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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Australian police appear to have a very expensive, very fast supercar

Australian police appear to have a very expensive, very fast supercar

The New South Wales police force may have watched The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift one too many times.

On Friday, the Instagram account of THE-LOWDOWN.com, an automotive-focused website, posted a photo of a pretty fancy sports car marked with police livery sitting on the back of a truck. The caption? Simply, “Game over.”

Spotted by news.com.au journalist Harry Tucker, who identified it as a McLaren 650S, the highly-powerful British car is apparently worth around A$450,000.

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In his driving test for The Verge, Chris Ziegler reported the devastating experience of running over a pothole in another low-slung McLaren 650S. “The entire car shuddered with a smack that woke me more effectively than the La Colombe coffee I’d just finished,” he wrote. “It echoed in my brain for the next several hours. I can still hear it. No one wants to hear that sound; it’s the sound of sadness.”

Sadly, it became apparent there will be no lucky coppers cruising the streets in this thing. NSW Police have confirmed it’s only a sponsored vehicle that will not be in operation.

Australian police appear to have a very expensive, very fast supercar Australian police appear to have a very expensive, very fast supercar

Source: Mashable

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Prang the DJ: Chris Evans’ £200k supercar in shunt with hapless driver

Prang the DJ: Chris Evans’ £200k supercar in shunt with hapless driver

Top Gear host Chris Evans inspects a £200,000 supercar after a hapless driver reversed into it.

The TV star and DJ, 49, was about to pull away in the 200mph orange and black McLaren 650S.

But a car towing a large white trailer rolled backwards and pranged into the back of it. Chris checked the damage with the motorist, in his 50s, before driving away.

A witness said: “There was a huge crunch. There must have been some damage to the McLaren.

“It was a pure accident. Chris leapt out of his car and was waving his arms around. They both inspected his car.

“His friend, who was in the car as well, eventually got out. Chris drove off and his mate stayed behind to speak to the driver.”

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The ding happened as Chris prepared to leave CarFest South, a show he organises in Overton, Hants.

A source said: “Chris and the driver of the trailer inspected the car. He was very calm and unperturbed and drove off happy.”

It is not petrolhead Chris’s first car mishap. In 2005 he crashed a £120,000 Ferrari 550 Maranello into a verge near his Surrey home.

And in 2011, his £300,000 Ferrari 599 GTO was damaged when fellow Radio 2 DJ Vanessa Feltz reversed her Mini into it.

Prang the DJ: Chris Evans’ £200k supercar in shunt with hapless driver Prang the DJ: Chris Evans’ £200k supercar in shunt with hapless driver Prang the DJ: Chris Evans’ £200k supercar in shunt with hapless driver

Source: The Sun

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Mr Bean sells his £8million McLaren F1 supercar

Mr Bean sells his £8million McLaren F1 supercar

Rowan Atkinson, the Mr Bean actor, bought his beloved McLaren in 1997 for around £640,000 – making a tidy £7.3m profit on the motor.

It may be 18 years old having covered 41,000 miles and been involved in two almighty crashes, but that has not deterred a petrol head from splashing out £8million on a prized McLaren F1 supercar belonging to Rowan Atkinson.

This makes it one of the highest prices ever forked out for a car in the UK, with only 1960s Ferraris tending to fetch more. It commanded the lucrative fee despite Atkinson, a car fanatic, crashing it twice.

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The 60-year-old first pranged the three-seater by ploughing into the back of a Rover Metro on the A6 at Forton, Lancashire, in October 1999.

Then in 2011 he lost control on a slippery bend of the A605 near Peterborough and smashed into a tree.

He escaped from the wreckage with a broken shoulder, but most of the car was destroyed, while the 6.1litre engine ended up 60 feet away.

That second crash ended in what is thought to be Britain’s highest ever single car insurance payout, with the vehicle costing £900,000 to be rebuilt by McLaren. It also put up his annual insurance to an estimated £60,000.

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But it seems the accidents may have actually added to the value of the F1, which was one of only 64 ever built. Atkinson put it on the market for £8million with specialist car dealer Taylor & Crawley, owned by David Clark, formerly a director at McLaren.

Mr Clark confirmed the car with the ‘interesting history’ had now been sold. He said: ‘Everyone is very pleased with the sale. There was interest from around the world and it has gone to a British buyer who will drive it like Rowan did.

‘It is one of the biggest ever deals in the UK. Rowan is pleased, but also maybe a bit sad as he did 40,000 miles in it.’

Source: Daily Mail

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How to terrify an anxious aunt – drive your McClaren supercar ‘at 120mph’ through residential streets

How to terrify an anxious aunt - drive your McClaren supercar 'at 120mph' through residential streets

This is the moment the man behind a wheel of a McClaren supercar allegedly rocketed to 120mph through a residential street to terrify his aunt.

Joseph Cosgrove filmed himself and his relative – who was not named – riding in the MP4-12C model car.

After warning his anxious aunt that ‘you might get a little scared’, Cosgrove slams on the accelerator in the 616 horsepower machine, which sells for around $240,000.

In the footage, he claims that within two seconds the vehicle had gone from 20mph to 120mph.

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Tree-lined streets with family homes flit by as he roars down the road, next to his screaming aunt, who covers her mouth in terror.

Shortly after slowing down to regular speed, he passes a speed limit signed marked 45mph.

In the aftermath of the high-speed ride, his aunt breathes heavily and chastises her nephew.

She says: ‘Joseph! Joseph, I don’t even like scary rides! I need a Xanax or something.’

It is not clear where Cosgrove, who lives in Modesta, California, was while he was driving.

Source: Daily Mail

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Too Far? McLaren seized after driver refuses to ‘spoil’ bodywork with a number plate

Too Far? McLaren seized after driver refuses to 'spoil' bodywork with a number plate

Has this supercar driver taken his love of bodywork a little too far? A driver had his McLaren confiscated by police because he could not bear to screw a numberplate into its bodywork.

Tsao He, 37, refused saying the order by officers in Taiwan would spoil the bodywork of his £270,000 McLaren.

The MP4-12C, which does 0-60mph in just 3.1 seconds, was seized when police saw it parked in a street bay without its front plate.

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Mr He, 37, said: ‘The car looks so perfect, I just couldn’t bear to put holes in that beautiful body for something as ugly as a registration plate.

‘I told them it was registered and I showed them the plate, which I keep under my seat. I couldn’t believe it when they towed it away.’

Police in Taichung also gave him a £230 ticket for overstaying in the bay while they waited for a tow truck.

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Mr He can apply for the car’s return after he fits a plate but faces a fine to cover the cost of towing it away.

A police spokesman said: ‘The car failed to display the proper documentation and has been confiscated.’

He added: ‘When the owner is ready to obey the law and fit a registration plate he can apply for the return of his car but he will face a fine appropriate to the cost of towing the vehicle.’

Source: Daily Mail

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Video: Why Rain And Supercars Don’t Mix

Video: Why Rain And Supercars Don't Mix

Even for the most experienced of drivers, going fast in the rain is a risky activity. Th video below is pretty ugly, although we believe no one was hurt.

Not only that, but cars that have been very well designed to work with active aerodynamics can sometimes feel so planted in the dry that one could easily forget just how badly out of control they can get in the wet.

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This video is a good example, as the McLaren 650S isn’t swerving or anything, and the driver appears to lose control for no reason.

We’re guessing that when the car in front of him moved over and the lane was cleared, he decided to speed up and simply put the pedal down a bit more than conditions allowed. It didn’t end well.

Source: CarBuzz

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