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McLaren to design road car

“The most extreme, track-concentrated road car” Mclaren has every designed is set to become part of the British Automaker’s Ultimate Series.

The much-awaited vehicle will be revealed in the first quarter of 2018 – ahead of a second future Ultimate Series model which will be code-named BP23 and should be the world’s first Hyper-GT.

As members of the McLaren Ultimate Series, both will be produced in very limited numbers and all examples are already assigned. Ultimate Series models are positioned above McLaren’s core Super Series and have a distinct focus. Previous examples of the Series include the McLaren P1™ and McLaren P1™ GTR.

This next model to join the Ultimate Series will be the ultimate track car but will be road legal. Daily usability is being sacrificed to give the most intensive driver experience around a circuit. Its design, described as brutal, will be the purest expression yet of the company’s ‘form follows function’ philosophy.

More details, including the car’s name, will be revealed before the end of this year.

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McLaren develops unique vehicle

Forget buying the same car as everyone else, one McLaren customer has ordered two unique McLaren vehicles to his own individual specifications.

McLaren Special Operations (MSO) is developing the MSO R Coupé and MSO R Spider, which are the latest in a lineage of McLarens produced as personal commissions.

“A typical MSO personal commission extends beyond paint colours and materials and finishes to encompass changes to body and interior design and also dynamic and powertrain enhancements as required. The result is a McLaren personalised by MSO to become a car that is literally one of a kind.” says executive director – global sales and marketing, Jolyon Nash. 

 

One of the first McLarens commissioned at this level was the McLaren X-1. Unveiled during the weekend of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 2012, the X-1 was produced for an anonymous buyer.

The two MSO R cars, which have the same external, internal and mechanical specifications, are finished in a striking yet understated Liquid Silver – the Coupé in satin and the Spider in gloss finish – with a carbon fibre central stripe.

Immediately identifiable as a matched pair, both have the same design of twin-element rear wing, with front dive planes to further enhance aerodynamic performance.

 

 

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McLaren launches toddler car

McLaren Automotive knows how to market to the masses and that often means starting their consumers early.

According to a statement, McLaren Automotive has teamed up with The Step2 Company, LLC, a large North American toy manufacturer, to create a unique model tailored to appeal to a small but very important audience.

The revolutionary 570S Step2 Push Sports Car is not the first model aimed at young people, with an electric vehicle out last year which was aimed at under six year olds.

The Push Sports Car was designed to assist parents in carrying out their daily tasks without needing a conventional stroller.

With a handy storage area under the seat that is perfect for stowing snacks and multiple cup holders to house that vital morning coffee and bottles of water, this stylish car lets toddlers rest their weary legs when the excitement of running around has worn off.

Designers from McLaren Automotive and Step2 worked closely together to replicate the essence of the real McLaren 570S; Step2’s Whisper Wheels™ give the car a smooth ride, the flat-based steering wheel offers excellent feedback and electronic sounds provide an exhilarating experience for mini-racers.

The new McLaren 570S Push Sports Car, which is officially licensed by Step2, launches initially in Ventura Orange. It will be available exclusively through Amazon.com US in September before rolling out later this year through leading global retailers.

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McLaren share agreement

Former boss of McLaren Automotive, Ron Dennis has reached an agreement with his fellow shareholders in McLaren Automotive and the McLaren Technology Group to sell his shareholding in both companies.

“I am very pleased to have reached agreement with my fellow McLaren shareholders. It represents a fitting end to my time at McLaren, and will enable me to focus on my other interests. I have always said that my 37 years at Woking should be considered as a chapter in the McLaren book, and I wish McLaren every success as it takes the story forward,” Dennis says.

During his 37 years at McLaren, Dennis led the team to 158 Grand Prix wins and 17 Formula 1 World Championships, managing some of the greatest drivers in the history of motorsport as well as the world-renowned Le Mans 24 Hours race in 1995.

In 2004 Ron announced the launch of McLaren Applied Technologies, which focuses on applying motorsport-bred innovations and technologies so as to improve the performance and product innovation of blue-chip companies in a wide variety of industries.

On December 18th 1980, Denis merged Team McLaren (as it was then known) with his own company, Project Four, to form McLaren International, then valued at £3 million. Fewer than 100 people were employed by the new company at that time.

“Perhaps my greatest satisfaction is the Formula 1 team’s outstanding racing safety record, which is a tribute to the dedication and efforts of hundreds if not thousands of talented and conscientious employees whom I have had the privilege of leading,” he says.

McLaren Group is now valued at £2.4 billion, and has reached a combined turnover in 2016 of £898 million – employing more than 3,400 people.

From now on Dennis plans to consult for various companies and work with the UK Government’s Ministry of Defence Innovation Advisory Panel.

“Now that my time at McLaren has come to an end, I will be able to involve myself in a series of other programmes and activities, especially those focussed on public service,” he said.

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Dennis severing ties with McLaren

Ex McLaren-boss, Ron Dennis is selling his shareholding of the business.

The deal, which totals £275m sale is due to be announced this week and will mean that the two arms of the company will be combined.

Dennis was put on leave last December after a legal battle with his fellow shareholders. He has since moved to join the Ministry of Defence’s Innovation Advisory Panel.

The business man has been the boss of McLaren for 35 years, however in recent years, his relationship with fellow investors has soured.

However, the recent performance of the F1 team cast a shadow over the entire McLaren brand, and relations between Mr Dennis and his fellow investors – Mansour Ojjeh, his long-term business partner, and Mumtalakat, the Bahraini sovereign wealth fund – soured badly.

“I am disappointed that the representatives of TAG [Mansour Ojjeh] and Mumtalakat [his business partners] have forced through this decision to place me on gardening leave, despite the strong warnings from the rest of the management team about the potential consequences of their actions on the business,” Mr Dennis said in a statement last December.

“Ultimately it has become clear to me through this process that neither TAG nor Mumtalakat share my vision for McLaren and its true growth potential.

It was unclear on Thursday night whether Mr Ojjeh and Mumtalakat are buying Mr Dennis’s stake or whether it is being sold to a third party.

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McLaren records profit

McLaren Automotive has accelerated to a fourth consecutive year of profitability.

The autonomotive manufacturer posted a profit of £9.2M from an annual sales revenue of £649.8M in 2016. This gave McLaren Automotive a fourth consecutive year of profitability in only six years, since start of sales in 2011. This was an increase in profit before tax of 70 per cent compared to the £5.4M reported in 2015.

An operating profit of £65.8M in 2016 was the company’s highest ever, standing at 10 per cent of turnover and representing a 180% increase over 2015.

“The positive financial performance in 2016 was underpinned by a 44 per cent increase in sales revenues and is further proof that McLaren Automotive’s growth plans are both achievable and sustainable,” said McLaren Automotive chief executive officer, Mike Flewitt.

In its first full year of production, the Sports Series family accounted for 2,031 deliveries, the majority of which came from the recently-introduced McLaren 570GT and 570S models. The McLaren 675LT Coupe and Spider models both sold out in weeks and in total 1,255 Super Series cars were sold in 2016.

The Super Series also continued its success story thanks, in large part, to the McLaren 675LT Coupé and Spider models. Having both sold out in a matter of weeks, the limited production, even more driver-focused and higher-performance derivatives of the Super Series started production in mid-2015 but continued through 2016. In total, 1,255 Super Series cars were sold in 2016.

In March 2017 the second-generation McLaren Super Series, the new McLaren 720S, was launched. The new car generated immediate customer interest and some 1,500 orders have been taken to date. A new convertible Sports Series model, the 570S Spider, was announced on 14th June 2017 and makes its world debut this week in the UK at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

“The McLaren Automotive business continues to perform strongly, with 2016 returning a fourth consecutive year of positive financial results,” said McLaren Automotive chief financial officer, Paul Buddin.

”Profit before tax was up by 70% to £9.2M, from our highest-ever operating profit of £65.8M, an increase of 180% over 2015. These results were driven by vehicle sales totalling 3,286 in 2016 – 99% up year-on-year and another record – and significant growth in revenues from McLaren Special Operations (MSO) and McLaren Automotive Aftersales operations.”

During 2016, McLaren Automotive invested £129.1M in new projects, across the Sports Series, Super Series and Ultimate Series product families. The Track22 Business Plan sees McLaren investing an industry-leading percentage of turnover (20% in 2016) in R&D activities over the period of the plan.

This will take the company towards its objective of producing more than 4,500 vehicles annually by the end of 2022, with at least 50% of these cars featuring hybrid powertrain technology. The Business Plan also includes the development of a fully-electric powertrain for a concept car to evaluate its possible use in a future Ultimate Series. In 2016, the early prototype stages of the development work commenced.

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Damaged McLaren sold at auction

A McLaren sport’s car that was written off just 150 metres after the Point Chevalier on-ramp in Auckland, has been sold for an undisclosed sum.

The 2015 McLaren 650S crashed in April 22, this year, and was being driven by 57-year-old executive, Heng Loon Chee who pleaded guilty to careless driving in Auckland District Court in May.

Manheim.co.nz auctioned the vehicle over the internet on the morning of June 27, but would not confirm how much it ended up selling for or who it was sold to.

Manheim New Zealand national salvage manager Michael Fernandes told the NZ Herald that the vehicle was being sold online “to allow the global salvage market to partake in the auction and not miss the opportunity to own this diamond in the rough”.

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McLaren LEGO® car

McLaren’s all-new supercar is set to be realised in LEGO® form at the Festival of Speed.

The McLaren 720S will swap its usual aluminium and carbon-fibre structure for bright orange LEGO® bricks, following on from the launch of the 75880 LEGO® Speed Champions McLaren 720S miniature set.

The 1:1 scale model will arrive at the Goodwood stand incomplete and in order to finish the build, visitors to the McLaren stand will need to place orange McLaren bricks in designated parts of the car, with the 720S reaching completion by the Sunday at the end of the event.

Just preparing the car for Goodwood has required more than 267,300 LEGO® bricks, with McLaren fans visiting the stand expected to add over 12,700 to completely finish the build. The end result will be a full-size LEGO® 720S weighing in at no less than 1.6 tons; more than the road-going 720S’s 1283kg lightest dry weight.

In order to produce such an accurate representation of the 720S, McLaren Automotive worked closely with the Speed Champions LEGO® team based in Billund, Denmark, providing in-depth vehicle CAD data so that the model could be fully realised.

The model was built up around a steel frame, with a team of six working for over 2,000 hours to build the car by hand. For comparison, a real-world production 720S takes around 12 working days in the McLaren Production Centre to assemble.

Also featured on the LEGO® 720S build is the all-new Pirelli P Zero CORSA tyre used in its road-going equivalent, complete with silver ‘Pirelli Colour Edition’ graphics.

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McLaren 570S due in late 2017

McLaren’s “most attainable Spider ever” will arrive in New Zealand in the fourth quarter of 2017 and will cost $365,000, a spokesperson for McLaren confirmed.

The Australia-New Zealand division of the car maker announced last week that the new 570S Spider would cost (AUD)$437,750 in Australia, with New Zealand owners snapping up a comparative bargain.

The two-seated convertible features a retractable hard top made of lightweight composite panels and will open and close within 15 seconds at speeds up to 40km/hr.

A 3.8-litre V8 engine powers the 570S Spider, generating 419kW and 600Nm of torque, and going from 0-100 takes 3.2 seconds. A top speed of 328km/hr is achievable with the hard-top roof up, and 315km/hr with the roof down.

The same double-wishbone racing suspension seen in the 570S Coupe keeps the Spider on the road, and can be altered using the active dynamics panel, with Normal, Track and Sport modes available. The electronic stability control system also introduces a ‘Dynamic’ driving mode with reduced intervention.

The new 570S Spider will debut on June 29 in West Sussex, and the first cars are scheduled to be delivered in August.

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McLaren CEO teases public offering

The McLaren 650S GT3

McLaren Automotive CEO Mike Flewitt has suggested the company may be floated on the stock market to encourage further investment.

Flewitt told The Times that “The more successful we become, the more attractive we become to people who want to invest”.

Previous public offerings have proven successful in the past – Italian manufacturer Ferrari was listed on the New York stock exchange in 2015, and the company’s share price has risen by 62 per cent.

Sales have been skyrocketing for McLaren, almost doubling in 2016 to 3,286 vehicles. Production doubled at McLaren’s British factory from 10 cars to 20 cars a day to keep up with growing demand.

 The best-selling model was the 570S, which was the cheapest in the line-up until the launch of the 540C later in the year.

The car maker celebrated its 10,000th car in December, a McLaren 570S from the Special Operations workshop in Woking.

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McLaren’s garage to be refurbished

Concept drawing of the finished apartments.

The original garage of motor-racing legend Bruce McLaren, located in Remuera, will be refurbished into a block of luxury apartments by developer Charles Richards and Salmond Reed Architects.

The heritage-listed building was built in 1926 and has been the home of the McLaren Trust since its inception in the 1990’s.

Richards has assembled a team of heritage specialists led by Salmond Reed Architects to supervise the renovation. Original features of McLaren’s own apartment, including the F1 driver’s signature will be retained. Overall, the building will house six apartments.

Franchise owner Graeme Moore, a veteran of New Zealand motor sport, said everyone involved in the project was sympathetic to the needs of the building.

“With the McLaren Trust moving to Hampton Downs and a bespoke facility there, the objective of the refurbishment was primarily to ensure the heritage building itself got a new lease of life, a guaranteed future and that original features could be retained in the right way by a team that understood their importance,” he said.

“There’s so many cues to McLaren and history that any of these apartments would make fantastic places for motorsport people, or for those who are keen to share in part of our history and heritage.”

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