The Rise of McLaren Automotive

It was only in 2010 when McLaren launched the automotive brand of their business and since then it has grown incredibly quickly. McLaren launched the MP4-12C, and very soon after developed the 650S which improved on some key aspects of the 12C that were heavily criticised by many senior motoring journalists. It was reported that the 12C was extremely rapid but lacked the emotion that a supercar should always have. After these improvements, McLaren released the P1 hypercar that had certain technologies implemented into it from Formula One.

Now, we arrive in 2016 with McLaren having formed a full line-up of cars, all of which are slightly different from one another and in completely different price brackets. Fairly recently, McLaren announced the Sports Series range which includes the 570S and 570GT aswell as the Super Series which holds the 650S and 675LT (now all sold out). McLaren have said that it will announce a brand new car every year into the foreseeable future, which leads us to believe that there will be new convertible models released, more cars with hybrid powertrains, and even SUVs. This seems a little unbelievable when one conjures up images of 80s F1 cars racing and the iconic McLaren F1 road-car, but in reality this is where McLaren will make most of their money and can successfully implement the majority of their F1-derived technology.

In the summer holidays I had the great privilege of having an insider look into the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, Surrey. Unfortunately, I was asked not to write about any specific details about my visit but I can certainly report that it is by far the most futuristic and innovative place I have ever seen. The work that goes on at MTC is undoubtedly immensely powerful which is one of the main reasons they have been able to create the unbelievable 675LT. The McLaren 675LT is the track-orientated and generally more hardcore version of the capable 650S and its name is derived from the power output in PS and LT from the distinctive ‘McLaren F1 Longtail’. The real importance of the 675LT though, lies in the technology that will eventually trickle down into more affordable cars in the range. McLaren have shown that they can match the might of Ferrari, and it is clear from the stunning MTC that McLaren have the same passion and drive as the Italians but that they derive that passion from science, engineering, and technology, rather than a lick of red paint.


Jamie Moffatt