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motoringMcLaren: on a long-term drive for success

A beacon of British heritage, McLaren Automotive is a manufacturer of luxury, high-performance sports cars. At the heart of British racing for 50 years, McLaren started development of its first major production roadcar in 2010. Following the global launch of McLaren Automotive, the groundbreaking 12C was launched in 2011, and a new model has been introduced each year. In April 2015, the company unveiled the first model in its Sports Series range; the 570S Coupé. The car shares supercar DNA with the other models in the range, but sits in the sportscar market, coming in at a cool £143,250.00 (more reasonable than the usual £250,000 introductory supercar price tag), and is intended as a competitor for the Porsche 911 or Audi R8.  That said, it boasts all the features of its supercar cousins, including a full carbon chassis and a top speed of over 200mph.

The brand continues to expand, and McLaren posted a profit during 2013 – only the third year of vehicle production. A record 1,649 vehicles were delivered in 2014, via a dedicated global network of 68 retailers across 30 different markets. “What we’ve achieved in five years, most brands have achieved in 50!” declares Andrew Stevens, Sales Manager – McLaren London. He goes on to explain that McLaren’s mission is to succeed, both in racing and in automotive sales.

At the forefront of British engineering, McLaren has a reputation for innovation and its pioneering work in technology.  McLaren had the first FI™ car with a carbon fibre chassis in 1981. Performance-led, these cars were lighter, safer, handled better and therefore performed better. By the end of the following season, every car on the grid had adopted the same technology.

Back in 2011, the company opened its first McLaren showroom

Worldwide, located on the ground floor of One Hyde Park in Knightsbridge, one of the most prestigious addresses in the world. The FI™  car that Lewis Hamilton won the FI™ World Grand Prix Championship in 2008 hangs in the window. The cars on display are so awe-inspiring that the sales team likens the scenes on occasion to an eclipse, when large groups of enthusiasts  surround the windows admiring the cars, blocking out the light.

With McLaren, it is unsurprising that the attention to detail is high, even throughout the sales process. For those wanting a test drive, cars are delivered to their homes, or out of town in search of some open road. Clients are taken to the infamous McLaren Technology Centre in Woking to see the home of the brand, especially popular with those who are ordering a car that they are yet to see. This is not only home to the Formula 1™ team but also where every McLaren is built by hand.  If you’re lucky, Bruce McLaren’s daughter Amanda will be your guide, offering plenty of personal anecdotes.

Joining the McLaren family also grants access to a number of exclusive lifestyle and track-based events, only available to McLaren owners.  They offer a great opportunity to meet like-minded owners, become closer to the McLaren team, and of course, get the best from your car.  Highlights from 2015 have included cocktails with Jenson Button at the Monaco Grand Prix, a parade lap of the Le Mans circuit just hours before the 24-hour race, and of course the regular owners’ track days at major FI™ circuits, including Spa, Circuit of the Americas, Silverstone and Hockenheim. Andrew describes this as “a real racing experience – both on the track and in the pits – it really gets the adrenalin pumping!”


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