McLaren Automotive is readying a family of sports cars to sell alongside its hardcore P11 supercar – including a bargain-basement, £60,000 sports car.
We’re following developments at McLaren’s Woking HQ with interest and – weeks after we published world-exclusive pictures of the P11 styling buck (above) – today we can reveal that McLaren is readying three separate model ranges.
McLaren: a flood of supercars
McLaren Automotive, the car-building arm of the McLaren Group, is plotting a three-tier range of sports cars, CAR understands. Under the McLaren Development Plan, Ron Dennis and the other directors plan to expand the manufacturing base dramatically.
Today, the Woking HQ produces just dozens of cars a year, but the collaboration with Mercedes-Benz to build the SLR will come to an end in 2009 when the final SLR Speedster is built.
That’s where the P11 supercar comes in. Click here for our amazing full story on the Ferrari 430 Scuderia challenger, including undoctored photos of the styling buck. But that's merely the tip of the iceberg...
The new £60,000 McLaren sports car
What of the other two McLarens being readied for launch? One is understood to be another Ferrari rival (perhaps a more GT-inspired model) while the big news is the planned £60k sports car – and we've corroborated the details of the top-secret business plan from two separate sources. Click 'Next' to read the full story.
>> Click ‘Next’ to read more about the secret new McLarens
A £60k McLaren? They can’t be serious!
If McLaren can make the business case work, it will pitch the ‘affordable’ coupe into Porsche 911 territory – amazingly mainstream for a company that built the original £600k F1 and is used to mega-bucks budgets in the stratified world of Formula 1.
At that price point, they’d certainly have to do without the composite materials that will help make the P11 a devastatingly fast supercar. Expect instead more reliance on conventional steels and aluminium.
Will Mercedes, as expected, remain the engine supplier of choice? We’re not sure yet, but it seems likely since Merc holds a 40% stake in the McLaren Group.
McLaren Automotive: the new management team
News that McLaren is planning a whole family of cars makes sense of recent appointments. Frank Stephenson – of Mini and Fiat 500 design fame – was recently appointed design director and Mazda UK managing director Rob Lindley quit the Japanese importer to become international sales and marketing director at McLaren.
Big names such as these are hardly likely to jump from big established companies to a low-volume British specialist for a single-car project, such as the P11.
CAR’s view? McLaren is recruiting big hitters with the nous to transform the company from a minor player into a serious contender in the global sports car market.
Needless to say, a McLaren spokeswoman refused to comment on the new-model strategy. Stay tuned for the full story as it emerges in the coming months.
>> Are you more excited by the news of a £60k McLaren than the P11? Click ‘Add your comment’ and sound off