The company was established as McLaren Cars in 1989 as a producer of road cars based on Formula One technology. It works closely with McLaren Racing, the successful Formula One constructor, and is a spinoff of McLaren Group.
McLaren Automotive has a 20 year heritage in producing landmark sports cars for the road: the McLaren F1 road car, which was launched in 1992, set the world land speed record for a production car, and is regarded as one of the iconic sports cars of the modern age. The Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren (2003 – 2009) is the most successful supercar ever in its price bracket, having sold twice as many cars as its nearest carbon-based rival.
McLaren Automotive has now moved from these successful automotive projects to launching a new car company that will design, develop, and distribute a range of high performance, highly efficient and technologically innovative sports cars through a global network of highly respected premium car retailers in every major automotive market.
Around 4,000 sports cars will be built annually by the middle of the decade in the advanced new manufacturing facility, the McLaren Production Centre. McLaren Automotive’s debut model is the 12C. Drawing on the company’s long-standing Formula 1 experience in its concept and development, the 12C is lighter, faster, more powerful, more fuel efficient and more exclusive than its key competition. It supports its performance benchmarks by introducing a unique one-piece moulded carbon chassis into the ‘core’ sports car segment in a new production method that brings the performance of £500,000 cars to market at a third of the price. All future McLarens will continue the themes presented by the 12C: innovation, integration of Formula 1 technology, and ultimate performance.
In 2011 McLaren Automotive announced the launch of McLaren GT; a new race car manufacturer combining the expertise of McLaren Automotive, McLaren Racing, McLaren Electronic Systems, McLaren Applied Technologies and CRS Racing. McLaren GT is responsible for developing the first racing derivative of the 12C sports car, the MP4-12C GT3. Twenty-five examples of the MP4-12C GT3 are now racing with private teams in Europe in 2012.
McLaren Formula 1 Drivers’ World Championships
1974 Emerson Fittipaldi
1976 James Hunt
1984 Niki Lauda
1985, 86, 89 Alain Prost
1988, 90, 91 Ayrton Senna
1998, 99 Mika Hakkinen
2008 Lewis Hamilton
McLaren Formula 1 Constructors’ World Championships: 1974, 84, 85, 88, 89, 90, 91, 98