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McLaren Automotive (previously McLaren Cars) is an English automaker, based in Woking, Surrey, established in 1989 with the object of producing road sport cars based on Formula One technology. It works closely with the Team McLaren Formula One constructor and is part of the McLaren Group.

Background, history and founding

Although founded in 1989, the history of McLaren Cars actually began decades earlier, during the outstanding racing career of the late Bruce McLaren. Born in New Zealand in 1937, Bruce McLaren began his foray in automotive racing of the youthful age of 14 when his father gave him an aging, 24 horse power 1929 Austin Seven Ulster Racer. Using the old Austin Seven, the young McLaren began to learn about racing and engineering.

In 1959, he became the youngest driver to ever win a Grand Prix. a milestone which was to set the tenor for the remainder of his career. With the formation of Bruce McLaren Motor Racing in 1964 Bruce and his team began their conquest of Formula One, and founded a dynasty, which stood for a long time.

Mclaren also dreamt of producing a road-going sportscar, but sadly he was killed in a tragic testing accident in 1970. Yet his dream, and the team lived on, dominating the sport, and becoming the most succesful Grand Prix team there was, in 1993.

McLaren cars was formed in 1989 with a simple mission statement: build the ultimate road-going sportscar. Drawing on McLaren's rich Formula One heritage and technology base,


The McLaren M6 GT was Bruce McLaren's first race car.

McLaren F1

Main article: McLaren F1

The company's first car was the McLaren F1, a sports car and also a supercar priced at £640,000 (approx. US$ 1,150,000). 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 some very competitive formula one racecars for McLaren. The 6064 cc V12 engine, which produces 627 bhp (468 kW/636 PS), was designed and built by BMW.

Production of the original F1 began in 1992. The first car was launched in 1994. The LM model was then introduced in 1995 and 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 base models, 5 LM's, 3 GT's, 9 GTR95's, 9 GTR96's and 10 GTR97's.

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. Le Mans 24 Hours that year was to be McLaren’s first attempt at the world’s most prestigious endurance race.

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 1 racers JJ Lehto and Yannick Dalmas and experienced Japanese driver Masanori Sekiya that took the chequered flag after a race full of drama.

McLaren F1 GTRs finished 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 13th, not only winning the race at its first attempt, but totally dominating this most gruelling of events.

The F1 previously held the record for the fastest production car ever made, with an independently measured top speed of 241.35 mph (391 km/h). It has a 0-62 mph time of 3.2 seconds. This has been bettered by the Koenigsegg CCR, Bugatti Veyron 16.4 and the SSC Ultimate Aero TT. However, the F1 is naturally aspirated while the CCR, Veyron and SSC Aero are turbocharged.

McLaren Mercedes MP4/98T

Launched in Australia at the beginning of the 1998 Grand Prix season, the West McLaren Mercedes MP4/98T was the world´s first tandem Formula One car. [1] 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 the power and exhilaration of 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 insures the safety of the passenger. A carbon fibre honeycomb composite structure, faced with 75 mm (3.0 in) of conforfoam padding separates the driver and passenger helmet area. Specified according to the F.I.A. impact absorption regulations, this conforfoam 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.

Numerous celebrities have been passengers in the car, including: Max Mosley, Murray Walker, King Juan Carlos and Erja Hakkinen.

  • 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

Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren (codename P7)

Main article: Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren

In 1999, McLaren agreed to design and manufacture the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren in conjunction with DaimlerChrysler. DaimlerChrysler is 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 Liter Supercharged V8 engine that produces 617 bhp (460 kW). It can accelerate from 0-60 mph in 3.8 sec. and a 0-100 in 6.3 sec.

In 2006, the Mercedes-Benz McLaren SLR 722 Edition was announced. The "722 Edition" creates 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 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, due to be available from late 2007. The car will use the same supercharged 5.5 liter V8 that is in the coupé.

Aborted projects (codenames P8, P9 and P10)

The partnership between Mercedes-Benz and McLaren resulted 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, the Bentley Continental GT and the Aston Martin DB9. Both cars were to be powered by naturally aspirated V-8 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.

McLaren MP4-12C (Codename P11)

On September 8 2009, McLaren released images and details of its long-speculated 458 Italia and Gallardo competitor, the MP4-12C, which was previously codenamed P11. On hand the estimated $200,000 to $280,000 USD supercar is a 3.8 litre twin-turbo V8 producing 600 hp and 433 lb-ft of torque, 80% of which is available from 2,000 rpm. Mated to McLaren's 7-speed Seamless Shift dual clutch gearbox (SSG), it is expected the car will accelerate to 60 mph in "the three-point-something-second" range with a top speed over 200 mph while returning a CO2 output somewhere just south of 300g/km.

McLaren P1

The McLaren P1 debuted in production form at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. It is without a doubt one of McLaren’s most famous cars. According to McLaren their ultimate objective was to create the best driver’s car in the world on road and track. The last of the limited run of 375 McLaren P1 supercars was delivered to its customer in December 2015.

The McLaren P1 uses an IPAS (Instant Power Assist System) petrol-electric powertrain comprising a 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 petrol engine, coupled to a single electric motor, collectively known as M838TQ. Combined power output is 916 PS (903 hp). As important as absolute power is the electric motor provides instant torque and offers a range of 11 km (6.8 miles) in full electric mode on the NEDC cycle, which sees emissions drop to zero. In non-electric mode, the P1 returns 34.0 mpg (8.3 l/100 km) on the EU combined cycle, with CO2 emissions of 194 g/km.

Top speed is electronically limited to 350 km/h (217 mph), with the 0–100 km/h standing start acceleration taking 2.8 second. The McLaren P1 will power from rest to 200 km/h in 6.8 seconds, and on to 300 km/h in 16.5 seconds – 5.5 seconds quicker than the McLaren F1.

The McLaren P1 features a bespoke braking system developed with Akebono. The specially formulated carbon ceramic discs, coated in silicon carbide, bring the McLaren P1 to a halt from 62 mph (100 km/h) in a distance of 30.2 metres.

Two areas of Formula 1 technology evident on the McLaren P1 include IPAS (Instant Power Assist System), a development of KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) used on Formula 1 cars, and DRS (Drag Reduction System), used to give extra power and straight-line speed at the touch of a button. Similar to Formula 1 cars, the McLaren P1 is made entirely of light-weight carbon fibre.

In addition, the McLaren P1 also features adjustable ride height as part of the new hydro-pneumatic suspension. A RaceActive Chassis Control (RCC) can lower the car by 50mm in Race mode, to produce ground effect aerodynamics.

The McLaren P1 name is also inspired by Formula 1. P1 refers to ‘first place’ or ‘position one’. There is also heritage in that name: the McLaren F1 was initially known internally within McLaren as Project 1, or P1.


To celebrate 20 years since their victory in the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans, McLaren announced that they would resurrect the GTR name by launching a track-only version of the P1, the McLaren P1 GTR. The concept car made its debut at the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance and the P1 GTR production model was officially unveiled at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. It is available only to existing McLaren P1 customers.

The McLaren P1 GTR has been modified from the road-going McLaren P1. The front track is 80mm wider and the car sits 50mm lower to the ground on centre-locking 19-inch motorsport alloy wheels.

The lightweight windscreen from the McLaren P1 road car has been retained, while the side windows of the P1 GTR are motorsport-specification polycarbonate with a sliding ‘ticket window’ on the driver’s side. The chemically toughened glass panel in the roof has been replaced with carbon fibre to give the cabin a more enclosed, cocooned environment, as has the engine bay cover. The weight saving measures on the McLaren P1 GTR combine to strip out 50 kg over the road-going model.

Significant updates and modifications to the IPAS powertrain have also been made with significant focus on track performance. The McLaren P1 GTR integrates a 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 petrol engine with an enhanced lightweight electric motor. Combined, they generate 1,000PS(986hp); 800PS(789hp) is produced by the petrol engine, and 200PS(197hp) available from the electric motor.

McLaren P1 GTR owners have an opportunity to become a member of the McLaren P1 GTR Programme. The programme offers full access to the know-how and resources available at McLaren and is designed to hone and optimize driving skills. It offers drivers insight into the steps McLaren race drivers take after signing for the team and teaching them how to get the best of themselves and the car.

McLaren 650S

The McLaren 650S was launched in 2014 at the Geneva Motor Show and is available in both Coupé and Spider derivatives. The car features a 3.8-litre twin-turbo M838T V8 engine resulting in the Coupé model accelerating from 0–100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.0 seconds with a maximum speed of 333 km/h (207 mph). The 650S Coupé weighs 1330 kg and features a range of Formula 1 inspired technologies such as a carbon fibre MonoCell chassis, optimized powertrain, braking and suspension systems, mid-engine architecture, carbon ceramic brake discs, and active aerodynamics.

With McLaren’s design ethos of “form follows function” in mind, the 650S design is inspired by the McLaren P1 which results in more downforce generated by the vehicle.

McLaren 675LT

Main Article: McLaren 675LT

The McLaren 675LT was launched at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show and is the first modern McLaren to wear the LT (’Longtail’) badge. It takes inspiration from the McLaren F1 GTR ‘Longtail’ that debuted during the 1997 race season. According to McLaren, ‘focus on outright performance, weight reduction, and ultimate levels of driver engagement’ define a ‘Longtail’. Embodying the ‘Longtail’ ethos, McLaren have focused on reducing the weight, optimizing aerodynamics and increasing downforce to generate more performance on the track just as with the original ‘Longtail’ F1 GTR.

McLaren’s aim with the 675LT was to create the most track-focused road legal model in the Super Series. To achieve this, McLaren reduced the weight by 100 kg to 1,230 kg through an increased use of carbon fibre and lighter components. With a newly developed M838TL 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine, the 675LT achieves a top speed of 330 km/h, sprinting from 0–100 km/h (0-62 mph) in 2.9 seconds.

The 675LT is fitted with adjustable settings for both Handling and Powertrain though the Active Dynamics Panel rotary switches. The Sport and Track settings are uniquely calibrated to the 675T with the track experience in mind.

The car has been designed with a focus on track use and features P1-inspired carbon fibre grearshift paddles mounted on a rocker behind the steering wheel.

In December the 675LT was joined by a Spider variant. Both Coupé and Spider guises were limited to only 500 units globally.

McLaren 570S

The first model in McLaren’s Sports Series, the 570S Coupé marks McLaren’s move into the luxury sports car market for the first time. The 570S Coupé, which was unveiled at the 115th New York International Auto Show in April 2015, utilises McLaren’s lightweight carbon fibre MonoCell II chassis and weighs 1,313 kg.

A newly developed suspension system was also designed to enhance levels of driver engagement and refinement on both road and track. The system uses front and rear anti-rollbars, dual wishbones, independent adaptive dampers and retains the Formula 1 derived Brake Steer system. With a 3.8-litre twin turbo V8 engine, the 570S Coupé has a power-to-weight ratio of 434PS per tonne.


The second member of the McLaren Sports Series is the entry-level 540C Coupé. Launched in April 2015 at the Shanghai Motor Show, the 540C Coupé is the fourth McLaren launched in 2015 and customer deliveries will commence in Q2 2016.

The McLaren 540C shares the light weight carbon fibre MonoCell II with the McLaren 570S. Its mid-mounted 3.8-litre twin turbocharged V8 engine produces less power (540 PS) and torque (540Nm) than the 570S resulting in a top speed of 320k/h (199 mph) and 0–100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.5 seconds.


The newest member of the McLaren Sports Series, the 570GT, was launched at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. Branded as the most luxurious and refined McLaren to date the 570GT is designed with a dynamic setup to reflect its positioning, yet retains the supercar levels of engagement as the 570S. The newest McLaren model is designed with everyday use in mind, focusing on day-to-day usability and long distance comfort. Unlike the 570S, the revised design of the new two-seat sportscar has a standard fixed glass Panoramic Roof. As with the 570S, the 570GT provides 150 liters of stowage in the front luggage area, however this newest model also provides a further 220 liters of space behind the seats on a leather-lined Touring Deck, accessible via the side opening Glass Hatch.[35] The first deliveries are due to commence late 2016.

See also

Smallwikipedialogo.png This page uses some content from Wikipedia. The original article was at McLaren Automotive. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Autopedia, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.


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