Tag Archives: Mclaren

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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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…

Bugatti-Chiron-Back

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-Prestige-Supercar

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.

London-Prestige-Yacht

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.

London-Prestige-Art

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.

Resume

• 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.

McLaren Plans £1 Billion Investment

The 570GT wasn’t the only big thing coming from British automaker McLaren for the Geneva Motor Show. CEO Mike Flewitt has plans for the next six years of the company in something he calls “Track 22” – something that involves a £1 billion investment.

“Since its inception, McLaren Automotive has launched world-class products and this has been made possible by continuous investment in our future” Flewitt said, and revealed that they were getting ready to plough 25% of their turnover back into the business. “This will see us launch 15 all-new cars or derivatives,” continued Flewitt.

One of the possible results from this investment is the development of a new engine moving towards hybrid powertrains. The company’s current hypercar, the P1, uses a ferocious combination of gas and electric power to push its speed and McLaren is looking to spread that into the rest of their range. “Our next hybrid vehicle will launch towards the latter part of our six year plan,” Flewitt explained, “And we will see at least 50% featuring hybrid technology by 2022. Hybridization has obvious CO2 and fuel consumption advantages but for us, it is all about delivering the performance and enjoyment of a McLaren.”

But Flewitt has also confirmed McLaren may be exploring electric power all the way for their next ultimate series flagship, to push towards something more astounding: “Our engineers have even started work on a one-off prototype to evaluate the possible benefits of a fully-electric powertrain in an Ultimate Series car; such is the pace of development.”

However that car will be for the far future. The next Mclaren scheduled for launch is the 570S Spider in 2017. Still, the gears are set for them to really get things off the road, hopefully.

Images are courtesy of McLaren Automotive

McLaren Goes for Daily Comfort with 570GT

You would have noticed that almost every major player in the automobile industry has been giving the world a glimpse into what they will be showcasing at the upcoming Geneva Motor show March 1. Well, British supercar maker McLaren joins the list of those teasing us with what they will bring to the Swiss city. We initially expected the brand to unveil the 570S, which challenges the ‘entry-level’ Porsche 911 but they decided to surprise us instead.

Said to be the most practical and luxurious model to date, the veil has now been lifted off the 570GT. It combines both extreme comfort and performance in one car. McLaren also claims that the supercar is suitable for daily use. There is very little that the two models have in common. For one, the GT much like the S model is equipped with a twin-turbo 3.8-liter V8 engine that is able to put out 562 bhp (570PS, giving the car its name). This means that the car can go from 0 to 100 km/h in just 3.4 seconds and a top speed of 328km/h.

That is where the two cars cease to be similar. The new GT has a panoramic glass roof as standard feature to let more light into the cabin. It also has a swooping glass rear panel that swings open for extra storage capacity. This newly created space plus the front luggage compartment under the hood give the car a very impressive 370 liters of storage, that’s 80 more than you get in a Ford Fiesta hatchback.McLaren-570GT-article-2

As well as creating a second luggage compartment, the new glass rear also helps to cut cabin noise. Further efforts to keep the turbocharged roar of the engine from interrupting a conversation or hands-free phone call include bespoke tires, developed with Pirelli that reduce road roar and a new air conditioning system with a ‘lo’ setting that tries to keep the noise of the fan to a minimum.

Standard interior features include electrically operated and heated leather seats, an eight-speaker audio system and a touchscreen infotainment system complete with navigation and telephony controls. While practicality considerations include front and rear parking sensors, an electric steering column that can move to help the driver get in and out and wider opening doors that close more quietly.

Even the suspension and steering have been tweaked so that they are biased towards road rather than track driving and for absorbing bumps rather than amplifying them. Should you wish to get your hands on the 570GT, know that the supercar will go on sale immediately after its reveal on March 1. You should also expect to part with north of US $198,950 or £154,000.McLaren-570GT-article-1

Partners in Time: Richard Mille and McLaren

With the New Year, come new beginnings. We tweeted this Richard Mille/McLaren-Honda tie-up when we first heard and here is our take on it. Basically, Richard Mille has announced a long-term partnership with the McLaren-Honda Formula 1 team. A new partnership is not the only milestone that the motor racing team is celebrating in 2016. This year also marks half a century since McLaren’s founder, Bruce McLaren, first raced a car bearing his name.

The winner of 20 world championships and 182 Grand Prixs shares a passion with the Swiss watchmaker for continuous improvement in technology, design and engineering. The relatively young brand to the world of watchmaking has established itself since 2001 as one that tests the limitations of haute horlogerie.

The McLaren-Honda team’s world champion drivers Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button will soon wear the elaborate and intricate timepieces. According to Richard Mille, the Chairman and CEO of Richard Mille, McLaren’s ““reputation for continual technical innovation, painstaking attention to detail and race-winning success” makes the partnership a perfect match.

Other notable links that the Maison shares with motorsports is the ambassadorship by Formula One driver Felipe Massa since 2004 and the newest signing of Sébastien Ogier. If the latest signings are anything to go by, this certainly will not be Richard Mille’s final foray into the world of sports. Richard Mille, the man, also has his own links with motorsports

Luxury Carmakers Cheer Brilliant 2015 Finish

Even as prices at the pump hold steady at low rates, the premium segment of the auto industry is popping the champagne after an historic 2015. Over the course of last year, Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Volvo and McLaren have all set or are anticipating new sales records. Aside from sales, Ferrari is celebrating its independence and Hyundai is dropping in on the luxury market with the Genesis badge.

For McLaren, a supercar company that’s only been in business for five years, 2015 is the second year in succession that it’s broken the previous year’s record. Even though each model it produces is hand assembled, it delivered 1654 cars this year.

Demand is such that the company is introducing a night shift. “This accelerated development has led to yet another record year, with unprecedented levels of demand for all of our cars, especially the new Sports Series, for which we are currently holding more than six months worth of orders,” said CEO, Mike Flewitt.

Jaguar Land Rover has also enjoyed a bumper 2015, selling 487,065 vehicles – a 5% jump on 2014. “Customer response has been extremely positive, resulting in record retails across UK, North America and Europe. The appeal of our Jaguars and Land Rovers has also been recognized through over 95 global awards in 2015, including 15 for the Land Rover Discovery Sport and 19 for the Jaguar XE alone. 2016 promises to be another exciting year,” Andy Goss, Jaguar Land Rover Group Sales Operations Director, said.

Despite being implicated in the Volkswagen dieselgate scandal, Audi exceeded even its own lofty expectations – selling 1.8 million cars globally and for the first time crossed the 200,000-vehicle mark in the US where it can’t build SUVs quick enough to keep up with demand.

“2015 has proved that Audi is solidly on track and that we are able to master a year that presented various challenges very successfully,” Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of Audi AG, said.

Meanwhile Volvo sold more than 500,000 cars for the first time in its history. “I am delighted to report that 2015 was a year of record sales,” said Håkan Samuelsson, chief executive. “Now, with a successful 2015 behind us, Volvo is about to enter the second phase of its global transformation. Once completed, Volvo will have ceased being a minor automotive player and taken its position as a truly global premium car company.”

Cadillac is also reenergized. After years of struggling to compete, it saw a 7.5% growth in global sales. “This creates a strong foundation for our two all-new products launching in the first half of 2016 — the CT6 prestige sedan and the XT5 luxury crossover,” stated Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen.

Mercedes and BMW remain the popular premium automotive brands to beat. Mercedes clocked up sales of 1.872 million vehicles globally, a 13.4% jump on 2014. “We anticipate additional sales impetus in 2016 from the new E-Class, the world’s most intelligent business saloon,” explained board member Ola Källenius.

BMW has yet to reveal full results from 2015 but the firm had already experienced a record 2014, selling more than 2 million vehicles globally; the Munich-based automaker passed the 2 million mark in November last, the first time it has ever done that by that point in the year. “The steady sales growth we’ve shown throughout the year so far reflects the great new products we currently have on the market,” commented Dr Ian Robertson, member of the board of management of BMW AG responsible for sales and marketing BMW.

This report was compiled by in-house writers, in combination with a wire report and image from the AFP.

Heads Up: McLaren Concept Car Comes to CES

What do you call a car with no dashboard or mirrors? Meet the McLaren 675LT JVC Kenwood Concept, currently drawing crowds at CES in Las Vegas. The British supercar maker typically focuses tightly on squeezing horsepower out of its engines and making its dream machines stick to the road and track; finally, its cockpits and in-car technology up to speed.

However, that doesn’t mean that the McLaren 675LT JVC Kenwood Concept is packed with 4k widescreen displays and its own Netflix account. Sadly, it also comes without a drone, which other carmakers have pushed out at CES but we digress.

If anything the supercar is a high-tech filter, sifting out all of the elements of next-generation infotainment and connectivity that could potentially detract, rather than enhance, the experience of owning a car capable of going from 0-100km/h in 2.9 seconds and tops out at an incredible 330km/h (205mph). Elsewhere at CES, the 1,000 horses of the Faraday Future concept car were heard crying as they were told the news of the McLaren Concept…

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Back to business… On first glance, the cabin of the 675LT seems even barer than that of a standard McLaren. There’s no instrument binnacle or center console. Instead the concept is the first McLaren to sport a Head Up Display (HUD) and it shows all relevant information including proximity warnings when other vehicles or obstacles are in blind spots. Basically, for those unfamiliar with HUD, the windscreen is the display console.

Gone too are the wing mirrors, in favor of cameras that offer a better view along the car’s sides and improve performance too, as they’re more aerodynamic. Their blade shape also means that when the car’s pushed to its limit they will help to generate more downforce keeping the vehicle glued to the road rather than dumped in a roadside ditch.

The rearview mirror has been discarded too thanks to an integrated rear reversing camera. And with three cameras covering every aspect of the vehicle behind the driver, the view offered is a true panorama and something just as useful when racing on the track as when trying to negotiate a carpark. Speaking of the track, this concept is equipped with the steering wheel of the P1 GTR.

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McLaren chose to work with JVC Kenwood on the concept to mark the firms’ 25th anniversary of collaborating in Formula 1, and, as well as boosting the car’s tech capabilities, the changes have also enabled the companies to get creative in terms of cabin appointments and materials.

With so many objects jettisoned, there is space for more layers of leather that run along the transmission tunnel and wrap over the top of the dashboard. The surfaces in front of the driver have been given a waxy grain finish to eliminate potential reflections, crucial when all information is being projected onto the windshield.

However, outside, with the exception of blade-shaped digital cameras in place of traditional door-mounted mirrors, the exterior remains untouched. Now, if you’ve read this far, you might wonder why these innovations are not part of regular production cars anyway. Simply put, most of this is not road-legal anywhere but the regulations will eventually catch up, we hope. The HUD, which is already included in production vehicles from the likes of BMW, Audi, Mercedes, General Motors and many more, in particular seems like an idea whose time has come. HUD should be the standard rather than a luxury option.

This report was compiled by in-house writers, in combination with a wire report and image from the AFP.

 

Racing Future: McLaren MP4-X Concept

So you think you can race? Automaker McLaren has the perfect concept in mind for you. The MP4-X may only be a concept, but nevertheless it’s one that gives a clear idea of what is already on its way to becoming an automotive possibility. And in McLaren’s view in the future, simply thinking that you’re the world’s greatest racing driver might be enough to actually make you a Formula 1 winner.

That’s because while companies such as Volvo and Ford are developing technologies that can let the car take over the more mundane elements of driving, McLaren is looking at how innovation can strip away the layers between a driver’s decision and the car’s response.

So, instead of a steering wheel covered in knobs, toggles, switches and other buttons for altering everything from traction control levels to throttle response and suspension, thinking about how the car needs to be set up for the next corner or straight will be enough.

“With the futuristic McLaren MP4-X concept racecar, we wanted to peer into the future and imagine the art of the possible,” said John Allert, Group Brand Director, McLaren Technology Group.

So as well as an enclosed cockpit and helmet that provides a 360-degree camera feed and mind control, the car benefits from the latest in emerging aerodynamic and alternative fuel innovations.

That means that the F1 concept, which looks like it’s escaped from the set of a Tron sequel, uses electric motors. But rather than have a big battery up front or behind, McLaren has made the car’s chassis structure one big cell.

The car will also be able to harness sunlight for a solar energy boost when needed and would be able to draw electricity for recharging the system via pads if they were installed under the surface of a racing circuit.

“We have combined a number of F1’s key ingredients — speed, excitement and performance, with the sport’s emerging narratives — such as enclosed cockpits to enhance driver safety, and hybrid power technologies,” said Allert.

The car is also capable of changing shape to suit demands — more downforce, greater agility or bigger fuel savings. “We looked at what technologies might be useful on a future road car — achieving lower drag for fuel-saving would be extremely useful,” said Chief Innovation Officer, Geoff McGrath.

But the company’s innovations don’t stop at the car itself. McLaren also envisages smart clothing that the driver will wear to monitor vital signs and fatigue levels and which could light up in the event of an accident to show first responders where the impact was greatest or where potential injuries are most likely to be.

McLaren 570S Coupe

Order books open for the new McLaren 570S

McLaren 570S Coupe

The British supercar maker’s most practical road rocket is now officially on sale with prices starting at £143,250 ($220,000).

The 570s is so called because its 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 engine develops 570PS, that’s 562bhp. And because the car is hand assembled almost exclusively from aluminum and carbon fiber and tips the scales at just 1313kg, that translates into a 0-100km/h time of 3.2 seconds and a top speed of 328km/h (204mph).

However, while it has a lot in common with McLaren’s even more potent cars, the 570S has been built from the ground up to be used as an everyday runaround, complete with better all-round visibility, decent stowage space and even an optional lift kit to stop the nose catching on speed bumps and other obstacles.

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“As with all McLaren models, we have prioritized performance, driving engagement and exhilaration. It is a totally driver-focused car, with excellent ergonomics and visibility, and a class-leading driving position,” said Mike Flewitt, Chief Executive Officer, McLaren Automotive.

“This is also the most day-to-day usable, practical and attainable McLaren we’ve ever made. It is a dramatic and beautiful sports car.”

With the order book now officially open, McLaren says that initial deliveries will start before the end of 2015.