Tag Archives: Mclaren

Richard Mille X McLaren: The RM 11-03 McLaren Automatic Flyback Chronograph

The RM 11-03 McLaren Automatic Flyback Chronograph Wristwatch | Image courtesy of Richard Mille x McLaren

McLaren and Richard Miller announced their first wristwatch at the Geneva International Motor Show (on-going till March 18). Only 500 limited edition of the “RM 11-03 McLaren Automatic Flyback Chronograph” watches were produced.

The Swiss watch brand and the British automaker have joined forces to commission the “RM 11-03 McLaren Automatic Flyback Chronograph” and will be a priority purchase for owners of these McLaren ultimate series supercars: McLaren P1, McLaren P1 GTR and the McLaren Senna.

Richard Mille X McLaren Designed Sleek & Sporty Wristwatch

McLaren Automotive’s creations aim to incorporate a maximum of Formula 1 technologies and developments in their racing and ‘touring’ cars, from which to extract innovations that can be adapted across the collections.

The “RM 11-03 McLaren Automatic Flyback Chronograph wristwatch” is based on the characteristics and design from the world of McLaren, particularly, from its 720S supercar.

“The idea was to take on a real technical challenge, and come up with something other than a mere dial with an inscription, for example,” said Fabrice Namura.

Designed by Rob Melville, “I find the 720S mesmerising beautiful, and we wanted to give the RM 11-03 McLaren curves that were similarly both aesthetic and functional,” enthused Namura.

The RM 11-03 McLaren Automatic Flyback Chronograph

On the side displays the watch’s titanium buttons (pictured above), the crown and the bezel’s inserts. The first evokes the headlights of the British high-performance car; the second is crown made of titanium that is shaped like a wheel and the third; features McLaren logo on the bezel.

Other notable specs include a Carbone TPT and orange Quartz TPT case are exclusive material with a unique appearance in-line  with the British car maker’s signature colour. The sapphire dial has an anti-glare finish and features three counters, an oversized date window and a month display window.

Skeletonised automatic winding movement with adjustable rotor geometry

The watch uses the RMAC3 caliber, an automatic skeleton movement with hours, minutes, seconds, flyback chronograph, 60-minute countdown counter, 12-hour chronograph and a variable geometry rotor, and it has a power reserve of 55 hours.

For information about McLaren, please visit www.mclaren.com and Richard Miller at www.richardmille.com.

Mecum Auction Returns in February with 600 Classic Cars

Auto enthusiasts to last week’s Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona viewed some of the most amazing classic cars and favourites of all times that came in unusual shapes, sizes, prices and vintages. For those who’ve missed the January’s auction, here’s your chance to attend another one coming up in February 16-17 by Mecum Auctions at the Fairplex in Pomona, California, which will see some 600 vehicles, comprising of American classics, muscle cars, exotics, hot rods, resto mods and more going on sale.

The Los Angeles 2018 auction will see the two amazing car brands that have made motorsport history: the 2018 Bugatti Chiron and 2015 McLaren 650S Spider available to the highest bidder.

The 2018 Bugatti Chiron that’s named after the racing legend Louis Chiron is one of just 70 examples produced this year, and  look out for Ferrari, an Elite Pearl White example that’s accentuated by a raft of performance and cosmetic upgrades, which will join the Bugatti in the sports cars line up for sale.

Other highlights include Donald O. Preston Collection of 10 vehicles (sold at no reserve), a four-speed 1959 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible, and a twice-restored 1962 Chevrolet Impala Super Sport Hardtop with its original dual-quad 409/409 horsepower engine with an Isky camshaft.

Meantime, the two highlights – 2018 Bugatti Chiron and 2015 McLaren 650S Spider – will just continue to make headlines to attract the right amount of intention.

As the company prides itself on being an “every-man’s auction company,” the Mecum Los Angeles 2018 is open to buyers, sellers and spectators, offering the widest selection of vehicles and budgets possible, ranging from entry-level right up to museum-grade.

Visit the Mecum Auction site for more information and view the cars available for bidding online.

McLaren Adds Sport Pack and Design Editions for 570GT

Renowned British automaker is enhancing the Sport Series with the addition of a new Sport Pack and Design Editions for the 570GT. McLaren drivers can look forward to the array of specification options and new features for its Coupé and GT models upgrades so as to be more inline with the 2017 570S Spider. The vital components offered for the Sports Series models will enhance driver’s experience on-the-road, especially on a longer journey, daily journeys or short weekend getaways.

McLaren Adds Sport Pack and Design Editions for 570GT

Placing emphasis on 570GT, the model features carbon-ceramic brake discs and the newly introduced Sport Pack, which lets buyers specify a 570GT with the same dynamic settings as the 570S Coupé and Spider. While the Design Editions feature five new packs, bringing together popular exterior colours with the By McLaren luxury design interior, all at a significantly lower financial outlay than if specifying them separately.

The 570GT Model: Interior and Exterior Detailing

Designed for drivers who want an ultimate high-performance sports car yet not compromising on the luxe touches to both its interior and exterior, the 570GT model has a lowered suspension spring rate stiffness and a two per cent reduction in steering ratio for improved stability at greater speeds. Made with a carbon-fibre chassis, lightweight aluminum body and a twin-turbocharged 3.8-litre V8 engine, will contribute to an outstanding power-to-weight ratio of the 570GT model.

The interior of the 570GT features a ‘floating’ centre console, seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system and elegant trimmed leather seats. The new Design Editions are: Silica White exterior with Saddle Tan and Carbon Black interior, Pacific Blue with Jet Black and Areia, Blade Silver with Natural Tan and Carbon Black, Fire Black with Jet Black and Areia, and Storm Grey with Jet Black and Almond White.

With a modest investment in the Sport Pack for the 570GT, which include the steering rack, damper actuators and uprights as well as an added Pirelli P-Zero Corsa tires as part of the Sport Pack, the vital components will provide McLaren drivers the ultimate driving experience the same as the 570S Coupé and Spider.

For more information on McLaren Sports Series, please visit the official website here.

McLaren 570S Spider convertible unveiled before Goodwood Festival of Speed 2017

Chopping the top off a modern car robs it of structural rigidity — the stiffness that allows it to go into corners at speed and that protects occupants in an accident. Plus the addition of a fabric or metal folding roof and its raising and lowering mechanism then adds extra weight to the car so it’s slower in a straight line too.

However, with the 570S Spider, unveiled Wednesday ahead of its first official public appearance at the Goodwood Festival of Speed on June 29, McLaren claims that its managed to build a convertible that’s as good as the coupé. “This is a convertible without compromise,” said company CEO, Mike Flewitt. “Its mid-engined layout and carbon fiber MonoCell II chassis guarantee the same thrilling dynamic performance and exceptional driver involvement enjoyed in a 570S Coupé.”

So, the car can accelerate from 0-100km/h in 3.2 seconds (just like the coupé) and on to a top speed of 204mph (328km/h). In fact, in terms of performance data, the only time the Spider will fall behind the coupé is when racing with the roof down. Then the top speed is capped at 196mph (315km/h).

To ensure cornering and stopping is also on par with the coupé, McLaren has given the car a rear wing that stands 12mm taller to make up for the aerodynamic shortfall created when the roof is down.

And even though the car has 562bhp on tap, thanks to its phenomenal electronic suspension setup plus the company’s brake steer technology that can stop the inside wheel from turning when cornering for added grip and stability, it’s potentially an everyday driver.

A semi-practical supercar would bring the McLaren into the same category as the Porsche 911 Turbo cabriolet and in that respect, if judged on performance figures, power-to-weight ratio and cost, the McLaren will come up trumps. The company has issued a guide price, in pounds sterling of £164,750 ($211,000) before optional extras or bespoke treatments.

“The McLaren 570S Spider is the most attainable McLaren Spider to date and adds yet another dimension to the McLaren Sports Series family,” said Flewitt.

New luxury car launches: McLaren announces the delivery of BP23 in 2019

McLaren reveals further details of bespoke 'Hyper-GT' car | © McLaren Automotive

McLaren reveals further details of bespoke ‘Hyper-GT’ car | © McLaren Automotive

British supercar company McLaren has started work on what it describes as the “most powerful and aerodynamic” road-going car in its history.

Imbued with Formula 1-developed technology, the new car, codenamed the BP23, isn’t due to be delivered to any of its 106 future owners until early 2019. However, two years is far too long for most hypercar fans to wait so the company has been sharing some carefully selected details about what to expect when it officially breaks cover.

The first is that it will have a one-plus-two seating layout, just like that found in the company’s first road car, the McLaren F1. Launched in 1992, it was the world’s fastest production car until the Bugatti Veyron came along.

McLaren has been quick to point out that the new car isn’t a 21st century take on the original F1, though it will pay homage to it in some aesthetic respects, such as its planned production run (106 units).

“BP23 will borrow the three seat layout with the central driving position made famous by the iconic McLaren F1, and it will be housed in a streamlined, shrink-wrapped carbon fibre body of great elegance,” said McLaren Automotive CEO Mike Flewitt.

This body will cover a four-litre twin turbo V8 engine working in concert with a hybrid system, so a similar powertrain set up to that found in the company’s last hypercar, the P1 built between 2013 and 2015.

Still, the company promises that in the new car, the system will set a new benchmark beyond the combined 903bhp offered by the P1 and, more importantly, will serve up this power in a road-centred rather than track-focused way.

“A hybrid powertrain will make it one of the most powerful McLarens yet created,” said Flewitt. “But the car will also deliver the highest levels of refinement, enabling significant journeys to be undertaken with up to three people aboard.”

And this is where the new car will seriously differ from every McLaren that has gone before, and in doing so potentially risk, or welcome, comparisons between it and the Bugatti Chiron.

“We are calling BP23 a ‘Hyper-GT’ because it’s a car designed for longer journeys, but with the high levels of performance and driver engagement expected of any McLaren,” continued Flewitt.

And even though each of the 106 multi-million-pound cars has already been sold, the BP23 will be good news for all McLaren customers as its hybrid tech will be filtering down to the entire range over the coming years. By 2021, all series production cars built by the company will be hybrid and the BP23 will be serving as a very exclusive test bed.

Classic car collectors in 2017 favour modern Porsches and McLarens at Amelia Island

A 1964 Porsche 901 Cabriolet Prototype surrounded by other Porsches | © Christopher Head

A 1964 Porsche 901 Cabriolet Prototype surrounded by other Porsches at the RM Sotheby’s Paris 2017 sale at Place Vauban in February this year. | © Christopher Head

At Amelia Island, concours-condition collectible cars were paraded and auction prices for modern classic cars were further adjusted. Collectors showed that they could well be falling out of love with 1960s Ferraris in favour of modern Porsches and even McLarens.

RM Sotheby’s auction of 150 lots ranging from vintage Bugattis to modern Bentleys generated $70.9 million in sales.

“Not only was it our best ever Amelia Island performance, but the highest tally in Amelia Island auction history,” said Gord Duff, Auction Manager, RM Sotheby’s. “The calibre of entries our team secured for this year’s event was second-to-none.” The star of its show was a 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Cabriolet that went under the hammer for $7.7 million.

And, even though some 19 cars in total managed to attract winning bids in excess of $1 million, a host of vehicles that were expected to send the room into a frenzy failed to meet their estimate, including two Ferraris a 1961 250GT SWB ($9-$10million) and a 1950 166 MM Barchetta by Touring (pre-sale estimate of $8-$10 million).

All of which suggests that interest in the bluest of blue-chip Ferraris is on the wane, or at least that everyone with the interest and money to invest in such a machine already has one in his or her collection. As a result premium collectors are looking to other Italian marques mid-1960s Alfa Romeos, Lancias and Maseratis all performed well at all Amelia Island auctions this year — or they’re looking to ‘modern classics’ or essentially new cars with extremely limited production runs.

For example, a 1995 Ferrari F50 once owned by boxer Mike Tyson secured a $2.64 million winning bid making it the second most expensive car sold by RM Sotheby’s; and a 2012 Bugatti Veyron fetched $1.65 million and a 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 3.0 went for $1.375 million.

At the Gooding & Co Ameila island auction, a 2012 McLaren P1 fetched a never-before achieved $2.392 million but the cars in the biggest demand were of the Porsche variety.

A row of Porsches at the RM Sotheby's Paris 2017 sale at Place Vauban in February this year. | © Christopher Head

A row of Porsches at the RM Sotheby’s Paris 2017 sale at Place Vauban in February this year. | © Christopher Head

The star of its sale of more than $30 million was a 1998 Porsche 911 GT1 Strassenversion which went for a phenomenal $5.665 million.

“We achieved strong results for a number of exceptional cars, especially from the Porsche marque, exemplified by the world record price achieved for the GT1 Strassenversion,” said Gooding & Company president David Gooding. “In spite of the 13 world record prices set, we are definitely seeing a market shift, which is healthy for the marketplace as a whole.”

The sale also set new records for the 964-generation Porsche 911 with a Turbo S Leichtbau ($1.54 million),  the 2011 997 GT3 RS 4.0 ($748,000), and the 2011 Porsche 997 GT2 RS ($561,000).

And while the trend for Porsches seems to be getting into full swing, attention is also shifting to other marques with a track connection. There is a surge of interest in late 1940s to mid-1960s Aston Martins, the Jaguar E-Type is continuing to get strong prices and the Amelia Island auctions also set a record for Mazda. A 1989 Mazda 767B that raced at Le Mans fetched $1.75 million.

The next major classic car auction will be on the banks of Lake Como during the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este on May 27 before the season reaches its zenith with Monterey motoring week and the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance this August.

New supercar models in 2017: The McLaren 720S boasts new look and more power at Geneva Motor Show

The new Super Series car (the term the company uses to refer to vehicles that sit below its hypercars but above its super sports cars) has an entirely new, more menacing appearance and a much more potent V8 under the layers of carbon fiber.

It has been opened up to 4- from 3.5 liters and in doing so the car now offers a maximum output of 710bhp (or 720PS, hence its name) alongside a 0-100km/h time of 2.9 seconds.

“Power, torque and throttle response are all significantly enhanced compared to the first-generation Super Series, yet with fuel efficiency and emissions also notably improved,” said McLaren Super Series Vehicle Line Director, Haydn Baker of the new engine.

Top speed is 212mph (341km/h), and on the way to that figure, it will hit 200km/h in 7.8 seconds and 300km/h in 21.4 seconds.

“Super Series is the core of the McLaren business and personifies the blend of extreme performance, crafted luxury and unparalleled driver involvement that is the McLaren heartland. This is the first time we have replaced a product family and the new 720S is absolutely true to McLaren’s pioneering spirit in being a revolutionary leap forwards, both for our brand and the supercar segment,” said Mike Flewitt, Chief Executive Officer, McLaren Automotive.

A new engine and a new look are just the start of the changes. The new carbon fiber chassis is stronger and roomier so that the car offers driver and passenger more comfort on longer journeys. The upward swinging dihedral doors are bigger and also form part of the roof so that getting in and out of the car should be hassle free too as there’s no head height restriction.

The car is also the first to feature the next generation of McLaren’s amazing digital suspension and chassis system — Proactive Chassis Control II. It can actively adjust the ride to suit track, race or comfort and even uses acclerometers (like in a smartphone) on each wheel to measure tire contact with the road and adjust damping rate to suit.

“Proactive Chassis Control II generates a significant amount of additional grip, but not at the expense of the balance and feel of the car,” said Mark Vinnels, Executive Director – Product Development, at McLaren Automotive. “The depth and breadth of handling precision and ride comfort in combination with the peerless level of driver involvement in the second-generation McLaren Super Series is simply extraordinary.”

Inside, the cabin’s instrumentation adapts to suit the driver’s mood. A pop-up driver display can show everything from navigation to fuel economy and what’s playing through the speakers, or it can fold down in full track mode to show speed, revs and gear selected.

This piece of high-tech kit sits well among the hand-machined aluminum switches and highest quality leather trim that dress the cabin and go some way to supporting the company’s claim that the 720S is “The most complete supercar on sale today.”

McLaren Automotive announces second-generation Super Series with a teaser image of its all-new carbon fiber monocage structure (Photo credit: McLaren Automotive)

McLaren 650S update: New replacement supercar to be revealed in March 2017

Due to the resources needed to design, develop and build limited production, super exclusive and super-fast cars, they tend to stay in production for between five and ten years before being replaced. However, due to the intense completion in the dream car market, McLaren isn’t waiting around for its current range of Super Series Cars — the S650, S650 Spider and 675 LT — to start feeling long in the tooth. Despite only launching the first model in the series in 2014, McLaren is getting ready to unveil the 650S’s replacement at the Geneva Motor Show this March.

“Super Series is the core of the McLaren business and personifies the blend of extreme performance, crafted luxury and unparalleled driver involvement that is the McLaren heartland,” explained McLaren Automotive CEO, Mike Flewitt. “This is the first time we have replaced a product family and the new Super Series will be absolutely true to McLaren’s pioneering spirit in being a revolutionary leap forwards, both for our brand and the supercar segment.”

And in order to better the current line-up it will have to be a huge leap. The 650S can rocket from 0-100km/h in 3.0 seconds, from 0-200km/h in 8.6 seconds and on to a top speed of 204mph (329km/h). Its twin-turbo 3.8-liter V8 serves up 641bhp (or 650PS, hence its name) and there’s a huge amount of torque (678Nm) available across the rev band. Expect that engine block to remain for the new model but for its output to be increased dramatically (the same 3.8-liter engine in a very different state of tune also powers the company’s P1 hypercar).

As one would expect, McLaren won’t say how much tuning is being done until it reveals the car in the flesh. However, it has confirmed that thanks to a new carbon fiber monocage structure, the new car will be stronger and more ridged but at least 18kg lighter than the existing model.

This structure will also enable the company to make the cabin bigger, even more comfortable and easier to live with on a daily basis as the door openings can be larger and wider like those found on the company’s iconic F1.

McLaren 570S Gets Back on Track

McLaren 570S Gets Back on Track

British supercar maker McLaren has announced a new £16,500 (equivalent to about $20,600) package of enhancements for the McLaren 570S, which will boost its on-circuit performance without diluting its everyday on-road capabilities.

The idea is simple. Why have a sportscar as a daily driver and another more focused car for track days and occasional racing when you can have one vehicle that offers the best of both worlds?

For a 12% premium on the standard McLaren 570S ticket price, owners can now get a set of enhancements that have been lifted from McLaren’s flagship P1 and 675LT models, including lightweight dashboard and carbon fiber seats, plus equally lightweight alloy wheels which shave an impressive 25kg off the standard car’s weight.

The Track Pack also brings better aerodynamics and much more downforce thanks to an extended rear wing, the effects of which will become obvious once the car hits the 150mph mark.

The final touch is the full telemetry pack so that drivers can get real-time lap and performance data in the cabin and of course store information about previous track days, while comparing results to those of other drivers around the same circuit.

The Track pack became available to specify from Tuesday, November 29 and the first cars with the extras will be delivered in early 2017.

McLaren Tweaks 570S for Design Edition

McLaren Tweaks 570S for Design Edition

British supercar firm McLaren has a winner on its hands with the McLaren 570s, probably the most accessible supercar in the world, but this latest Design Edition attempts to roll back that accessibility a bit.

The standard McLaren 570S ticks nearly every box on the dream car checklist. It is constructed from carbon fiber. Its engine’s in the middle, and it boasts eight cylinders in a V-formation. And crucially it can go from 0-100km/h in under four seconds and on to over 200mph.

However, by McLaren’s own standards, at least, it is mass-produced – several hundred a year – so it falls down in terms of rarity.

To combat this shortcoming and to publicize its growing customization capabilities, McLaren revealed a new range of five ‘Design Editions’ – so called because their exterior and interior features have been put together by the very team that designed the 570S itself.

Design Edition 1, the first car for which complete specifications have been announced, will come with a special Vermillion red exterior paint finish and will sit on diamond-cut-finished five-spoke alloy wheels that envelop red brake calipers.

McLaren Tweaks 570S for Design Edition

Inside the seats are dressed in carbon black Alcantara and Apex Red Nappa leather while the dashboard is wrapped in a combination of Jet Black and Apex Red Nappa leather with grey contrast stitching.

But, as the company is quick to point out, even a special edition can simply serve as the foundation for greater personalization, and clients will be free to add extra equipment or further external carbon fiber elements to any Design Edition model.

And for those that think red is a bit too strong a color, the other Design Editions models will offer Onyx Black, Storm Grey, Ventura Orange, or Silica White as their exterior finish.

And when it comes to optional extras such as contrast stitching, body color calipers or special paint finishes for a supercar, while, for example, a coat of McLaren Mantis Green exterior paint usually adds an extra £3420 to the standard 570S asking price of £143,250 ($177,000), even with the comparatively large list of extras that come on the Design Edition, the new models will only cost an extra £8,500 ($10,500).

So now the 570S is more exclusive yet even more affordable.

200 mph Club: McLaren 570S, Aston Martin V12 Vantage S

The supercar market seems to be growing larger and larger every year, with new brands launching and well known marques drawing more horsepower out of ever evolving models. If you’ve got the money to spend on a supercar there’s only a few places you’d look. We’ve lined up the latest must-own supercars from two legendary British manufacturers. Combined, the McLaren and Aston Martin have more than 1,000 horsepower and cost several million dollars.

The selection of cars was specifically chosen to show how very different a driving experience one can have for a not so different price. The racey McLaren 570S features a mid-engine twin turbo V8, rear wheel drive and F1 pedigree. This is the car that’s meant to bring McLaren to the “masses”.

We also have the classy Aston Martin V12 Vantage S. About to go out of production in its current state, this may be one of the last times we’ll have the opportunity to hear that monstrous V12 in this sleek two-seater. It’s modern “tech de force” and old school muscle.


McLaren 570S

The 570S – the backbone in the McLaren line – was launched to much fanfare. As I open the butterfly doors and lower myself into the driver’s seat, I’m amazed at how much space is in the cockpit. The design is minimalist and everything is digital. You feel like you’re sitting in a car with a purpose, a 562 horsepower purpose and at only 3,200 pounds, she’s light too. Like all other McLarens, the 570S is running their now familiar 3.8L V8. The engine is turbo charged and there is some lag, but the way in which it makes you feel when the turbo is at full blow is incredible. The “little” McLaren by far feels the fastest car here.

One thing I do notice when I sit down, is how I feel like I’m much closer to the road than in the Aston, although there is a lot of visibility. The large front windshield makes you feel like you’re in a bubble cockpit. As the engine burbles to life, I select first on the dual clutch gearbox and we pull away. The car is noticeably quiet – even with the sports exhaust fitted. To give you an idea, at full acceleration in videos we recorded, you can hear me clicking through the gears on the paddle shifters. It’s a unique sensation, although the car is a lot louder for people seeing it go past, than it is inside the cabin.

A noticeable trait of the smaller turbo charged engine, you’re not going to get the same aural excitement as in the naturally aspirated larger engines. I thought this would bother me, it didn’t… You feel like you’re in a street legal race car in this thing. The car has a semi hydraulic steering system, which means you get a lot of feel through the wheel. When you’re pushing the 570S hard – and believe me, you will be – you’re going to love the feedback the car is giving you.

This 570S is in McLarens Sports Series range – the lowest range in the manufacturer’s line-up – although it still feels like a supercar to me. It doesn’t have the 650S and P1’s fancy suspension, but it rides incredibly well nevertheless and moves like there’s no tomorrow. For the price, it’s an incredibly cool car, although if I were purchasing one, I like the way the 570 GT looks a little more and McLaren could still work on the way that exhaust note sounds. I can only go so fast most of the time, so I at least want the car to sound like I’m going fast. The aural excitement is one of the main reasons you’d buy a car like this.

The car has got a lot of grip and the confidence it inspires makes you want to push and push and push. Just knock it down a couple gears, step on the carbon ceramic breaks, turn in, then plant the accelerator on the way out. It’ll push you back in your seat and make you want more. Priced at almost SGD 900,000 (approx. USD 660,000), it’s quite a car!


Aston Martin V12 Vantage S

The baby daddy in the Aston Martin range. A beast in sheep’s clothing, with only extra vents and badging giving away what’s underneath. Designed by legendary car designer, Henrik Fisker, the Vantage is a familiar site in the Aston Martin line-up, having been around in its current guise since 2005. This is definitely it’s last hoorah before a new model is introduced.

Up front you’ll find a naturally aspirated 6.0L V12 producing 565 horsepower and a roar from behind that’ll wake the neighbours a mile away. Power is put to the ground through two very wide rear tyres and an automated manual transmission. It’s no longer Aston’s most powerful production model, but it’s still its fastest.

Getting into the Aston isn’t quite as fun as the McLaren, but it still features some very unique swan wing doors. They’re not just for show either. The doors actually open at the same angle of degrees as the wings on the Aston badge and allow for easier clearing of street curbs.

As I push the centre console starter button the V12 burbles to life. The interior is beautifully appointed in typical Aston Martin fashion, yet the car has this raw edge to it. What else would you expect from one of Britain’s coolest brands. I select first gear and pull away.

It’s not the smoothest of transmissions to use around town, but as I get out on the motorway the shifts come with a lot more ease. The harder you drive, the better this car becomes. Many journalists have described this car as analogue in a digital world. It has an old style single clutch transmission, hydraulic steering and lacks a fancy suspension set up or digital dash display. Yet, who really needs all of this stuff anyway. Driving a performance car should be about feel, the way it makes you feel when you’re at full pelt blasting down a back road and the feedback you’re getting through the wheel while doing so. For that, this car checks all the boxes. It’s alive in your hands and the sound it makes puts a big smile on your face.

In this day and age though for SGD 840,000 (approx. USD 615,000), the consumer wants a lot more and the tech is part and parcel of the package. In this aspect it falls short. However, with a new model coming out soon and if the DB11 is anything to go by, the new car will be packed with tech on the inside and look gorgeous on the outside. Bond, I hope you’re ready…

This article was first published in PALACE.

McLaren Boasts Record 2015 Sales

For an automotive company that’s spent decades developing Formula One and CanAm racing beasts, it is not much of a surprise that McLaren’s road-legal cars are also doing exceptionally well sales-wise, with a record-breaking 1,654 vehicles sold in 2015.

The record was barely established – the British automotive company scrapped past last year’s record of 1,649 vehicles with only a mere difference of five cars. What’s remarkable though, is the rate at which McLaren has established itself as one of the most prized marques despite only venturing into road cars five years ago. Of course, given the turbulent times we live in, any uptick in sales is impressive.

Lamborghini – which recently announced that it is on track to sell 4,000 of its cars this year for the first in history – took 53 years to reach that point. McLaren, on the other hand, managed half that figure in only a fraction of that time despite staggering costs, while making profit. On this level though, it must be remembered that Lamborghini, Ferrari and the like began with very small runs that conservatively and tentatively built on gains – or struggled through losses – before emerging into the current reality. Just imagine how long it took the developed world – even tiny states such as Monaco – to reach its current levels of relative affluence versus how long a country like Singapore took to do the same.

Chief Executive Officer, Mike Flewitt, said: “2015 was a critical year in the development of McLaren Automotive. The launch of the Sports Series opens McLaren up to an entirely new audience and will be pivotal in developing our sales volumes from the 2015 levels of 1,600 to nearly triple that number by 2020.”

Fans of McLaren’s supercars can look forward to up to 15 new cars by 2022, in keeping with its promise to continue innovating and intriguing the market with unprecedented technological advancements. “We need to remain profitable but also continue to invest in our future product portfolio,” said Flewitt. “In 2015, this amounted to £124million, nearly 30% of revenues. This level of commitment to investing in future products is core to our business strategy.”

The most exciting offering, perhaps, would be a new flagship inspired by the original McLaren F1, which could potentially be unveiled at Geneva next year. Dubbed a “Hyper GT”, Autocar reveals it will be an exhilarating blend of power and luxury, just like the recently-launched S570GT. In the meantime, we’ll be waiting with bated breaths.


ST Dupont, McLaren Collaborate for Defi Line

It is simply not enough to carve out a niche in luxury and expect to get recognition anymore. In a world where novelty is increasingly the catchphrase, it takes a lot to stay on top – and ST Dupont plays the game well. For evidence, one need only look at its past collaborations, where unexpected names – think Iron Man and James Bond – call themselves partners. Thus the choice of automaker McLaren as collaborator is somewhat conventional even.

2016 is a special year for the sports automobile brand. Marking its 50th anniversary in Formula 1, McLaren for its part uses this partnership to commemorate the occasion. Fronted by famed racers Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button (who have at least 250 races to their names, individually), the Defi collection is one geared to satisfy both grand prix enthusiasts and luxury lovers alike. For starters, we’re looking at a backpack and a shoulder bag-cum-document holder, both fashioned from calfskin and perforated black leather with red contrasts. The best part: they can both store laptops (form meets style, everyone). The seven-item collection also comes with a wallet, credit card holder, passport cover, cufflinks and a pen. Devil’s in the details, with items bearing the McLaren and ST Dupont logos, a sleek black look and the occasional flourish of McLaren red and tricolor French flag motif. It is the best of both worlds, literally.

In further justification of their collaboration (although, really, is there a need for such awkwardness?) the Defi line is indicative of both companies’ aligned passions: a unified pursuit of innovation, performance and excellence. Given its Formula 1 heritage, McLaren can hardly have even participated without the aforementioned virtues. For ST Dupont, having a history stretching back to 1872 speaks positively to the performance and excellence bits. Honestly, to be able to keep the world talking about a collaboration – where similar partnerships are abundant everywhere – is a mark of expertise. Just give to us, stat.

McLaren 507S Sprint Debuts at Goodwood

We just knew there would be a new McLaren at the Goodwood Festival of Speed (FoS), besides the P1-GTR, and here it is: the McLaren 507S Sprint. This is a heavily revised, track-only version of McLaren’s compact Sports Series supercar, the 570S.

One of the biggest challenges facing supercar makers is not building cars that can hit 200mph (in fact we can’t think of one that doesn’t hit that mark), it is building cars that are super fast while being super compliant with the legislation that deems a vehicle fit for use on public roads.

Happily though, where the McLaren 570S Sprint will be heading, these laws won’t apply. That’s because despite a £148,000 price tag ($218,000) – £5000 more than the street-legal version – this supercar is track only. And as it’s not homologated for a particular competition, it has no race series performance restrictions either.

Instead it is built to lap up circuit after circuit on the limit. And to ensure it is incredibly difficult to surpass those limits and kiss a retaining barrier rather than the apex of a bend, there are some heavy duty aerodynamic changes. The most noticeable is the huge, fixed wing rear spoiler which, McLaren boasts, generates the highest levels of downforce ever seen on one of its Sports Series cars.


A new front bumper punctures the air and sends it under, over and through the car. Along the flanks, the door shapes push air into side-mounted radiators for engine and ancillary cooling – an absolute necessity when constantly pushing a car.

And if things do come unstuck, the car has a proper FIA-approved roll cage and seats with six-point harnesses and there’s also the obligatory integrated fire extinguisher system.

Of the new car, McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt, said that it was a chance for more people to own a true McLaren race car, something that even a few years ago would have been completely out of reach to anyone other than an exceptional few. “[It is] about being an engaging and exciting drive. The launch of the Sports Series has broadened McLaren to a new audience, introducing technologies to the sports car market and to a new group of customers.”

The 570S Sprint will be taking part in this year’s Hillclimb competition at FoS alongside its slightly bigger brother, the 570S GT4 which is built to compete in GT4 racing. And anyone who orders a Sprint but decides they want to take things further and start racing properly will be able to upgrade the car to the same FIA-approved GT4 specification.

Michael Kors Partners McLaren-Honda F1 Team

The all-American fashion label Michael Kors is moving into the fast lane with its partnership with McLaren-Honda, which it hopes will accelerate its growing image as a men’s lifestyle brand. As the team’s official lifestyle partner, Michael Kors branding will feature prominently on the drivers’ overalls and the McLaren-Honda MP4-31 car, which is being driven in the 2016 FIA Formula 1 World Championship by Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button.

Michael Kors and McLaren-Honda announce EMEA Lifestyle Partnership

“Michael Kors and McLaren-Honda are pioneers in their respective spaces, and we firmly believe that McLaren-Honda is the right partner for our entry into the Formula 1 racing world” said John D. Idol, Chairman and Chief Executive Office of Michael Kors. The specific type of consumer that the fashion house is aiming for in this new entry falls along the lines of a person who’d enjoy both the relentless speed of the track, as well as the sophistication that Michael Kors’ products cater to.

The fashion house has created a limited-edition men’s leather jacket featuring both the Michael Kors and McLaren logos, as well as a limited-edition plaque with each piece’s unique production number. Only 50 of the garments will be fabricated, and the pieces will be sold exclusively at the new Michael Kors London flagship store.

Michael Kors and McLaren-Honda announce EMEA Lifestyle Partnership

Explaining the concept of the piece, Kors says: “There is an energy, sophistication and confidence to both of our brands, and we wanted to create a limited-edition piece that spoke to that.”

Michael Kors stores are located all over the world, from countries like New York to Istanbul or Seoul. Likewise, the McLaren-Honda team has enjoyed international wins in F1 races all over the world. With such outstanding reputations in their respective fields, this makes for a perfect partnership to mutually boost each other.


3 Highlights Goodwood Festival of Speed 2016

Full Throttle – The Endless Pursuit of Power: each of the three cars on this list embodies the theme of the 2016 Goodwood Festival of Speed (FoS). In fact, with a theme like that, the four-day long automobile extravaganza is set to be extraordinary – a sort of Glastonbury of auto awesomeness if you will. As this year’s “headline” act, BMW will be the focus of the festival, and this is apparent starting from the sculpture in the grounds dedicated to its automotive accomplishments. We reported on that here, so check that out for more details on BMW-related activities.

Cars as old as 40 years from the German brand’s archives will be on display at avenue ‘M’, and, for our part, the BMW 507 is the car of the moment, even though it was built in 1957. BMW will take this precious two million-dollar car out for a spin around the track with the festival’s founder, Lord March at the wheel. Seriously, that man gets to have entirely too much fun.

“I’m delighted that BMW has chosen to mark its centenary with us,” Lord March told the AFP. “I will be honored to drive one of the rarest, and most beautiful, BMWs ever built to open what promises to be a terrific show.” If you’re one of the lucky ones who are attending the prestigious show, look out for the Vision Next 100, a concept car the company thinks it will be producing in 2116.


Other automobile manufacturers will also be celebrating milestones; Volkswagen will celebrate 40 good years of its hatchback, the Golf GTi and Lamborghini will mark 50 years since the Miura model debuted, news we also covered here. Moving on from the classics, we find a strange contemporary beast lurking in plain sight here: the McLaren P1-GTR (above). Normally a track-only hypercar that is based on the prefectly road-legal P1 model, this particular car has been modified by racing team Lanzante so that it is road-legal once again! It appears here to celebrate the late James Hunt’s F1 championship drive in 1976 for McLaren – it was a memorable one and you can relive it by watching the Ron Howard film Rush. A one-off P1-GTR in Hunt’s colors will be taking over the Hillclimb circuit.

Lamborghini's Restored Miura

Lamborghini’s Restored Miura

Not one to be left out, Japanese automaker Mazda will also unveil a new Icon special edition of its Miata MX-5 droptop sportscar, while Renault will put its new Twingo GT turbocharged city car and the Clio RS16 concept hot hatch to the test. Speaking of tests, we cannot wait to see how the Bugatti Chiron (below) will fare in the hill-climb challenge. The car, though still sporting the engine of the Veyron, reportedly brings approximately 1,500 horses that propel it towards the title of world’s fastest production car…eventually. Goodwood will be the public’s first chance to see the car up close as it races every day of the event, as we reported on earlier. If Bugatti ditches the speed-limiter for this, records will tumble…


Sold Out: McLaren 675LT Spider Carbon Fiber

This isn’t exactly something new since McLaren did it with the P1 model but the British automaker has decided to make a special edition of the 675LT Spider in exposed carbon fiber. The positive response garnered from the company’s earlier effort on the P1 probably contributed to this creation and while that was a one-off, done by the bespoke arm of the company, this version will be a true production car. Well, a production car by McLaren’s standards means that the McLaren 675LT Spider is limited to 25 examples and all are spoken for!

The allure of carbon fiber comes from its exotic nature – stronger than steel but extremely lightweight. That fits right in with the 675LT Spider, which is in the company’s super series for shedding as much weight as possible to improve performance. While much of the Spider is already done up in carbon fiber anyway, this edition takes things further still, with 40% more of it in the build. To celebrate this fact, the body is not painted, merely given a high gloss finish that promises to accentuate the weave inherent in carbon fiber.

One item that remains untouched though is the engine – which is still a 3.8 liters V8 with twin turbos. When spooling it gives the car 675PS (that’s 666bhp), a 0-100km/h time of just 2.9 seconds and a top speed of 326km/h (203mph). These numbers have yet to be modified to take into account the weight savings so we shall see how this plays out. Other new aspects to this model include front wing louvers and three integrated cameras for capturing track action as part of a Track Telemetry pack.

Sadly to say, for those interested, McLaren announced that every single model of the car was already pre-sold, even though production won’t be starting until the fall. They aim to deliver each car to its owner in time to make the greatest Christmas present ever but, honestly, this sounds like an overly optimistic timeline!


Aiming Big : London Yacht, Jet & Prestige Car Show

Last year April saw the first ever London Yacht, Jet & Prestige Car Show roaring to a great success with more than 120 exhibitors and 6,000 visitors. This year, the show aims to be bigger than ever, teaming up with two other events – Prestige London and the London On-Water Yacht & Boat Show – for a super bonanza of luxury events covering everything from yachts to supercars; from interior design to fashion. We are also happy to announce that we are media partners this year.

The two Prestige events will be held at Old Billingsgate from 4-6 May 2016, while the On-Water show will be held close by at St. Katharine Docks from 4-7 May 2016.


London is an especially important market for the landscape of companies specializing in luxury out there by virtue of the fact that it has twice as many billionaires and millionaires than any other city in the world. Among some of the top yacht builders present will be Sunrise Yachts, Princess, Sunseeker London and Azimut Benetti. Car manufacturers present include the likes of McLaren, Noble, Tesla, Mansory, and for the first time Ferrari and Lamborghini. On the interior design front, visitors will be able to view collector’s items from event sponsors Ulysse Nardin and Senturion.


Big names aside, the whole event also has a host of facilities separate from just viewing the exhibits. Champagne, seafood, and sushi bars allow for a bit of a celebratory environment in between meeting clients, friends, or just simply eating out. A sponsor lounge, and other private meeting and function rooms, allow for easier networking opportunities. The Superyacht Group will also hold a summit focused on the themes of luxury asset acquisition based around land, sea, and air – educating the audience on various facets and pitfalls of the luxury industry.


With all that set up, a lot of excitement will be coming to London this May. You can purchase tickets or get more details for the show at their website.

Ferrari and McLaren Earn 2016 Red Dot Awards

Which is better, a Ferrari 488 GTB or a McLaren 570S? Perhaps it is better and safer to split the difference on that question. It turns out that from a design perspective, even the jury of experts that decide the annual Red Dot awards and which, for the first time included legendary automotive designer Chris Bangle on its panel, can’t decide between the two.

Both supercars have been given top honors, a “Best of the Best” award in the product design category. Actually, it is a three-way tie and the third winning car is a bit of odd fit with the supercars but we digress…

Ferrari tends to scoop up a Red Dot award every time it launches a new car, but for McLaren, which has only been in business since 2010, it’s a huge achievement. “The 570S Coupe has enjoyed a fantastic reception since launching last year, and to be recognized by Red Dot with a ‘Best of the Best’ title is a real honor,” said the car’s Chief Designer Rob Melville.

Ferrari 488 GTB 2016

However, for those that believe innovative or desirable automotive aesthetics are still the preserve of dream car companies, the two mid-engine turbocharged V8 200mph+ supercars have this year been joined in the best of the best category by the Kia Optima.

Unlike the other winners, this is a practical, comfortable and affordable four-door sedan and crucially, one developed by a design team based in the US, Korea and Germany to ensure visual appeal.

“Our international design team has every cause to be exceptionally proud of these most recent awards,” said Peter Schreyer, President and Chief Designer of Kia Motors Corporation and Hyundai Motor Group.

In all, 5,200 items, from smart thermostats and stylish chairs to designer sunglasses and luxury pens, were entered for consideration in the product design category for this year’s Red Dot Design Awards.

Of that number this year’s 41-strong jury gave out the top honor – Best of the Best – to just 79 entries in total. The ‘standard’ Red Dot award was won by 1,304 products and a further 107 gained an “honorable mention”.

The full list of Red Dot winners across all 21 categories including for vehicles, will be announced in Essen, Germany at the Red Dot Gala and Awards ceremony on July 4.

Review: McLaren P1

Professional racing driver Jonathan Summerton shares his experience on track with one of our cream cars, the McLaren P1.

You know that time when you think you are dreaming and you never want to wake up…… Yeah that was me today. The only thing though, I wasn’t dreaming. It was a reality! I was having the opportunity to take a McLaren P1 around the world renowned Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Florida. Not going to lie, being a professional racing driver has its perks. This is one of the few cars I haven’t had the chance to drive, until today, and what a blast it was.Jonathan Summerton test drives the McLaren P1 for PALACE Magazine.

This car has over 900 horses pumping to the wheels and you can definitely feel it! I jumped in and felt right at home with all the instrument panels similar to a race car. The owner told me to put it in race mode and turn off all the aides. Naturally, I did. I took her for a couple of slow laps to get comfortable with the $2 million car, before thrashing it around the track. When I came around for my first real fast lap, the car was at home, engine roaring, wing moving with every input from my foot, and DRS kicking in on the straights.

I have driven lots of supercars and when I came to the straight and went full throttle, the car pushed me back in the seat and never stopped pulling, even through 180mph. The one thing you have to remember is this is a road car, so there were a couple of things I’d slightly change. Such as, a little more push from the front of the car, but overall the car was a thrill and really blew my mind in so many ways. If you have the money, find a way to get your hands on one as you will not be disappointed.Jonathan Summerton test drives the McLaren P1 for PALACE Magazine.

The car was so comfortable to drive, both on the track and on the road. I could see myself using it as a daily driver. The fit and finish of everything was beautiful, from the carbon fiber to the leather. I have to say, getting out of the car was a struggle as I knew I had just finished waking up from a dream.
Jonathan Summerton is a top racing driver from the U.S. Having competed on an international level in open wheel, rally, and GT cars.


• Fara GT1 4-hour endurance class Lamborghini GT3 – Won

• Sebring 12hr Race in ALMS GT BMW M3 GT 2 – Won

• Atlantic Championship with Genoa Racing and Newman Wachs Racing – Series Runner Up

• US A1GP Shanghai Grand Prix – Won • Formula 3 Euro Series Hockenheim – Won

Car Specification

Engine: 3.8 litre twin turbo v8 hybrid
BHP: 903
Torque: 722 lb. ft.
0-100 km/h: Less than 3 seconds
0-200 km/h: Less than 7 seconds
0-300 km/h: Less than 17 seconds
Top Speed: 350 km/h
Price: $1,068,452 before taxes

Story Credits

Text by Jonathan Summerton

Images provided by McLaren and Jonathan Summerton

This story first appeared in PALACE Magazine.