Any supercar enthusiast is well aware of McLaren by virtue of the company’s iconic F1 from the 1990s. A Formula 1 racing team funneled their technology and lessons learned into a road car, and it was completely bonkers. However, instead of building on the F1’s momentum, the company technically went dormant from 1994-2010. McLaren Automotive then emerged from the darkness with the MP4-12C, their first street car in over 12 years. Just this month, after eight years of operation, McLaren Automotive has produced their 15,000th car. The exact model to roll off the assembly line was a 570S Spider in Curacao Blue.
A New Challenger Appears
Their first foray into the market of production supercars, the MP4-12C took some time to catch on after its introduction in 2011. But it was hard to ignore the company’s F1 influence that made for a fast car that was enjoyable to drive. Many journalists cited a lack of charisma in the MP4-12C, such as Don Sherman of Car and Driver who said it had, “an obvious lack of sex appeal”.
McLaren had no problem fixing that ‘lack of sex appeal’ when they introduced the McLaren P1 in 2013. The first hybrid hypercar, the company will claim, captured many wishful minds with its stunning looks and mind-boggling performance figures. Not only did this vehicle steal hearts in an instant, it also helped to build the idea that hybrid tech can be used for more than just fuel economy, thank goodness.
From there, the company hit the ground running, introducing the 650S in 2014, followed by the 570S, 540C, 675LT and McLaren P1 GTR in 2015. In 2016, McLaren launched the 675LT Spider while also selling their 10,000th vehicle. Just last year, McLaren launched the 570S Spider, the 720S, and their new halo car, the McLaren Senna.
It is not easy to start a new car company these days, and it is even harder to find real success doing so. If you are questioning McLaren’s success at this point, just know that they outsold Lamborghini in the US last year. The reason for all this gushing about McLaren is that competition breeds innovation. Having another quality producer of supercars just means better products for us to experience.
Over the coming years, McLaren has made clear their plans to continue producing supercars, while integrating more hybrid tech in their lineup according to their Track 22 plan.
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Roman had the chance to drive a McLaren recently, the 570S Spider, here’s what he thinks: