehicles (MAV) and an attack on the Land Speed Record with the Maverick supersonic car. Bob Bell was recruited as the technical director for the project.[4] The project was given a budget of £25 million,[5] but after the success of Richard Noble and Andy Green's Thrust SSC, the project was shelved.

McLaren Mercedes MP4/98T

McLaren MP4/98T

Launched in Australia at the beginning of the 1998 Grand Prix season, the West McLaren Mercedes MP4/98T was the first tandem Formula One car.[6] The unique race car was designed by Gordon Murray to mirror the performance of then contemporary Grand Prix grid and allows a passenger, seated directly behind the driver, to experience a Formula One car. Safety and comfort were fundamental to the design criteria, based on the forces experienced in a Formula One car.

Incorporating many of the F.I.A. driver/passenger safety regulations, the MP4/98T has increased side-impact absorption to safeguard the passenger. Each passenger was seat-fitted using techniques prevalent in Formula One. This specialist foam seating is fitted into the carbon fibre monocoque. A six-point F1 harness seat belt system further ensures the safety of the passenger. A carbon fibre honeycomb composite structure, faced with 75 mm (3.0 in) of CONFOR viscoelastic foam padding separates the driver and passenger helmet area.[7] Specified according to the F.I.A. impact absorption regulations, this CONFOR foam design is duplicated on the rear of the headrest structure to protect the passenger in the event of a frontal impact. Together with the head restraint they provide rearward and frontal impact absorption for the driver/passenger configuration. A passenger/driver alert button completes the safety elements.

  • Year: 1998
  • Model Designation: McLaren Mercedes MP4/98T
  • Chassis: McLaren carbon fibre monocoque
  • Engine: Mercedes-Benz Ilmor FO110G 3.0 litre V10
  • Gearbox: McLaren six-speed semi-automatic
  • Electronics: TAG Electronics
  • Wheels: Enkei
  • Tyres: Bridgestone
  • Dampers: Penske
  • Brakes: AP Racing
  • Clutch: Sachs
  • Fuels & Oils: Mobil 1
  • Adhesives: Loctite
  • Radios: Kenwood

McLaren SLR (P7)

In 1999, McLaren agreed to design and manufacture the SLR in conjunction with Mercedes-Benz. DaimlerChrysler was the majority shareholder of the McLaren Group as well as engine supplier to the Team McLaren racing team through its Mercedes-Benz division. The final stages of production of the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren take place at a unique assembly facility at the McLaren Technology Centre.

The SLR has a 5.5 Litre supercharged V8 engine that produces 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 km/h (6 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.

There is now a limited edition called the SLR Stirling Moss. It is the final SLR produced and is a tribute to Sir Stirling Moss. Beneath the scissor-doors is a plaque with Moss' signature on it.

Aborted projects (P8, P9 and P10)

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, Bentley Continental GT, and Aston Martin DB9. Both cars were to be powered by naturally aspirated V8 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). Sales in Europe began from mid-2010.

After McLaren Group decided to enter the road car market, the assets of McLaren Cars were spun out into a new company. McLaren Cars is now a dormant company.

Since McLaren Automotive changed the name and was spun out into a new company, these cars have been manufactured.

McLaren Automotive

McLaren MP4-12C (P11)

McLaren MP4-12C

McLaren Automotive developed the 12C (formerly known as MP4-12C), as their second production car since the F1. Rumours were confirmed when Britain's

  • McLaren Automotive official website
  • McLaren Performance Technologies official website
  • How It Works magazine article

External links

  1. ^ a b c "McLaren Automotive on target for long-term success" (Press release). McLaren Automotive Media Centre. 4 June 2014. Retrieved 12 July 2014. 
  2. ^ """HowStuffWorks "Racing the 1980 Ford Mustang. Retrieved 29 May 2009. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Bob Bell CV - Renault F1
  5. ^ Richard Noble OBE Parliament
  6. ^ McLaren Automotive - News - McLaren Automotive Produces The 1+1 Grand Prix Car: MP4-98t
  7. ^ CONFORM foam is a trademark of and manufactured by E-A-R Specialty Company
  8. ^ "New McLaren P11 supercar: the spy photos". 13 October 2008. Retrieved 29 May 2009. 
  9. ^ Dunn, Joseph (2009-09-06). "McLaren MP4-12C: F1's best bits in a road car". London: Times Online. Retrieved 12 May 2010. 
  10. ^ "Future McLaren Models Will Focus on Efficiency". 18 March 2010. Retrieved 9 June 2010. 
  11. ^ "New £400k McLaren P15 supercar confirmed". 24 January 2014. Retrieved 4 February 2014. 
  12. ^ "pictures of the McLaren 650S". 12 February 2014. Retrieved 16 February 2014. 
  13. ^ "McLaren 675 LT: full spec and details of new Longtail". 25 February 2015. Retrieved 1 March 2015. 
  14. ^ Alicia Adamczyk. McLaren To Debut 570S Coupe At New York Auto Show. Forbes. 2015-03-29. Accessed 2015-03-30.
  15. ^ Alex Nunez. The McLaren 570S is the Sports Series first car. Road and Track. 2015-03-25. Accessed 2015-03-30.
  16. ^ "McLaren 570S priced at $184,900". 3 April 2015. 
  17. ^ Hannah Elliott. McLaren Unveils Its 570S Coupe, the Brand’s First Sports Car. Bloomberg. 2015-03-30. Accessed 2015-03-30.
  18. ^ "McLaren unveils the commuter-ready 540C in China". 21 April 2015. 
  19. ^ Knapman, Chris (17 August 2012). "McLaren's bespoke X-1 breaks cover". Telegraph. Retrieved 12 July 2014. 


See also

In August 2014 it was announced by McLaren Group that Martin Whitmarsh has officially left all of his operations as Ron Dennis re-took control of McLaren in January, he removed Whitmarsh from CEO of McLaren Racing, McLaren Automotive, McLaren Group and other smaller subsidiaries. Dennis is again CEO of all McLaren companies, he also hired Jonathan Neale as Interim CEO of McLaren Racing whilst Dennis finds a permanent CEO, though it is thought he will become CEO,

McLaren Cars was the car manufacturer, the subsidiary of McLaren Group. With the announcement of heading into the car manufacturing business, the McLaren Cars company has been announced as 'dormant'. A new company was formed with investment by Peter Lim. The new McLaren Automotive company has four owners. This new company is not a subsidiary of McLaren Group, though three of the four owners are also the three owners of McLaren Group. Therefore, the company is not a subsidiary, McLaren Group is an owner and not the parent company, meaning if McLaren Group sold more of the company to Peter Lim or got a fifth owner, the group would still be an owner where as if McLaren Group was the parent company (McLaren Automotive being the subsidiary), they would always have to have the majority share. Currently Mr. Lim owns 12%. Ron Dennis plans to purchase 25% of McLaren Group from his business partner Mansour Ojjeh. This would mean Dennis would own 50%. Mansour Ojjeh is the CEO of TAG Group. In some cases, it is shown TAG Group to be the part owner, not Ojjeh.


Following the successful 2013 season, McLaren GT expanded its customer support with the competitive debut for the 12C GT3 car in the highly competitive Pirelli World Challenge championship in North America. Around 15 examples of the 650S GT3 are planned to be produced and delivered for the start of the 2015 season.

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.

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 gruelling 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.

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 at the former home of McLaren Racing, the company is responsible for the design, development and production of the 650S GT3, 12C GT3, the 12C GT Can-Am Edition, both 12C and 650S GT Sprint. The base still uses technologies from the McLaren Racing before they moved into the McLaren Technology Centre.

McLaren GT

MSO is also responsible for the manufacturing and maintenance of the upcoming McLaren P1 GTR, which manufacturing will begin in 2015, after the final 375th McLaren P1 has been delivered.

During the 2012 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, McLaren Automotive's MSO Division displayed a new one-off car that they had custom built for an unnamed customer. According to McLaren Design Director Frank Stephenson, the car's influences included the 1961 Facel Vega, 1953 Chrysler D'Elegance Ghia, 1959 Buick Electra, 1939 Mercedes-Benz 540K, and 1971 Citroën SM.[19] Also many McLaren 650s's have been customised to customers specifications.

McLaren Special Operations (MSO) is a division of McLaren Automotive specialising in making customised cars from the original models or a whole new design. One of their new cars for one customer is the McLaren X-1

McLaren Special Operations


540C 570S 650S
675LT P1

Current models

The 540C is McLaren's newest entry-level model unveiled at the 2015 Shanghai Motor Show. McLaren is calling it the "most attainable McLaren yet", with a starting price as low as $160,000 USD. The 540C is aimed predominantly at the Chinese market, and as of April 2015, there is no word if the car will reach the United States. The car performs slightly under the 570S, with 533 horsepower and 398 lb-ft of torque. 0–62 miles per hour will be reached in 3.5 seconds. The car weighs in at 2890 pounds, and shares the same carbon fiber MonoCell II tub as the McLaren 570S, with minor changes to make the car easier on the commuter.[18]

McLaren 540C

The 570S is McLaren's entry-level model unveiled at the 2015 New York International Auto Show.[14][15] The 570S will retail for $184,900 USD, coming in $2,200 USD less than the Porsche 911 Turbo S.[16] The 570S competes in the market segment that includes the Audi R8, the Porsche 911 Turbo, and the Ferrari California.[17]

McLaren 570S

The 675LT is the street legal supercar model launched at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. The LT stands for Long Tail, referencing the infamous F1 GTR LT, which dominated its class in the 1990s. The car is rear wheel drive and is powered by McLaren’s M838TL 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V8, delivering 666 horse power at 7100 rpm and 516 lb-ft of torque at 5500 rpm. Similar to the P1 it is built on carbon fiber body panels and fitted with seven-speed dual clutch gearbox, with a curb weight of just 1230 kg. Deliveries are due to begin in July 2015.[13]

McLaren 675LT

The 650S is a new McLaren supercar model that sits between the 12C and the P1.[11] It has been confirmed that the car will use a mid-mounted turbocharged engine and a carbon fibre tub chassis. The 650S bears a strong resemblance to the 12C in its build, with the headlights based on the look of the P1. The P1's distinctive headlights and grille will be the McLaren signature styling in all future models.[12]

McLaren 650S (P11M)

McLaren 650S

McLaren had developed a new car under the "P12 project" name, which would supposedly cost around £350,000-£400,000. It was first talked of in an issue of the Top Gear Magazine, but it has now also been mentioned by Vinnels, who admitted that a higher price point "will allow us to play with more exotic materials."[10] The P12 project was unveiled as the all new McLaren P1 at the 2012 Paris Auto Show. Each model starts at £866,000. Only 375 P1s are planned, and all sold before production finished.

McLaren P1

McLaren P1 (P12)


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