McLaren’s momentum: building the Great British supercar

McLaren's momentum: building the Great British supercar

Going head-to-head with Ferrari was seen as suicide until McLaren threw down the gauntlet in 2010. In five years, the Woking company has become firmly established as a genuine rival to the Italian sports car maker.

Yet it’s the acceptance of the British brand by discerning supercar customers around the world, who bought a record 1,649 models in 2014, that has underlined that McLaren has not only arrived, but is here to stay.

The firm has built a state-of-the-art factory, developed a range of successful supercars and taken on 1,200 workers in the UK. Even given McLaren’s 50-year expertise in Formula One racing, the achievement of setting up and delivering a world-class car business is unprecedented.

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McLaren’s move into road cars was the sixties dream of founder Bruce McLaren, and became the vision of Ron Dennis, the mastermind behind the company’s grand prix success, who has applied the same meticulous standards of excellence and relentless pursuit of perfection.

The man responsible for turning Dennis’ vision into reality is Mike Flewitt, the chief executive of McLaren Automotive since 2012, who is pushing even harder as the firm looks to almost triple sales to 4,000 cars by 2017.

Flewitt’s own story is as spectacular as the rise of McLaren Automotive, from starting on the production lines of Ford’s Halewood plant in the eighties, as a 20-year-old fitting Escort heater hoses, to becoming the firm’s European quality director and vice president of manufacturing over 20 years later.

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Along the way, he gained an invaluable insight into the luxury car sector by working for Rolls-Royce/Bentley, where he set up the brand’s first ever bodyshop and became production director, before returning to Ford.

But when the chance to run McLaren came in 2012, he jumped at it. “McLaren was a rare opportunity,” he says. “It was the right brand at the right time, with cutting-edge technology, great engineers and good shareholders. I felt it could work.”

Flewitt was also impressed by the McLaren factory and facilities at Woking: “I have worked in the car industry all over the world, but these are the most mind-blowing facilities I have seen, absolutely cutting edge.”

McLaren's momentum: building the Great British supercar

Source: AutoExpress

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Meet Ultima’s £95k, 1020bhp supercar

Meet Ultima’s £95k, 1020bhp supercar

Meet the Ultima Evolution. Ultima is a British sports car maker, and it’s been selling its GT-R and Can Am models in both kit and pre-built forms for over 15 years now.

Its cars are very fast. So replacing them with something called ‘Evolution’ suggests something very very fast.

There are, in fact, 15 different power outputs available from a range of Chevrolet LS V8 engines. It’s available at over £38,000 for a 350bhp Evolution in kit form, or £65,995 if you’d rather it was built in the factory.

But it’s the £95,995 Evolution range-topper you really want to know about. It’s a 6.8-litre supercharged V8 that cranks out 1020bhp, more than a Bugatti Veyron. The Ultima is a tenth of Veyron money, though, and at 950kg, weighs half as much.

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The range-topping Evolution hits 60mph in 2.3 seconds, 0-100mph takes 4.9 seconds while 150mph is reached in 8.9 seconds. Just 0.3sec later it completes the quarter-mile at 156mph. Fast and Furious fans, this is a Ten Second Car.

There’s just one department in which the Ultima falls short: top speed. Its ‘gearing limited’ 240mph is well behind the Big Bug as well as Hennessey’s Venom GT, though probably sufficient for the rest of us.

While it comes with coupe and speedster-like convertible options, the Evolution looks little different to the GTR it replaces, posh new LED lights notwithstanding.

“The Ultima has taken its inspiration from the Group C Le Mans race cars and this is something we are very proud of indeed,” the company says. “The Ultima shape is something different and permanent compared to the ever-changing crop of latest supercars.”

Meet Ultima’s £95k, 1020bhp supercar Meet Ultima’s £95k, 1020bhp supercar Meet Ultima’s £95k, 1020bhp supercar

Source: Top Gear

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Hetain Patel’s Real Life Ford Fiesta Transformer

Hetain Patel's Transformer

British artist Hetain Patel has turned a Ford Fiesta identical to his first car into a real life transformer! A 1988 Fiesta was given to him when he turned 17 by his Indian parents and years later Patel sourced a similar vehicle for this work of art (or awesomeness, whatever you want to call it.)

This is in stark contrast to the usual high-powered sports cars which transform into powerful warriors in the popular Transformers franchise. Not only is this a small and inexpensive Ford Fiesta, but Patel has transformed it into a human-like figure calmly squatting.

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He says: “This posture is a recurring image in my work and forges a link between the lower classes in India and my immigrant family in the U.K, both of whom sit comfortably this way. Naturally this introduces a tension in this sculpture between the seemingly submissive nature of the squat and in this case, it’s oddly larger than life scale.”

He created this sculpture together with his father, whose day job is to convert cars into hearses and limousines, and brother, an engineer and fellow Transformers enthusiast. The rear wheels have been turned into feet and the doors have been cut in half to form the creation’s long arms.

The Ford Fiesta Transformer has since been moved to France, where it will be displayed at the Galleria Continua until December 22. Watch this amazing time lapse video showing how the work of art/awesomeness was made:

Fiesta Transformer 1988-2013 from Hetain Patel on Vimeo.

Asians Biggest Lovers Of Gadgets And Technology

Asians Love Gadgets And Technology

New research from Ofcom has revealed that ethnic minorities are the biggest fans in the UK when it comes to gadgets and technology!

37% of ethnic minorities say they love gadgets as compared to 30% of the British population as a whole, and they are also more likely to say that it’s important for their homes to be equipped with the latest technology (32% compared to 20%). This rises to almost half (47%) in the Asian Indian group.

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Mobile phones are generally more important to people in ethnic minority groups than the wider British population. More than half of the Mixed Ethnic (57%), Asian Pakistani (58%), Asian Bangladeshi (57%), Black African (56%) and Asian Indian (54%) groups say they could not do without their mobile phones, compared with 43% of the British population. In the Asian Bangladeshi group, one in five (20%) claims to have at least five mobile phones in their households, compared with 5% of the British population. Ethnic minorities are also more likely to spend more money per month on their phones.

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Most ethnic minority groups are more likely to have a broadband connection at home, particularly among the Asian Indian group (82% compared with 71% of the British population).

However, those in the Asian Indian group are less likely to own a TV and watch TV than the British population as a whole. Eighty-two per cent of Asian Indian people say they own a TV and 93% say that they watch TV, compared with 96% and 99% of the British population respectively. Also Listening to the radio is generally less popular among ethnic minority groups, with 40% of Asian Bangladeshis tuning in weekly, compared with 79% of the British population.

Source: Asian Image