McClaren, Back on the Block
Few car enthusiasts have missed the name McClaren. It was once the king of the 200 plus club, the most elite group of automobiles ever conceived, known as Supercars. McClaren, a well-known name in the racing world tried its hand at the commercial car market back in the 90’s with the release of its 240 mph behemoth, the F1. The car remains today an engineering marvel trumped only by the sharpest and most determined of competitors, such as Bugatti with the release of the Veyron in 2005. The F1 came at the tail end of the dot-com boom and although acknowledged by the car world as a feat not soon surpassed, the F1 sales numbers were low, and the car found its place mostly parked in collector garages.
Carmakers seem to be having an identity crisis. With Porsche making SUV’s, Jeep making crossovers, and Toyota no longer synonymous with reliability, it seems everything we know about cars has been flopped on its back. It seems the industry is on the brink of a new world order of automakers. Let me introduce Ron Dennis. Ron took over McClaren’s F1 team thirty years ago and has brought home the win ten times since then. His mantra? Purity.
Mr. Dennis has decided to take McClaren back into the consumer car market. No not to make an amphibious off-roader with racing lineage, but to do what he does best, make really fast cars. The pony he has chosen to lead the charge is the MP4-12C, a $230,000 thoroughbred supercar with just enough of the McClaren racing lineage left behind. Mr. Dennis is a unique personality in the auto-industry. He strives not only for perfection in mechanics, but also purity of soul in his cars. For McClaren’s new competitors, names like Ferrari, Lamborghini, Mercedes, and Porsche, it’s time to buckle up the swashes and make ready for war. When McClaren sets out to make a car, they start from scratch and they play for keeps.
Britain’s McClaren Automotive, the consumer side of the McClaren dynasty, currently has a production capacity of 1,000 cars per year, soon to be 5,000. A number still shy of Ferrari’s 7,000 cars a year, McClaren might be looking like David in a story of Goliath, but McClaren has never been short on motivation or ingenuity.
The announcement of McClaren’s push back into the civilian world of automotive production is exciting news for all car enthusiasts. Healthy competition always benefits the consumer and an automotive arms race is already spreading across Europe. With oversight from Ron Dennis, McClaren is sure to make a profound entrance into this competitive arena. With adversaries who have produced automotive legends such as the Enzo, Diablo, and Carrera GT the rebuttal to McClaren’s 12C is sure to be spectacular.
Photo via Dwonderwall