Tuesday, January 20, 2015

McLAREN SPECIAL OPERATIONS ANNOUNCES DETAILS OF THE McLAREN 650S LE MANS CELEBRATING 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF FAMOUS WIN


  • Limited edition model launched to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the McLaren F1 GTR victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans
  • Design and styling inspired by the race-winning chassis #01R McLaren F1 GTR including iconic roof-mounted ‘snorkel’ air intake
  • Only 50 models, all coupés, to be made available globally
  • Collaboration with Peter Stevens, famed designer of the McLaren F1

Every one of the 106 models of the McLaren F1 built has a story to tell, with those wearing a ‘GTR’ badge boasting a lineage back to one of the most famous results in the history of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. As the chequered flag fell at the end of the 1995 race, five McLaren F1 GTRs crossed the line to finish 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 13th. In honour of this achievement, five special editions of the McLaren F1, badged the McLaren F1 LM, were commissioned – one for each of the cars that finished. 20 years on, McLaren Special Operations (MSO) has released the first details of a special edition 650S, built to celebrate the anniversary of this result. Only 50 McLaren 650S Le Mans will be available globally, with a design inspired by the race-winning #59 McLaren F1 GTR. Deliveries will commence later this year.

Designed by MSO in consultation with Peter Stevens, the designer of the iconic McLaren F1, the McLaren 650S Le Mans will be offered as a coupé only, and will borrow a number of styling enhancements from the iconic race-winner, most notably the roof-mounted ‘snorkel’ air intake. This fully-integrated ‘snorkel’ channels airflow to the familiar 3.8-litre twin turbo V8 engine, while also providing enhanced aural drama within the cabin, while the front wings feature subtle louvres to reduce pressure over the front wheels, increasing downforce. The unique ‘Le Mans Edition’ lightweight wheels – 19-inch at the front, 20-inch at the rear – are styled around the design of the motorsport rims fitted to the 1995 racers. The rims wear the McLaren-developed Pirelli P Zero™ Corsa tyres and are mounted in front of carbon ceramic brakes as standard, with McLaren Orange callipers.


Commenting on the McLaren 650S Le Mans, Stevens explains: “The design of the McLaren F1 rewrote the rulebook. It was intended to offer the ultimate, no compromise road driving experience. The fact that it was transformed into a racer, and a race winner, was true testament to the strength and integrity of the original design, which is something I am very proud of.

“With a mix of subtle design traits, the 650S Le Mans adds a modern twist by blending the iconic lines of the McLaren F1, and heritage features such as the wing louvres and the roof-mounted air intake, with groundbreaking technologies. It is a fantastic homage to that original design, and to the incredible race result achieved by the team in 1995 at one of the most difficult, and most challenging races in the world.”

Power and torque figures for the McLaren 650S Le Mans remain unchanged from the standard production model, producing 650PS (641 bhp) and 678 Nm (500 lb ft) of torque. This sprint from zero to 62 mph is achieved in three seconds and the top speed is 207 mph.


Visual carbon fibre features throughout the limited edition model, including the front splitter and rear bumper. The limited edition coupés also feature MSO-developed extended side blades and the distinctive MSO rear diffuser. The unique look of the McLaren 650S Le Mans exterior is further enhanced by the metallic Sarthe Grey exterior paint colour, inspired by the colour of the race-winning McLaren F1 GTR. A splash of the famous McLaren Orange in the form of the ‘Le Mans’ logo adorns the wheels and the trailing edge of the extended MSO door blades, while an internal dedication plate on the door card identifies the limited nature of the model.

The interior is swathed in black leather and Alcantara®, while a pair of sports seats are finished in black with contrasting McLaren Orange Alcantara® in the centre. A Le Mans logo is embossed on the headrest of each seat, and on the unique floor mats, paying further homage to the anniversary.

The McLaren 650S Le Mans is available globally, priced at £244,500, and deliveries will commence in mid-2015. Owners of the McLaren 650S Le Mans will receive an exclusive invitation for the owner plus a guest to join McLaren at a 20th anniversary celebration of the famous victory at the historic Le Mans circuit courtesy of McLaren.

Friday, January 16, 2015

THE McLAREN P1™ GTR TO DEBUT AT GENEVA


Production-intent model to premiere at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show
  • In excess of 700 PS per tonne power-to-weight ratio achieved through motorsport-derived weight-saving and powertrain optimisation
  • Testing continues at global circuits in Europe and the Middle East
  • High definition video shows the latest stages in the McLaren P1™GTR development programme at: http://youtu.be/4pDwmMruOtA

The development programme for the most powerful and most exclusive McLaren model to-date has been stepped up over the winter months, with the limited edition McLaren P1™ GTR being put through its paces across Europe and the Middle East. Ahead of the start of production later this year, and the launch of the bespoke Driver Programme, the track-only model will make its global debut in production form at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show in March.


As testing continues, the McLaren P1™ GTR looks set to be one of the fastest to ever wear the famous McLaren ‘speed mark’. Through significant weight-saving measures and track-optimisation of the petrol-electric powertrain, McLaren P1™ GTR will boast a power-to-weight ratio increase in excess of 10 percent over the road-going model, to more than 700 PS per tonne. This has been achieved using motorsport-derived technology and expertise, with the track-only model completing thousands of kilometres of extreme testing at several UK and European locations, as well as a demanding testing schedule in the extreme heats of Bahrain and Qatar, with Chief Test Driver Chris Goodwin at the wheel. These tests have pushed the performance of the car to its limits, and have been designed to further enhance cooling and aerodynamics over the design concept previewed at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in the summer of 2014.


The dedicated development programme will continue at the relentless pace over the coming months to further tune the performance, aerodynamics, driving dynamics and handling balance to ensure the McLaren P1™ GTR lives up to the iconic ‘GTR’ title, made famous by the 24 Hours of Le Mans-winner 20 years ago. In the coming weeks, the McLaren P1™ GTR Driver Programme will get underway, with drivers invited to the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, UK to start the journey which will see them experience some of the world’s most iconic racing circuits behind the wheel of one of the most extreme limited-run track cars ever built.

The production-intent McLaren P1™ GTR will make its global debut on Stand 1240, Hall 1 at the 85th International Geneva Motor Show.

- See more at: http://media.mclarenautomotive.com/release/293/#sthash.1Bpgt3xc.dpuf

Saturday, January 10, 2015

McLAREN GT LAUNCHES YOUNG DRIVER PROGRAM

McLaren GT has confirmed today at the Autosport International Show the launch of the McLaren
GT Young Driver Program. Ahead of the 2015 GT season, which will see McLaren GT
customer teams racing the new 650S GT3 in a number of championships across the world.



Drivers Ross Wylie (Scotland, 23) and Andrew Watson (Northern Ireland, 19) will work with
McLaren GT, and the existing trio factory drivers of Rob Bell, Kevin Estre and Alvaro Parente to
further enhance their skills and knowledge for a competitive career in GT racing.

The McLaren GT Young Driver Program announcement follows a successful 2014 season,
which was brought to a close with a successful competitive debut for the new 650S GT3 at the
Gulf 12 Hours. The two young additions to the team mark the start of an exciting year for the
Woking based manufacturer. Each young driver has shown promise over the past few years, and
been closely monitored by a team at McLaren GT keen to nurture home-grown talent.
Spearheading this search has been McLaren GT Managing Director, Andrew Kirkaldy, a former
McLaren Autosport BRDC Award winner.

Andrew Kirkaldy, Managing Director, McLaren GT:
‘It is great that we are in the position to offer these promising young drivers an opportunity to
become part of our team, and help give them a boost with their careers. The GT racing scene is
as exciting now as I can ever remember, and there is a huge amount of talent on every grid
week-in week-out, so it can be difficult for young drivers to get on the first rung of the ladder to
show their true potential. This program is designed to offer young drivers we feel have
something special a chance to show what they can do behind the wheel of a GT car, and also
work closely with our drivers, engineers and technical teams, giving them access to many years
of race- and championship-winning experience at the highest levels.’

Joining up with McLaren GT, the young drivers will benefit from involvement in the extensive
development testing programs throughout 2015 undertaken by McLaren GT for the 650S
Sprint and 650S GT3, They will take an active role in driver tuition with the calendar of Pure
McLaren track driving experiences, as well as having direct access to various aspects of the business including simulator testing, driver coaching and management, and media activities from
a team of experts with a wealth of motorsport knowledge. These are all key elements which a
factory has access to in order to help the development of the cars, the business and the drivers’

own personal careers.



Ross Wylie, McLaren GT young driver

‘I am delighted to announce that I will be joining the McLaren GT Young Driver Program. 
I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to become involved with McLaren, which is such a famous name in motorsport, and to have access to the people, technology and levels of support, both on and off the track, is a dream come true. 
I look forward to working with my new teammate and the
whole McLaren GT team this year.’













Andrew Watson, McLaren GT young driver

‘I am thrilled to have been given such an opportunity with McLaren GT. I have been working hard to improve and progress my career over the past few seasons, so to have this recognized by McLaren is a real honor. 
The 2015 season is going to be big for McLaren GT with the launch of the 650S GT3, and I hope that I can help the team progress, while also gaining valuable knowledge and experience from one of the most famous names on the grid to take my career to the next level. 
I look forward to working with Ross and the rest of the team in 2015.’






More details on the McLaren GT Young Driver Program, and the 2015 season plans for Ross

Wylie and Andrew Watson will be announced in the coming weeks.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

McLAREN AUTOMOTIVE RACES AHEAD


  • More than 1,600 vehicles delivered, including 248 examples of the McLaren P1™, marking the company’s strongest year-to-date
  • Asia-Pacific region achieves growth of 80 per cent
  • 14 new retailers opened bringing the global network to 68, across 30 markets
McLaren Automotive ended 2014 with record sales as it has done every year since the company began production of luxury supercars in 2010. A total of 1,648 vehicles were delivered to customers around the world, an increase of 21 per cent over 2013 which was the company’s first year of profitability. In addition another 14 new retail locations were added bringing McLaren’s total global sales network to 68 sites.

Following the international reveal of the 650S in Coupé and Spider form at the Geneva Motor Show where the two models were launched simultaneously, strong demand for McLaren’s core model range saw sales reach 1,400 units including some examples of the outgoing 12C. In addition, 248 examples of the 916PS petrol-electric McLaren P1™ were delivered to customers – around two thirds of the car’s total 375 unit production run.

McLaren’s network of retailers grew to cover 30 markets with the additions of Chile, Scotland and Thailand. New sales outlets were also opened in existing markets, most notably Calabasas, Cape Town, Changsha, Chongqing, Fuzhou, Hangzhou, Kunming, Melbourne, Nanjing, Shenzhen and Tianjin. More development is planned in 2015.

Growth was recorded across all four of McLaren’s regional business units. The Asia-Pacific region saw the biggest rise with sales increasing by 80 per cent over 2013 with 11 new retail locations across the region helping to fuel this growth. The North American market remained McLaren’s largest market accounting for more than 30 per cent of overall sales, while sales in both Europe and the Middle East grew year-on-year by 10 per cent and nine per cent respectively.

McLaren Automotive continues to invest significantly in research and development for new models. 2015 will see the launch of the McLaren’s most attainable model yet, the new Sports Series which will debut at the New York International Auto Show in April. At the top of its range, the strictly limited edition track-only McLaren P1™ GTR will also enter production after the final road-going McLaren P1™ has been built.

Commenting on the 2014 year end performance, Mike Flewitt, Chief Executive Officer of McLaren Automotive explained: ‘These latest results highlight that McLaren Automotive continues to push boundaries and set records year-on-year, and are testament to the energy and professionalism of the teams in Woking and around the world, including our retail partners. The past 12 months have seen the launch of the 650S in both coupé and Spider form, and the first full year of McLaren P1™ production, and sees the third consecutive year of growth for the brand which is a fantastic achievement.

‘Since the opening of the first retailer in June 2011, McLaren has established a world-class network of retailers, with 14 key locations added in 2014, all of which continue to set benchmarks in the industry the world over. Add to this a range of groundbreaking models, shortly to be completed with the launch of the Sports Series later this year, and 2015 looks set to be another strong year for McLaren.’

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

McLAREN GT SIGNS OFF THE 650S GT3 DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME WITH A PODIUM FINISH AT 2014 GULF 12 HOUR

Dec 15, 2014


The 650S GT3 secured a hard-fought podium finish at the 2014 Gulf 12 Hour endurance race at Yas Marina Circuit over the weekend, signing off a successful and competitive year for McLaren GT. The works factory-run effort entered two cars as part of the final stages of the intensive development programme for the 650S GT3, bringing both cars home after a gruelling 12 hours of hard racing, finishing 3rd and 12th overall. This first competitive outing underlines the performance and reliability of the latest GT model from McLaren ahead of a wider racing schedule in 2015.

The works driver line-up of Rob Bell (GB), Kevin Estre (FR) and Alvaro Parente (PT) showed a glimpse of the 650S GT3’s potential during the three phase qualifying session, securing pole position against a highly competitive and experienced grid. This result echoed the success of the 12C GT3, which scored a pole position on its debut at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in 2011.

Split in to two separate six hour endurance races, the Gulf 12 Hour is a true test of endurance for each car, driver and team taking part. The McLaren GT works driver line-up of #59 traded the top three places throughout the duration of both six hours events, with each of the works drivers among the quickest during each stint. As the chequered flag fell after six hours, #59 lay in 3rd while #60 was 9th in the Pro-Am class, 18th overall.


Having battled for 2nd place during the middle period of the race, Bell regained the lead going into the final two hours, to set up a grandstand finish. The closing stages saw Estre retake the lead after being consistently the quickest man on the track. As he pitted, the top three were separated by less than a minute and, as Parente strapped himself in, the only safety car period of the race ensured that the final 30 minutes would be nail-biting for each team. With the clock ticking down, the Portuguese driver chased down the leaders, making his way past back markers who were involved in their own battles lower down the field, and brought the #59 home after 315 laps, just 5.741s behind the race winner.

Pro-Am trio of Peter Kox (NL), Nico Pronk (NL) and Gilles Vannelet (FR) showed consistently strong pace throughout both races in the silver, red and black #60, working their way back up the standings after a routine pitstop saw the car rolled into the garage for precautionary checks during the opening race. Despite losing ground to the other cars in the Pro-Am class, the car then ran faultlessly for all three drivers, recovering well to claim 9th in class, and P12 overall.


Mike Flewitt, Chief Executive Officer, McLaren Automotive

‘A pole position and podium finish is a great end to the 2014 season, and really strong way to start the competitive life of the 650S GT3. As with the 650S road car, the focus during the development programme for the 650S GT3 has been improving all areas of driver engagement and refinement, with the true performance accessible to a wider range of abilities for drivers at any level on the grid. This result is true testament to the team, both at the race and back here in Woking, with the cars proving reliable and competitive in both the Pro and Pro-Am categories.’

Andrew Kirkaldy, Managing Director, McLaren GT:

‘What a fantastic race! Both cars were on the pace, and competitive in class, and it really went down to the wire. There were close battles all the way through the field, and the last few hours were some of the most exciting racing you could wish for. For us, this event was the final stage in a rigorous development plan designed to push the cars to the limit before deliveries to customers for the 2015 season, so it is a real credit to the teams that we brought both cars home with no issues. To secure a podium with the 650S GT3 on its debut is a huge bonus for us.

‘We would like to thank the race organisers for welcoming us to the event, and we will hopefully be back next year with some of our customer teams running.’

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

McLAREN GT CONFIRMS WORKS DRIVER LINE-UP FOR TWO CAR ENTRY AT THE 2014 GULF 12 HOUR


McLaren GT has confirmed it will enter two examples of the 650S GT3 at the 2014 Gulf 12 Hour as the final stage of the development programme, ahead of customer deliveries for the 2015 season. The experienced driver line-up will see Rob Bell, Kevin Estre and Alvaro Parente in a full McLaren GT works entry, running alongside a Pro-Am customer partnership also managed by McLaren GT.

The development programme for the 650S GT3 has been run in parallel with the competitive running of 12C GT3s throughout 2014, benefiting from live track data from customer teams racing across the globe. This information, in conjunction with the extensive testing programme throughout Europe, has enabled the team to run an intensive schedule with constant improvements being made at every stage. The final activity will see the two 650S GT3s face the toughest test to date, battling against a highly competitive grid on the famous Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi.

As McLaren GT works drivers, Bell, Estre and Parente have been heavily involved with the development of the 650S GT3, and all three have competed at the highest level at the wheel of the 12C GT3. This season, Bell finished third in the Asian GT series while also claiming a hat-trick of podium finishes with the 650S Sprint on its debut at Donington Park. Estre, in his first full year racing with McLaren GT, showed strong pace in each championship he contested, claiming back-to-back podiums in the Blancpain Endurance Series, and a dominant pole position at the highlight of the German VLN endurance series, to set the fastest lap in the history of the Nürburgring 24 Hours. Parente also secured further silverware with the 12C GT3 with victory at the opening round of the Blancpain Endurance Series at Monza, followed by a hard-fought second place in Paul Ricard.

The 650S GT3 of Bell, Estre and Parente will wear the orange, white and black livery which debuted at the Goodwood Festival of Speed earlier this summer, and will run the iconic #59, made famous by the McLaren F1 GTR at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1995. The activity marks the first McLaren GT works entry since the 12C GT3 completed a similar test at the 2011 Total 24 Hours of Spa ahead of the competitive debut in the 2012 season. The second 650S GT3 will be driven by Pro-Am pairing of Peter Kox and Nico Pronk, in a livery of silver and white with striking red detailing.

McLaren 650S GT3 – Car 59
Rob Bell (GB)
Kevin Estre (FR)
Alvaro Parente (PT)

McLaren 650S GT3 – Car 60
Peter Kox (NL)
Nico Pronk (NL)

Andrew Kirkaldy, McLaren GT Managing Director, commented: “The 650S GT3 has undergone extensive development testing, and the decision to enter the Gulf 12 Hour has been taken to push it to the next level. Any endurance race is a true test of any car, team and driver, and they identify any issues or weaknesses very clearly.

“It will be a real challenge, and the grid is amongst the strongest the race has ever had, but we have two strong line-ups. Our three works drivers of Rob [Bell], Kevin [Estre] and Alvaro [Parente] have tested the 650S GT3 over thousands of kilometres, and each raced successfully in the 12C GT3 this season. They are best-placed to push the 650S GT3 to its limits, and the race environment will ensure the development programme is fully completed ahead of customer team deliveries for the 2015 season.”

McLAREN SPECIAL OPERATIONS INTRODUCES DEFINED RANGE OF OPTIONS.

  • Five tiers identify the levels of bespoke work available to from MSO as the company embraces an unprecedented period of growth
  • Differing levels of personalisation offer complete tailoring of any McLaren model through MSO Bespoke, MSO Heritage, MSO Limited and MSO Programmes
  • New Defined range to include a line of series options available on all new McLaren models


McLaren Special Operations (MSO) has announced a range of available series options for the McLaren 650S, and Asia-only 625C, under the newly established ‘MSO Defined’ division. This forms the first of five tiers of personalisation and support offered by MSO, catering for the needs of all McLaren customers, and joins MSO Bespoke, specialising in one-off models; MSO Limited, producing limited-edition series production cars; MSO Heritage, focused on the maintenance and storage of historic cars; and MSO Programmes which includes the McLaren P1™ GTR.

“There is a strong desire for drivers to personalise their cars and I’m convinced that the introduction of MSO Defined line will prove popular amongst our customers,” explains Paul Mackenzie, Executive Director of McLaren Special Operations. “Every McLaren is unique but now, with more choice than ever before, we are enabling our customers to truly express themselves through their vehicles.”

MSO DEFINED

The MSO Defined category of personalisation includes an aerodynamic kit, designed to enhance the purposeful design of the groundbreaking McLaren 650S, to subtle carbon fibre interior upgrades. The exterior styling can be modified with an addition of a carbon fibre rear diffuser and extended side door blades that premiered on the limited-edition MSO 650S earlier in the year.

Weight-saving options in the form of a full carbon fibre rear deck and mirror arms are also available, while new interior options include extended carbon fibre shift paddles and a redesigned instrument cluster with Formula 1™ inspired shift lights mounted on the instrument cluster that have been created in response to a popular demand from track day enthusiasts.

MSO BESPOKE

MSO Bespoke provides an almost limitless level of customisation to McLaren owners, including unique paint, leather and stitching colours, stand-alone upholstery and body changes to create truly bespoke vehicles.

Since launching the 650S earlier this year, 20 percent of vehicles produced at the McLaren Production Centre have included a degree of MSO Bespoke content. This number rises to approximately 95 percent for the McLaren P1™, with each one of the 375 examples being unique to its owner in some way.

The division was also responsible for the McLaren X-1, a one-off car that had to be specially designed and engineered, including on-road testing and homologation.

MSO LIMITED

The limited-run and special edition examples of the 650S and 12C produced by MSO are designed, developed and produced under ‘MSO Limited’. Models produced include the McLaren 50 12C and 12C Spider, built to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the McLaren brand in 2013 and, more recently, the MSO 650S, which debuted at the 2014 Goodwood Festival of Speed.

MSO HERITAGE

McLaren Special Operations, as it is known today, was launched at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 2011. However, a division was first set up as the McLaren Customer Care Programme in the 1990s to service, maintain and personalise the McLaren F1 for owners. This service continues at McLaren, and is now managed by the MSO Heritage team, offering an unrivalled level of knowledge and expertise on the McLaren F1, and also working with Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren models

MSO PROGRAMMES

Finally, the recently-launched MSO Programmes division encompasses the upcoming McLaren P1™ GTR Driver Programme. Each car will be built, maintained and prepared by MSO in advance of the exclusive track days held at the world’s most iconic Formula 1™ circuits.