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Senna’s McLaren up for sale

The Grand Prix-winning Formula One car is expected to fetch NZ$8.4 million when it goes under the hammer at Bonhams Monaco this May, 25 years after Ayrton Senna drove it to victory.

Fans will remember ’93 as Senna’s last campaign with McLaren after a successful six-year partnership. 

The 1993 McLaren-Ford helped Senna beat Damon Hill in a Williams-Renault and Jean Alesi in a Ferrari, while Alain Prost, who would win that year’s Drivers’ championship, came fourth.

Ayrton Senna – McLaren Ford in 1993.

“Ayrton Senna was the most charismatic Grand Prix car driver of the modern era,” said Mark Osborne, head of motorsport at Bonhams. “And the MP4/8A was the car with which his team, McLaren, surpassed Ferrari as the most successful team in Formula 1 World Championship history.”

Senna died less than 12 months after his historic Monaco victory in the McLaren-Ford MP4/8A, when his Williams collided with a barrier during the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix.

“Any car raced by the legendary Aryton Senna is of huge significance to the motoring world, but this is another matter entirely. It is not only a Grand Prix-winning car, it is the one in which he broke the record for number of wins at Monaco and the final car which he raced for McLaren before joining the Williams team,” said Poppy McKenzie Smith, motoring press officer at Bonhams.

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Another record year for McLaren


McLaren Automotive has performed significantly well this year and has recorded another record year of growth – selling a total 3,340 cars.

Around two-thirds of sales are attributed to the Sports Series family, the vast majority of which are new buyers to the brand, with the rest coming from the Super Series.

The Sports Series family accounted for 2,119 deliveries, up from 2,031 in 2016. Following the unveiling of the 720S in March, Super Series sales continued to perform strongly with 1,221 cars sold – nearly the same as 2016’s figure despite only six months of delivery.

This latest news follows the 2017 introduction of new models in each of the established three product families; the 570S Spider was added to the Sports Series, the 720S replaced the 650S in the Super Series while the track-concentrated McLaren Senna joined the Ultimate Series.

Mike Flewitt, Chief Executive Officer of McLaren Automotive, said: “We are continuing to invest heavily in research and development – £1billion over six years – as part of our ambitious Track22 business plan that sets out and supports our growth. Long-term, the plan will see us launching 15 new cars and/or derivatives up to 2022, with three revealed to date.

“2018 will also see the continued development of the company with the planned opening of a second production facility in Yorkshire. When fully operational in 2019, we will innovate and manufacture the carbon fibre ‘tubs’ at the heart of all of our cars’ DNA.”

McLaren continued to expand its global network with additional and updated facilities opening including in Bahrain, Montréal and Denver, along with the confirmation of a new Barcelona showroom.

In addition, and in recognition of the brand’s commitment to North America, the US saw the opening of a new 7,500-square foot North American Regional Distribution Centre, which became the first McLaren parts distribution centre outside the company’s UK headquarters.

 

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NZ student awarded internship

McLaren Automotive has awarded an international internship to an engineering student from the University of Auckland, New Zealand.

Following in the footsteps of Bruce McLaren, McLaren’s New Zealand born founder, Thomas Evans has been awarded the international internship. McLaren studied at the University of Auckland before travelling to England on a similar “Driver to Europe” scholarship nearly 60 years ago, founding his racing company in 1963.

Thomas will spend around nine weeks at the iconic McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, Surrey, England where he will work alongside the company’s research and development engineers as well as gaining an understanding of other key areas of the business.

McLaren Automotive announces second Bruce McLaren International Internship winner.

Since Thomas began studying, he has been involved with a group of engineering students at the University who design and manufacture a single-seater race car every year. His academic studies have explored automotive design and he is passionate about motorsport.

“I’m honoured to have been chosen to be the second recipient of the Bruce McLaren International Internship. Automotive engineering is a field that is very hard to get into so to get an opportunity like this with McLaren is amazing and not something I ever dared dream would be possible. I excited to get to McLaren, meet the people and get started,” says Thomas.

Commenting on the internship, Amanda McLaren, Bruce’s daughter and Brand Ambassador for McLaren Automotive said: “It’s a great honour to have an international internship named after my father and I’m grateful to both McLaren Automotive and the University of Auckland, where my father studied, for supporting and making this happen to benefit young engineering talent.

“I know my father would be very proud of what McLaren has become as we now build some of the world’s most iconic sportscars and supercars. I’m sure he would be equally proud of the internship which also celebrates the strong links between Britain and New Zealand that exist today. I can’t wait to meet Thomas and I know he will get a lot out of his time here, working with and learning from all the teams across the business.”

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The new McLaren Senna

The McLaren Senna has been designed and built with one single goal: to be the most extreme track-concentrated car on the road.

The new supercar bears the name of legendary Formula 1 driver, Ayrton Senna, honouring its status as the ultimate McLaren track car.

Legalised for road use, but not sanitised to suit it, the new Ultimate series disrupts McLaren’s trademark breadth of supercar daily usability; instead it provides the purest connection between driver and car.

With its ultra-lightweight construction, carbon fibre chassis and body panels, the Senna’s aggressive appearance epitomises McLaren’s ‘form-follow’s-function’ design philosophy.

The McLaren Senna enjoys a power-to-weight ratio of 668PS per tonne, with its maximum power of 800PS (789bhp). This statistic immediately underlines the performance credentials of the newcomer to the McLaren Ultimate Series, a product family introduced with the McLaren P1™ that is reserved for the rarest and most extreme McLaren cars.

“The McLaren Senna is a car like no other: the personification of McLaren’s motorsport DNA, legalised for road use but designed and developed from the outset to excel on a circuit. Every element of this new Ultimate Series McLaren has an uncompromised performance focus, honed to ensure the purest possible connection between driver and machine and deliver the ultimate track driving experience in the way that only a McLaren can,” says Mike Flewitt, Chief Executive Officer, McLaren Automotive.


The carbon fibrechassis that forms the core of the McLaren Senna is a further development of the structure that underpins the McLaren 720S and the strongest monocoque ever built by McLaren for a road-legal vehicle. Every body panel is made from carbon fibre, in line with a relentless focus on the weight of every individual component that has resulted in the McLaren Senna being the lightest road-legal McLaren since the iconic F1 road car, at just 1,198kg.

The 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged M840TR V8 engine at the heart of the McLaren Senna is the most powerful road car internal combustion engine ever created by McLaren. 

Lightweight internal components reduce mass in the powertrain and combine with ultra-low inertia, twin-scroll turbochargers and electronically controlled wastegates to deliver lightning-quick throttle responsiveness.

Braking power is delivered by carbon-ceramic disc brakes which McLaren describes as the most advanced ever fitted to any of its road cars. The force delivered through these brakes is prevented from locking the wheels under braking with Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tires, mounted on motorsport-derived, single-lug alloy wheels.

The third model introduced under the McLaren Track22 business plan, the McLaren Senna will be hand-assembled in England at the McLaren Production Centre. Production will be limited to 500 vehicles, each costing from over NZ$1 million.

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McLaren creates new colour

McLaren Special Operations, MSO, has created a unique colour with a family story attached.

570S Spider At Muriwai
House.

‘Muriwai’ is the New Zealand coastal community where Bruce McLaren first won his motor race at the age of fifteen and the name chosen for his family house in Surrey, England.

Muriwai is now the name of a new special paint colour in the MSO catalogue for the recently launched 570S Spider.

The colour itself, inspired by the whitewashed walls and deep-blue accents of his homestead, is white with blue flecks.

Amanda McLaren, Bruce’s only child, the MSO and AkzoNobel, McLaren paint partner, to develop the new paint colour.

Amanda McLaren at Muriwai House.

“My mother Patty had been at a dinner party with a palm reader, who told her she’d live in a big white house with blue doors and shutters,” revealed Amanda. 

“Whether by destiny or design, that is what transpired and Muriwai was a place of pride for Bruce and comfort to Patty years after my father’s premature death in 1970 at the age of 32. Muriwai was always special to my father; the exotic name as much as the house. Forty-two kilometres’ northwest of Auckland, it’s where he grew up and won his first hill climb, aged 15, at the wheel of an Ulster Austin which remains in McLaren’s heritage collection in Woking.”

Bruce McLaren and his daughter, Amanda.

 

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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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