McLaren Automotive

McLaren Automotive

McLaren Automotive (formerly known as McLaren Cars) is a British automotive manufacturer based at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, Surrey. The main products of the company are sports cars, usually produced in-house at designated production facilities. In July 2017, McLaren Automotive became a 100% owned subsidiary of the wider McLaren Group.


  • 1 History
    • 1.1 Origin and founder
    • 1.2 Merging, spinoff and growth
  • 2 Logo and branding
  • 3 Products and strategy
    • 3.1 Sports Series
    • 3.2 Super Series
      • 3.2.1 650S (Coupé & Spider)
      • 3.2.2 McLaren 675LT
      • 3.2.3 McLaren 720S
    • 3.3 Ultimate Series
      • 3.3.1 P1
      • 3.3.2 P1 GTR
      • 3.3.3 Senna
    • 3.4 Legacy
      • 3.4.1 M6GT
      • 3.4.2 McLaren F1
      • 3.4.3 12C (Coupe & Spider)
  • 4 Headquarters and facilities
  • 5 Collaborations
    • 5.1 Mercedes-Benz
      • 5.1.1 McLaren SLR (P7)
      • 5.1.2 Unreleased vehicles
  • 6 Divisions
    • 6.1 McLaren Special Operations
      • 6.1.1 MSO Defined
      • 6.1.2 MSO Bespoke
    • 6.2 MSO Limited
      • 6.2.1 MSO Heritage
      • 6.2.2 MSO Programmes
    • 6.3 McLaren GT
  • 7 References
  • 8 External links


Origin and founder[edit]

McLaren Automotive replaced McLaren Cars in 2010. McLaren Cars was founded in 1985[4] by Ron Dennis, the company which went on to release the McLaren F1 in 1992. Between 1994 and 2010, McLaren Cars was registered as a ‘dormant company’, before the founding of McLaren Automotive in 2010. The new company was originally separate from the existing McLaren companies to enable investment in the new venture, but was brought together in July 2017 after Dennis sold his shares in McLaren Automotive and McLaren Technology Group.

McLaren’s Formula One founder Bruce McLaren was born in 1937,[5] McLaren learned about cars and engineering at his parent’s service station and workshop in his hometown, Auckland, New Zealand. By 15, he had entered a local hillclimb in an Austin 7 Ulster; winning his first race in the car.[6] In 1958, McLaren arrived in United Kingdom with the ‘Driver to Europe’ scheme, intended to help Australian and New Zealand racers to compete in Europe. His mentor, Jack Brabham introduced him to Cooper Cars, a small team based in Surbiton, Surrey. Auspiciously starting to his F1 career in 1958, McLaren joined the F1 team a year later. That same year, he won the US Grand Prix at age 22, making him the youngest Grand Prix winner to that date.[7] He stayed with Cooper for a further seven years, winning three more Grands Prix and other races, driving for Jaguar and Aston Martin, winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966 with Ford.

McLaren founded Bruce McLaren Motor Racing in 1963. A year later, the company built the first McLaren race car – the M1A; 24 were produced. Its successor, the M1B, allowed McLaren into the Can-Am championship and emerged the dominant victor with 43 victories, almost three times more than rival Porsche.[8] In 1965, the first McLaren F1 car, the M2B, debuted at the Monaco Grand Prix.

After his victories and time in the F3, McLaren was designing and testing a prototype M6GT-registered OBH 500H, a light sports car with an estimated top speed of 165 mph and zero to 100 mph time of eight seconds.[9] However, McLaren died in a car accident in 1970 before the prototype could be completed.

Merging, spinoff and growth[edit]

In 1980, the company merged with Ron Dennis’ Project 4 Racing team. The merger brought back designer, John Barnard, interested in using carbon fibre composite. Carbon fibre was already used in aerospace applications but had never been applied to a complete racing car monocoque. McLaren pioneered the use of carbon fibre in motor racing with its new car, the MP4/1, bringing new levels of rigidity and driver safety to Formula 1. In August 1988, Dennis, Team Principal and Gordon Murray started to develop a new car and in 1992, the F1 was launched with a total production run of just 106 units.

Following a brief collaboration with Mercedes-Benz for the SLR McLaren, McLaren Automotive was re-launched as a standalone manufacturer in 2010, spinning off McLaren Racing. The company launched the 12C in 2011 and the Spider model in 2012. The limited-run supercar P1 went into production in 2013 and ended in 2015. After introducing a business plan to release a car or model every year, the company unveiled the 650S in Coupé and Spider models in 2014, and unveiled the new Sports Series range comprising the McLaren 570S and 540C in 2015. The company debuted a car for kids, the P1TM, after the P1, in September 2016[10] and announced the same month that they are developing a powerful battery for Formula E.[11] On October 2016, councillors were reported to be looking at a proposition for land opposite of the McLaren Technology Centre for construction[12] and announced the “Pure McLaren Arctic Experience” the same month, an event where a participant is trained to drive a 570S in the Arctic Circle.[13]

Logo and branding[edit]

The McLaren logo was designed in 2008. It was designed by Raymond Loewy and evokes a chequered flag.

In 2011, the three chevrons of the logo were replaced by just one, and the font was modernised. The logo was again re-branded in 2012 and featured a streamlined speedmark which bears similarities to the vortices created by a McLaren racing car. After the company’s move into the McLaren Technology Centre, the logo was refined and updated in 2013 with a more modern design; the now familiar speed mark was retained.

Products and strategy[edit]

McLaren launched its three-tier product structure in 2015, introducing a new naming strategy that includes range names (Sports, Super and Ultimate Series) and derivatives (LT, S and C) followed by power output in PS. The move intends to take McLaren through its next decade of growth. The entry-level Sports Series consists of the 570S Coupé, Spider, 570GT, 540C coupé and the ultimate track focused iteration, the 600LT; the Super Series, the core McLaren model range, is made up of the 675LT and 650S which are now replaced by the 720S; and the most exclusive McLaren range is the Ultimate Series, led by the McLaren P1 and P1 GTR and now by the McLaren Senna along with the upcoming Speedtail.

The LT badge worn by the 675LT and the 600LT stands for Longtail. A “Longtail” McLaren embodies the ethos of lighter weight, increased power and improved driving dynamics, just as the F1 GTR nicknamed “Longtail” was designed to do in 1997. The S suffix of the 570S and 650S stands for Sport, underlying the levels of performance and engaging driving experience. Finally, the C or Club (entry-level racing category), highlights a more accessible and less extreme model in terms of character.

Sports Series[edit]

Initially made up of the 540C Coupé and 570S Coupé,[14] the Sport Series is the newest range added to the McLaren Automotive line-up joining the existing Super Series (650S Coupé, 650S Spider, 675LT Coupé, 675LT Spider, 720S) and Ultimate Series (P1, P1 GTR and the Senna). In January 2016, the 570GT joined the line-up of the most accessible range in the brand’s three-tier model strategy. In June 2017, McLaren announced the addition of the 570S Spider. By the time the line-up was complete in 2017, the Sports Series accounted for two thirds of the total annual sales volume. In 2018, a new track focused iteration dubbed the 600LT was added to the sports series line-up.[15]

The McLaren Sports Series focuses on ultimate driver’s engagement coupled with high performance and everyday usability. All cars in this range feature carbon fibre monocoque and chassis – a trademark of McLaren road cars since the F1.

Super Series[edit]

650S (Coupé & Spider)[edit]
McLaren 650S

The McLaren 650S was launched in 2014 at the Geneva Motor Show and is available in both Coupé and Spider derivatives. Both the Coupé and Spider models feature the same 3.8-litre twin-turbo M838T V8 engine, producing 647 bhp and 500 lb-ft (678 Nm) of torque. However, because of the Spider’s higher weight (1,370 kg versus 1,330 kg of the coupé), the performance numbers are a bit different. According to the manufacturer the coupé accelerates from a standstill to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.0 seconds and 200 km/h (124 mph) in 8.4 seconds with a maximum speed of 333 km/h (207 mph). On the other hand, the Spider, again according to the manufacturer, reaches 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.0 seconds and 200 km/h (124 mph) in 8.6 seconds with a maximum speed of 329 km/h (204 mph). The 650S features a range of Formula 1 inspired technologies such as a carbon fibre MonoCell chassis, optimized powertrain, braking and suspension systems, mid-engine architecture, carbon ceramic brake discs, and active aerodynamics.

With McLaren’s design ethos of “form follows function”[16] in mind, the 650S design is inspired by the McLaren P1 which results in more downforce generated by the vehicle.

McLaren 675LT[edit]
McLaren 675LT

The McLaren 675LT was launched at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show[17] and is the first modern McLaren to wear the LT (’Longtail’) badge. It takes inspiration from the McLaren F1 GTR ‘Longtail’ that debuted during the 1997 race season. According to McLaren, ‘focus on outright performance, weight reduction, and ultimate levels of driver engagement’ define a ‘Longtail’.[18] Embodying the ‘Longtail’ ethos, McLaren have focused on reducing the weight, optimizing aerodynamics and increasing downforce to generate more performance on the track[19] just as with the original ‘Longtail’ F1 GTR.

McLaren’s aim with the 675LT was to create the most track-focused road legal model in the Super Series. To achieve this, McLaren reduced the weight by 100 kg to 1,230 kg[20] through an increased use of carbon fibre and lighter components. With a newly developed M838TL 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine, the 675LT achieves a top speed of 330 km/h, sprinting from 0–100 km/h (0-62 mph) in 2.9 seconds.[20]

The 675LT is fitted with adjustable settings for both Handling and Powertrain though the Active Dynamics Panel rotary switches. The Sport and Track settings are uniquely calibrated to the 675LT with the track experience in mind.

The car has been designed with a focus on track use and features P1-inspired carbon fibre grearshift paddles mounted on a rocker behind the steering wheel.

In December the 675LT was joined by a Spider variant. Both Coupé and Spider guises were limited to only 500 units globally.

In 2016, McLaren Special Operations (MSO) created a very limited high-performance version of the 675LT called, “HS,” or High Sport. The HS has the same 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine as the regular 675LT; however, it is tuned to generate 679 bhp and 516 lb.ft of torque. The body of the HS features more aggressive aerodynamics, including a fixed wing and canards. To save weight, a number of components were crafted using lighter materials such as carbon fiber and titanium.[21] Only 25 cars were produced, each being bespoke to the owner.

McLaren 720S[edit]
McLaren 720S

At the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, McLaren released their latest car in the Super Series lineup, the 720S. Powered by a 4.0 twin turbo V8, a much developed version of their original 3.8, its 720PS (710BHP) and 568 ft.-lb of torque propels it from 0-60 mph in 2.8 seconds, up to 124 mph in 7.8 seconds, onto a top speed of 212 mph. It retains the carbon fibre tub from the McLaren range. It weighs an approximate 1,419 kg (3,128 lbs).

The 720S is on sale and vehicles are expected to be delivered in May 2017 at an expected price of £208,600.[22]

Ultimate Series[edit]

McLaren P1

The McLaren P1 debuted in production form at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. According to McLaren their ultimate objective was to create the best driver’s car in the world on road and track.[23] The last of the limited run of 375 McLaren P1 supercars was delivered to its customer in December 2015.[24]

The McLaren P1 uses an IPAS (Instant Power Assist System) petrol-electric powertrain comprising a 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 petrol engine, coupled to a single electric motor, collectively known as M838TQ. Combined power output is 916 PS (903 hp). As important as absolute power is the electric motor provides instant torque and offers a range of 11 km (6.8 miles) in full electric mode on the NEDC cycle, which sees emissions drop to zero. In non-electric mode, the P1 returns 34.0 mpg (8.3 l/100 km) on the EU combined cycle, with CO2 emissions of 194 g/km.

Top speed is limited to 217 mph (349 km/h), with a 0–100 km/h acceleration time of 2.8 seconds. The McLaren P1 will power from rest to 200 km/h in 6.8 seconds, and on to 300 km/h in 16.5 seconds – 5.5 seconds quicker than the McLaren F1.

The McLaren P1 features a bespoke braking system developed with Akebono. The specially formulated carbon ceramic discs, coated in silicon carbide, bring the McLaren P1 to a halt from 62 mph (100 km/h) in a distance of 30.2 metres.

Two areas of Formula 1 technology evident on the McLaren P1 include IPAS (Instant Power Assist System), a development of KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) used on Formula 1 cars, and DRS (Drag Reduction System), used to give extra power and straight-line speed at the touch of a button. Similar to Formula 1 cars, the McLaren P1 is made entirely of light-weight carbon fibre.

In addition, the McLaren P1 also features adjustable ride height as part of the new hydro-pneumatic suspension. A RaceActive Chassis Control (RCC) can lower the car by 50mm in Race mode, to produce ground effect aerodynamics.

The McLaren P1 name is also inspired by Formula 1. P1 refers to ‘first place’ or ‘position one’. The name, historically, can also trace back to the McLaren F1 – initially known internally within McLaren as Project 1, or P1.

P1 GTR[edit]
McLaren P1 GTR

To celebrate 20 years since their victory in the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans, McLaren announced that they would resurrect the GTR name by launching a track-only version of the P1, the McLaren P1 GTR. The concept car made its debut at the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and the P1 GTR production model was officially unveiled at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. It is available only to existing McLaren P1 customers.

The McLaren P1 GTR has been modified from the road-going McLaren P1. The front track is 80mm wider and the car sits 50mm lower to the ground on centre-locking 19-inch motorsport alloy wheels.

The lightweight windscreen from the McLaren P1 road car has been retained, while the side windows of the P1 GTR are motorsport-specification polycarbonate with a sliding ‘ticket window’ on the driver’s side. The chemically toughened glass panel in the roof has been replaced with carbon fibre to give the cabin a more enclosed, cocooned environment, as has the engine bay cover. The weight saving measures on the McLaren P1 GTR combine to strip out 50 kg over the road-going model.

Significant updates and modifications to the IPAS powertrain have also been made with significant focus on track performance. The McLaren P1 GTR integrates a 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 petrol engine with an enhanced lightweight electric motor. Combined, they generate 1,000PS (986 hp); 800PS (789 hp) is produced by the petrol engine, and 200PS (197 hp) available from the electric motor.

McLaren P1 GTR owners have an opportunity to become a member of the McLaren P1 GTR Programme. The programme offers full access to the know-how and resources available at McLaren and is designed to hone and optimize driving skills. It offers drivers insight into the steps McLaren race drivers take after signing for the team and teaching them how to get the best of themselves and the car.

McLaren Senna

The latest addition to The Ultimate Series by McLaren is named after the late Brazilian driver and three times Formula 1 world champion, Ayrton Senna. McLaren and the Instituto Ayrton Senna made an agreement that granted McLaren the rights to the Senna family name. The organization and McLaren made the name exclusive to the car only thus, no other company can use the name at all.

The main focus for the McLaren Senna is quick lap times, as noted by its aerodynamic and lightweight design.[25]

The Senna is largely based on the 720S, using modified versions of its carbon fibre monocoque and twin-turbocharged engine. The Senna is powered by a modified version of the 720S’ 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine dubbed the M840TR, with a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission that drives all 789 hp (588 kW; 800 PS) and 590 lb⋅ft (800 N⋅m) to the rear wheels and the rear wing made 800 kg of downforce which 200 kg more than P1.[26][27] Unlike the previous iteration, the Senna does not use an electric motor, as the car already weighs very little, at 1,198 kg (2,641 lb), allowing for a power-to-weight ratio of 658 hp (491 kW; 667 PS) per ton.[26] This allows for a 0–62 mph (0–100 km/h) time of 2.8 seconds and a top speed of 211 mph (340 km/h). Only 500 units will be produced, with all of them already sold out.


McLaren M6GT

The McLaren M6GT project started when Bruce McLaren decided to enter Le Mans endurance racing in the late 1960s. The plan was to take an M6 Can-Am car and develop a coupe body that would be competitive in long distance racing. Regulations at the time required that a minimum of fifty cars be manufactured. However, homologation problems led to the project being abandoned.

Having always harbored an ambition to build his own road car, Bruce McLaren wanted to turn the project into the ultimate road car. He wanted to build the fastest and quickest accelerating car in the world, using expertise developed on the racetrack to create the definitive road-going sports car. In early 1970, McLaren began work on the GT to use it on the road to find out what problems the design would have to overcome.

Together with chief designer Gordon Coppuck, McLaren planned to refine the prototype, eventually aiming to produce up to 250 cars per year. Only two M6 GTs were ever built — the original prototype and a second built by a coach-building company called Trojan. The original prototype became Bruce’s personal transportation, and remained so until his death at Goodwood 1970.

McLaren F1[edit]
Standard McLaren F1 with all user accessible compartments opened.

In 1988, McLaren took the decision to expand from Formula One and design and build what it described as “the finest sports car the world has ever seen”.[28] In March 1990 the team that was to create the F1 came together for the first time and three years later, in December 1993 the first production car was born. Even by today’s standards, the McLaren F1 road car is considered by many to be one of the greatest road cars of all time.[29]

McLaren F1 was the world’s first carbon fibre road car featuring the Formula 1 inspired monocoque weighing only 100 kilograms.[30] The car also defined the McLaren road car DNA: low weight, clever packaging, superb quality and innovative design, resulting in an outstanding driving experience.[31] The revolutionary central driving position was designed for visibility and no compromise on control positions for the driver.

The F1 was launched in 1994, and over the course of the next four years 64 F1, 5 F1 LM and 3 F1 GT road cars were produced, together with 28 F1 GTR race cars. Six additional prototypes were also manufactured.

In 1994, after pressure from owners, McLaren developed a racing version of the F1 road car to run in the FIA GT1 category in the 1995 season. Despite a design and development period of just 3 months, the F1 GTR won the 1995 GT1 Championship, and the 24 Hours of Le Mans on its debut where it finished in 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 13th places. The F1 GTR secured for McLaren a unique position in motor racing history, as the only manufacturer to win all of the Formula 1 World Championship, the Indianapolis 500 and the Le Mans 24 Hours.

Production of the McLaren F1 ended in 1998. In August 2015, Sotheby’s auctioned off a 1998 McLaren F1 for a reported £9 million, underlining the F1’s status as one of the great motoring icons.[32]

12C (Coupe & Spider)[edit]
McLaren 12C

Formally known as the McLaren MP4-12C, the McLaren 12C was the first production car wholly designed and built by McLaren since the McLaren F1. Launched in 2011, nearly two years since the car’s final design by Design Director Frank Stephenson was unveiled in September 2009, the 12C features a carbon fibre MonoCell chassis.

A convertible version of the car, the MP4-12C Spider was later renamed the McLaren 12C Spider in 2012. The 75 kg ‘MonoCell’ required no additional strengthening for the Spider model. The result is a sports car almost identical to its fixed roof equivalent in performance terms, and weighing only 40 kg more with the addition of a convertible roof system.

With the roof raised, the area under the tonneau can be used for storing more luggage and provides 52 litres of additional storage space.

Headquarters and facilities[edit]

The McLaren Technology Centre officially opened in 2004. and a McLaren Production Centre was founded in 2011. The two facilities are connected by a subterranean walkway with the MPC was built partially underground to minimise its presence. Designed by Lord Norman Foster, the MTC is an embodiment of the company’s design and engineering expertise.

Situated on more than a hundred acres, the MTC curves around an artificial lake that helps cool the building and adjoining wind tunnel that is used for testing aerodynamic parts and set-ups. Facilities include design studios, laboratories and testing and production facilities for both McLaren Racing and Automotive,[33] a cafeteria, a fitness centre and swimming pool.

The McLaren Technology Centre Boulevard also houses over 50 years of McLaren cars, starting 1929 Austin 7 Ulster in which McLaren won his first race in 1954. MTC is also home to over 500 McLaren Racing Trophies, majority of which come from podium place finishes in F1 with the remaining consisting of a mix of Indycar, Can-Am and off-track awards.[34]

In 2017 McLaren Automotive announced the opening of a £50m McLaren composites technology centre at the Advanced Manufacturing Park between Sheffield & Rotherham. The facility will build carbon-fibre chassis for future McLaren road cars. The facility aims to give McLaren greater control over the manufacture of the composite tubs, providing an opportunity to increase the pace of the design & development of the tubs. Full production will begin at the AMP by 2020.



McLaren SLR (P7)[edit]
Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren

In 1999, McLaren agreed to design and manufacture the SLR in conjunction with Mercedes-Benz. DaimlerChrysler was the engine supplier to McLaren Racing through its Mercedes-Benz division. The final stages of production of the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren took place at a designated assembly facility at the McLaren Technology Centre.

The SLR featured a 5.5 litre supercharged V8 engine that produced 626 bhp (467 kW; 635 PS). It can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph (0–97 km/h) in 3.8 seconds and 0 to 100 mph (0–161 km/h) in 6.3 seconds.

In 2006, the Mercedes-Benz McLaren SLR 722 Edition was announced. The “722 Edition” produced 650 bhp (480 kW; 660 PS), with a top speed of 340 kilometres per hour (210 mph) (6 km/h more than the standard SLR). A new suspension is used with 19-inch (480 mm) light-alloy wheels, a stiffer damper configuration and 0.4 inches (10 mm) lower body.

In 2007, the Mercedes-Benz McLaren SLR Convertible was announced, which has been available from late 2007. The car uses the same supercharged 5.5 litre V8 that is in the coupé.

A limited edition called the SLR Stirling Moss was introduced. The car was the final SLR produced and a tribute to Stirling Moss. Beneath the scissor-doors is a plaque with Moss’ signature on it.

Unreleased vehicles[edit]

The partnership between Mercedes-Benz and McLaren resulted in three further cars being proposed. The P9 was to be a mid-engined baby supercar with a less expensive model, the P8 or “SLS”, competing with cars such as the Ferrari F430, the Bentley Continental GT and the Aston Martin DB9. Both cars were to be powered by naturally aspirated V8 engines. The P10 would have been an SLR replacement.

All three cars were aborted in 2005, with Mercedes rumoured to have considered the projects simply too costly to turn into a solid business case, although Mercedes’ AMG subsidiary produced a flagship sports car called the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. The car had a naturally aspirated V8 with over 570 bhp (430 kW; 580 PS); however, it’s not thought to be related to the P8 project.


McLaren Special Operations[edit]

Despite being officially launched at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 2011 to provide a bespoke personalisation service for McLaren customers, McLaren Special Operations’ (MSO) origins date back over 20 years, as the division grew out of the McLaren Customer Care Programme that was set up in the early 1990s to service, maintain and personalise the McLaren F1 for owners.

Today MSO offers five tiers that identify the levels of bespoke work available. Through MSO Defined, MSO Bespoke, MSO Limited, MSO Heritage and MSO Programmes, McLaren Special Operations offers a complete tailoring of any McLaren model.

MSO Defined[edit]

MSO Defined forms the first of the five tiers of personalisation offered by MSO. This tier’s offerings include numerous factory-fit options such as a weight-saving carbon fibre rear deck lid, carbon fibre rear diffuser and extended side door blades for the Sports Series and Super Series.

MSO Bespoke[edit]

Within MSO Bespoke[35] McLaren Special Operations allow their customers to modify their vehicles based on their personal preferences with nearly limitless scope for personalization. Examples include unique exterior paints, personalized interiors or one-off vehicles designed and engineered based on specific customer requirements.

Since the launch of the 650S, around 20 per cent of vehicles built at the McLaren Production Centre have featured MSO Bespoke content. Approximately 95 per cent of all McLaren P1 hypercars have been personalised through the MSO Bespoke service

MSO Limited[edit]

MSO Limited develops and produces limited-run and special edition McLaren vehicles. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of McLaren in 2013, MSO produced a commemorative model: the McLaren 50 12C. It was strictly limited to just 100 examples, split equally between the 12C and 12C Spider. Each featured increased levels of downforce, upgraded carbon ceramic brakes, unique lightweight wheels and an anniversary dedication plate.

In 2014, McLaren Special Operations confirmed it would build 50 bespoke examples of the MSO 650S. Available in Coupe or Spider body styles, the team at MSO worked closely with McLaren Automotive Design Director, Frank Stephenson to enhance the visual appeal and performance attributes of the 650S.

MSO celebrated the 20th anniversary of McLaren’s victory at the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans with a limited edition 650S. The 650S Le Mans, designed by MSO in consultation with Peter Stevens, the designer of the McLaren F1, is inspired by the race-winning #59 McLaren F1 GTR. Wearing a McLaren Orange ‘Le Mans’ logo, the coupé only model was limited to 50 globally and deliveries commenced in late 2015.[36]

In honour of the 50th anniversary of the inaugural Can-Am racing season, MSO has designed and created a limited production 650S Can-Am. All based on the 650S Spider, the commemorative model will be available in three colours, Mars Red (inspired by the M1B raced by Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon in the debut season)Papaya Spark (a modern take on the Can-Am racing McLaren Orange) and Onyx Black(similar to the base colour used by many of McLaren customer teams). Production will be limited to 50 examples globally, and deliveries are scheduled to commence early 2016.[37]

MSO Heritage[edit]

McLaren Special Operations grew out of McLaren’s Customer Care programme, originally created to maintain and personalize the McLaren F1 for owners. Today those duties continue at McLaren through MSO Heritage, which offers vast amount of knowledge and expertise related to heritage McLaren vehicles.

MSO Programmes[edit]

McLaren Special Operations are also responsible for managing the McLaren P1 GTR Programme including assembly and preparation of participating vehicles and organization of track events

McLaren GT[edit]

McLaren GT is the GT race car manufacturing arm of McLaren Automotive, established in 2011 to develop, build and support all McLaren track and GT race activities. Based in Woking, Surrey, the company is currently responsible for the design, development and production of the 650S GT3, 650S GT Sprint.

The first car developed by McLaren GT was the 12C GT3,[38] which was launched in 2011, and following a development year, 25 examples were delivered to customers for racing throughout Europe in 2012. The debut season saw 13 McLaren GT customer teams visit 14 countries and between them, the teams claimed a total of 19 race victories in the FIA GT1 World Championship, Blancpain Endurance Series, Barcelona 24hours, British GT, City Challenge Baku, FFSA French GT and GT Cup.[39]

A total of 19 McLaren GT customer teams contested the 2013 season, entering 108 races across 15 championships globally. In total, the teams claimed 27 pole positions, 23 victories, a further 39 podium finishes and three championship titles.

Following the successful 2013 season, McLaren GT expanded its customer support with the competitive debut for the 12C GT3 car in the Pirelli World Challenge championship in North America.

Around 15 examples of the 650S GT3 made race debuts during the 2015 race season, claiming a number of victories. Most notably the McLaren GT customer racing team Von Ryan Racing took victory at the Blancpain Endurance Series at Silverstone, marking the first win in the Blancpain Endurance Series for the 650S GT3 in its debut competitive season.[40]

The 650S GT3 was the dominant GT car in 2016. In February, Australian team Tekno Autosports won the 2016 Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour at the Mount Panorama Circuit in Australia with drivers Álvaro Parente, Shane van Gisbergen and Jonathon Webb.[41] In the 2016 Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup, British team Garage 59 won the 3 Hours of Monza and the 1000 km on their way to the title with their team of van Gisbergen, Rob Bell and Côme Ledogar.[42]


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    • McLaren Automotive official website
    • McLaren Performance Technologies official website
    • How It Works magazine article


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