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CES 2020: OnePlus Concept One phone uses clever McLaren glass tech

McLaren glass One Plus Concept One phone

CES 2020 is the place where the motor and tech industry collides. This year, Sony has announced a car, Toyota has announced a city.

Now McLaren is donating some of its tech and high quality materials to a concept smartphone from One Plus.

It’s called the One Plus Concept One, and to help you pick up on the affiliation with McLaren, it’s resplendent in the supercar maker’s famous Papaya Orange hue, used for the soft grained semi-aniline leather case. 

“At McLaren we select the best quality leathers produced in the UK, Ireland and Scotland,” said Jo Lewis, Colour and Materials Design Manager at McLaren Automotive.

“Our design at McLaren embraces the natural features of the leather through the subtle grain variation which adds character to each car – making each McLaren completely unique and therefore making this OnePlus concept device follow in a similar unique path.”​

“Invisible cameras” through McLaren-style glass tech

On the back there’s also a McLaren logo at the top, above where you might expect the cameras to be. 

And they ARE there – you just can’t see them until you need them. That’s because the Concept One phone (not to be confused with the Rimac electric hypercar) uses colour-shifting glass tech pioneered by McLaren to hide the cameras.

This electrochromic glass tech was first used by McLaren on the 720S Spider, GT and, likely, the upcoming Speedtail hypercar. It can change the amount of shade in it, and the amount of light it lets through, when an electric current is passed through.

McLaren glass One Plus Concept One phone

On the McLaren road cars, it’s comprised of multiple layers of glass, and that doesn’t change for the One Plus Concept One. Given the fact it covers cameras, rather than passengers, and that it’s on a phone, it has to be a lot thinner.

The layers on this Concept Phone’s camera area are a scarcely believable 0.1 mm (0.0039 in) thick each, for a total of 0.35 mm (0.013 in). One Plus says that’s about as thin as the screen protector you might have put on your phone.

So what about the shade shift? You’ll want your cameras working at their best the instant you open the app, so it has to be swift. And it is, taking just 0.7 seconds to go from solid black to fully clear.

That means the glass changes quicker than the app itself takes to open.

McLaren glass One Plus Concept One phone

The tinted glass is also put to further use in front of the cameras. The software allows it to let three differing levels of light into the lenses. That means you don’t necessarily have to play with ISO settings or shutter speed. Clever stuff.

So can you buy this little slice of McLaren luxury and cleverness? Nope, sorry. As the name suggests, it’s just a concept… for now.

McLaren Senna XP Editions

McLaren creates trio of Senna XP hypercars inspired by racing legend

McLaren Senna XP Editions

The exclusive McLaren Beverly Hills dealership has revealed details of three special bespoke examples of the Senna XP hypercar. 

Built by the McLaren Special Operations team, each of the three cars features a design that pays tribute to Formula 1 driver Ayrton Senna

Along with providing a name for McLaren’s most recent Ultimate Series car, Senna also won three F1 World Championships driving for the British team. Key events from his time with the racing outfit are celebrated with these cars. 

Master of Monaco

McLaren Senna XP Editions

The Monaco Grand Prix is the toughest test for any Formula 1 driver. Senna took six wins on the streets of Monte Carlo, demonstrating his immense talent. 

All three of the Senna XP cars feature an exposed carbon body with a gloss finish applied. Details based on the flags from the countries which hosted Senna’s greatest moments are then applied by hand to the rear wing and other external trim. 

For the Master of Monaco car, this means red and white highlights being applied. The interior also features red seat trim, red tint for the exposed carbon trim, and a special 1 of 1 dedication plaque.

Lap of the Gods

McLaren Senna XP Editions

One of the singlest greatest examples of the abilities possessed by Ayrton Senna came at the 1993 European Grand Prix. Held at Donington Park in the United Kingdom, Senna started fifth on the grid ahead of the race in the rain.

The Brazilian driver ended the first lap in the lead, having simply outdriven the competition in the demanding conditions. He would go on to win the race by more than 1 minute ahead of Damon Hill in second. 

The Senna XP Lap of the Gods car wears a large Union Jack across the rear wing. All three cars have bespoke painted brake calipers, plus unique accelerator pedals and a steering wheel with a unique 12 o’clock marker.

Home Victory (Vitória em casa)

McLaren Senna XP Editions

The final car of the trio, Home Victory, pays tribute to one of Senna’s greatest wins. At the 1991 Brazilian Grand Prix, with his McLaren stuck in sixth gear by the end of the race, Senna still went on to cross the finish line in first place. 

With a Brazilian flag on the wing, combined with yellow and green exterior detailing, Home Victory certainly stands out. The interior is also resplendent in green, with the custom work to create the cars having taken some 780 hours. 

McLaren Senna XP Editions

The Senna XP models are created from the initial prototype and test models made by McLaren, and are in addition to the 500 production examples. Each Senna XP has been rebuilt, and uses a 789 horsepower twin-turbo V-8 engine. 

Prices are set to be accordingly high, with each example having a MSRP of $1,435,328 (£1.88 m). The cars can only be purchased through the McLaren Beverly Hills dealership.

Despite the Senna being limited to 500 initial examples, McLaren has already produced a number of variations. The Senna GTR, a track-only version, saw 75 examples made, whilst the recently announced McLaren Elva will essentially be an open-top version of the Senna.

McLaren 600LT Spider review: lean and roofless

McLaren 600LT Spider

Regular readers may recall I said the McLaren 600LT was the most exciting car I drove in 2018. My review concluded: ‘The [forthcoming] 600LT Spider is essentially the same, but with a folding hard-top roof. Will that end up being the best driver’s car launched in 2019? Don’t bet against it’. Time to discover if McLaren has done the double.

First, though, a quick recap. The 600LT is a harder, faster version of McLaren’s ‘junior’ 570S supercar: less daily-driver, more track-day toy. The LT suffix stands for ‘Longtail’, and you’ll find a fixed spoiler and twin top-exit exhausts on the elongated rear deck. Some parts, such as the lowered suspension and bigger brakes, are borrowed from the more exotic 720S, while power climbs by 30hp to 600hp.

Read more Motoring Research reviews FIRST on City AM

The 600LT’s F1-style carbon fibre chassis is so stiff that chopping off its top requires no extra bracing. The electric roof – which folds in 15 seconds at up to 25mph – adds 48kg, but the Spider still weighs up to 100kg less than its 570S sibling, depending on which options you choose. The thinly-padded racing seats from the Senna hypercar are 3.66kg lighter, for instance, while titanium wheel bolts shave a further 420g. Masochists can even forgo air conditioning (12.6kg) and an audio system (3.3kg) in the quest to cut kilos.

McLaren 600LT Spider

On-paper performance is scarcely compromised versus the coupe. Zero to 62mph takes an identical 2.9 seconds and, at 201mph (or a hair-raising 196mph with the roof down), few will quibble about a 3mph deficit flat-out. This latest Longtail isn’t just about straight-line speed, though: corners are its specialist subject. With that in mind, I set my alarm for 5am, fire up the 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 – thus waking up most of south London – and flee the city for deepest Suffolk, in search of B-road bliss.

It’s before dawn and I still have the M25 to contend with so, rather than going fully topless, I retract the drop-down rear window. The truncated tailpipes, which spit flames at high revs, are now inches behind my unguarded eardrums, their furious rasps and downshift detonations so hard-edged they could crack concrete. Previous McLarens were criticised for sounding muted. Not this one. My 600LT Spider does have a stereo (3.3kg penalty be damned), but I don’t switch it on once.

As the sun burns away the morning dew, I exit the A12 and fold the roof fully. The effect is like licking salt after downing a double tequila: an intoxicating sensory overload. The V8 revs like a superbike, body control is utterly iron-fisted and the 600LT’s hydraulic steering is so direct it feels almost precognitive. It turns into bends with motorsport-grade adhesion, then punches outwards with concussive force. This blend of deft dynamics with shock-and-awe savagery is something only the more focused Ferraris and Porsche’s GT cars can equal.

McLaren 600LT Spider

It’s not perfect, though. The 600LT coupe is incredible on-track, as I learned last year at the Hungaroring, and I’ve no doubt the Spider would feel just as tenacious and explosive. Likewise, on smooth roads, it’s hard to imagine a more rewarding way to lose your licence. However, on broken British tarmac, with all its cracks and potholes, the 600LT can feel too firm and unflinching. By the time I rejoin the M25 home, I’m like a tired toddler suffering a sugar-crash.

So, today’s nugget of prudent consumer advice: if you want a daily-driver, go for the softer-sprung 570S. A weekend plaything? Definitely the 600LT. As for the best driver’s car of 2019, we have a few months of the year left – and a review of the new Porsche Cayman GT4 still to come. Place your bets now.

Price: £201,500

0-62mph: 2.9sec

Top speed: 201mph

CO2 G/KM: 266

MPG combined: 24.1

This review was originally published in City AM.

In pictures: McLaren 600LT Spider

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McLaren Senna recalled for fire risk

McLaren Senna recalled for fire risk

The McLaren Senna has officially been recalled due to a fire risk. This follows numerous reports of cars combusting, including the Senna of famous YouTuber, Salomondrin.

The cause of the fires has until now been unknown. However, the recall details an issue with wiring sustaining heat damage.

A branch of the vehicle harness runs close to a metal link pipe heat shield. The heat damage causes overfueling to the engine, which then increases catalyst temperatures. It’s the catalyst that has been identified as the source of the fire risk.

Cars affected were built between 21 June 2018 and 20 June 2019. McLaren advises owners that if they think their car may be affected, they should contact their McLaren dealer urgently, if it hasn’t already contacted them.

Salomondrin (real name Alejandro Salomon) posted a video of his car catching fire in January. He’d had the car less than two weeks, and had done around 400 miles, when it went up while he was driving. He claimed that while driving he noticed sparks and fire shooting from his exhaust, landing on the ground and staying lit.

He found an area where the car could burn without fear of setting surrounding trees or foliage on fire, and left it to do its thing.

McLaren Senna recalled for fire risk

The Senna joins a host of recent supercars that have suffered from fire issues. During testing recently, a prototype for the McLaren Speedtail burst into flames in Surrey, England.

A prominent past case of combusting supercars was the Porsche 911 GT3 of 2013. Following reports of multiple fires, Porsche recalled all ‘new’ GT3s for significant engine work.

Likewise, with the Ferrari 458, there were multiple incidents of cars catching fire. It was recalled for a change in adhesive, to a less flammable type.

This is the world’s most immaculate McLaren F1

Restored McLaren F1

McLaren is flexing its official Certification program by MSO again this year, by showing off chassis F1 #63  in a freshly-restored and newly-certified state. You can see it in person at Hampton Court Concours d’Elegance 2019 next week.

The restoration took 18 months, and involved a full engine and transmission rebuild, and a complete interior retrim.

On the inside, new leather and alcantara trim is complemented by a new steering wheel taken from MSO’s stockpile of original parts. The owner kept the original wheel as a memento – so cool.

Restored McLaren F1

Following the rebuild, the BMW V12 engine was even dyno-tested to make sure it produced figures befitting an F1.

Other parts were also sent back to their original suppliers for refurbishment and rebuild. The dampers went back to Bilstein while the driveshafts and hubs were also refreshed by their original supplier.

The result, after those 18 months, and 3,000 man-hours, is a near good-as-new McLaren F1, track-proven and complete with a certificate of authenticity and history file. The owner even got a scale model created from a laser scan of the car.

Restored McLaren F1

MSO’s certified program is pretty well the closest thing anyone will get to experiencing taking delivery of a brand new McLaren F1. The catch is that you have to own one to send in for a restoration in the first place…

“Just 12 months ago we announced the MSO McLaren F1 Heritage programme with the unveiling of F1 25R, resplendent in Gulf Racing Colours”, said Ansar Ali, Managing Director, McLaren Special Operations.

Restored McLaren F1

“Following an extensive restoration, which was very much a labour of love for our team, it’s an honour to now display chassis 63 at the Hampton Court Concours d’Elegance.

“With the work the team has carried out, this car will continue to fulfil the original brief for the McLaren F1; to create the world’s finest road car.”

The 250mph McLaren Speedtail is named ‘Best in Show’

McLaren Speedtail is an award-winner

McLaren’s Speedtail, the long-awaited hyper GT currently in development, is still some way from the clutches of its lucky owners. However, it has been named ‘Best in Show’ at an event in France – the Concours d’Elegance at Chantilly Arts & Elegance.

This is a previously unseen example of the Ultimate Series grand tourer. Presented in a Saragon Quartz body with an Oxblood aniline leather and nubuck interior, it’s subtle but stylish.

It’s intended to showcase the bespoke luxury materials and finishes available on the Speedtail.

McLaren Speedtail is an award-winner

It wowed the crowds, winning ‘Best of Show’ 2019 in the Concours d’Elegance. Grand touring was a bit of a theme for McLaren at the event, with the Speedtail joined by its junior sibling, the McLaren GT.

As a reminder, the McLaren Speedtail is the marque’s fastest car to date, with a top speed of over 250mph. It does so with the power of a petrol hybrid powertrain with over 1,000hp.

Famously, it joins the F1 in being able to bring two other passengers along for the ride. Yes, the classic central-driving three-seat layout is back. Just 106 examples of the Speedtail are set for production, with each one reportedly spoken for.

McLaren Speedtail is an award-winner

“To have the McLaren Speedtail recognised as ‘best of the show’ by the judges of the Chantilly Arts & Elegance Richard Mille is a great honour for us,” said David Gilbert, managing director Europe, McLaren Automotive.

McLaren Speedtail is an award-winner

“The McLaren design team is always brave in its approach. Receiving this award for the stunning design, craftsmanship and innovation is a fantastic reward to the team back in Woking.”

Revealed: the cheapest way to own a new McLaren 720S

ride-on McLaren 720S

McLaren has unveiled a new version of the 720S supercar and it’s 700 times cheaper than usual. Inevitably, though, there is a catch.

The £315 electric ride-on 720S is perfect for the children of discerning McLaren owners. It even has the trademark butterfly doors.

ride-on McLaren 720S

Other features not unlike the normal 720S include an infotainment screen, complete with the ability to play music or movies. Because this baby McLaren isn’t entertaining enough already…

Being a kiddy car, it’s barely the size of a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8. There’s no word on how much power the electric motor makes, but safe to say it won’t be troubling the real thing.

Also new is the autonomous driving feature. Well, semi-autonomous. Parents who don’t fancy handing their little one McLaren power can control the car remotely.

ride-on McLaren 720S

As for other bits of realism, the car starts on a key, and has accelerator and brake pedals. It even has brake lights for when the driver hits the anchors. It could be a bit of an analogue hero, too; we doubt this new model has ABS.

Three- to six-year-olds can get into a ‘Papaya Spark’ orange 720S from official McLaren retailers later in the year. Other colour options will follow soon afterwards.

McLaren puts on £50 million supercar display

McLaren display in Woking

McLaren has assembled 23 of its modern-day road cars at its Woking HQ to celebrate the company’s employee, friends and family open day.

The line-up of cars – which was too big to fit within the dimensions of our standard image size – is thought to be worth around £50m.

It’s the first time McLaren has ‘reunited’ its modern icons in Woking, with 3,000 employees present to see the unique line-up.

Everything from the P1 GTR to the new Speedtail was on hand to create a colourful and expensive display of sports cars, supercars and hypercars. For a full list, skip to the bottom of the page.

‘How far we’ve come’

Mike Flewitt, chief executive officer, McLaren Automotive, said: “Seeing our famous line-up of cars assembled here for the first time today is a reminder to everyone of how far we’ve come as a company in such a short space of time and the ambition and innovation of our people who have helped create that success.

“It’s thanks to them, with the support of their friends and families, that we have been able to achieve so much, so quickly and launch so many amazing cars, over 90 per cent of which are exported around the world.

“Our ambition as a company remains stronger than ever and we look forward to adding more amazing drivers’ cars to our range very soon.”

McLaren £50m display in Woking

A month ago, McLaren Automotive celebrated the 20,000th car to be built in Woking. A total of 4,800 cars left the factory in 2018, with 90 percent of the cars exported to more than 32 different markets.

Mike Flewitt said: “While demand for our products continues to grow, we aim to balance that to maintain exclusivity for our brand and our customers. It is fitting that we celebrate this achievement with a 600LT Spider, which has been a huge success for us with all production slots for the coupe variant now sold out.”

For more McLaren goodness, check out our guide to the special cars linked to Le Mans and everything you need to know about the new McLaren GT

The line-up in full

McLaren 570SMcLaren 570S Spider McLaren 570GT
McLaren 570S GT4McLaren 675 LT SpiderMcLaren 675 LT
McLaren 600LTMcLaren 600LT SpiderMcLaren GT
McLaren SpeedtailMcLaren F1 XP5McLaren P1
McLaren P1 GTRMcLaren SennaMcLaren 720S GT3
McLaren MSO 720S SpiderMcLaren 720S McLaren MSO 688HS
McLaren 650S SpiderMcLaren 650S CoupeMcLaren 12c 50th Anniversary Spider
McLaren 650S Can AmMcLaren 12 (Job #1) 

Spoiler alert: McLaren 570S gets aggressive new styling kit

MSO Defined High Downforce Kit for McLaren 570

Track-focused 600LT a bit much for you? Well, you can now get (most of) the look on McLaren’s more affordable 570S models, courtesy of the MSO Defined High Downforce Kit.

At first glance, a rear spoiler may seem to be stretching the definition of ‘kit’. However, the carbon fibre wing works together with additional aerodynamic guide vanes on the underside of the car to create a measurable effect.

For £7,950, you get an additional 75kg of downforce, along with plenty of added attitude.

MSO Defined High Downforce Kit for McLaren 570

“We are constantly looking for opportunities to make the latest and very best designs and technologies available, not only to new car buyers but also to customers who already own a McLaren,” said Carl Whipp, global aftersales director at McLaren.

“The new MSO Defined High Downforce Kit is a perfect example of this ethos, offering both a transformative visual enhancement and dynamic benefits.”

Ground effect, visual effect

MSO Defined High Downforce Kit for McLaren 570

Cynical? We were too, but when you consider the target market for the 570, adding a bit of ‘skunkworks’ visual addenda to the options list isn’t a bad idea. Especially given many customers will be visiting aftermarket vendors for similar add-ons. McLaren is aiming to edge out the likes of Novitec and Vorsteiner with its own offering.

It doesn’t look half bad, either. It’s hardly the sort of air-cleaver McLaren offers on some of its Ultimate Series models, but this smaller wing suits the subtler Sports Series cars rather well.

MSO Defined High Downforce Kit for McLaren 570

The best bit? Without those 600LT-style top-exit exhausts, there’s no chance of your new spoiler getting singed.

The HDK is available from official McLaren retailers now. Bear in mind, however, that the four hours it takes to fit is not included in the price.

Gordon Murray’s online museum is virtually brilliant

Gordon Murray McLaren F1 LM

Warning: if you intend to immerse yourself in the virtual world of Gordon Murray’s online exhibition, a lunch-hour won’t be enough. Tell your boss you need to spend the afternoon researching. Or something.

The One Formula exhibition is an internet-based museum, allowing visitors to ‘wander’ (and wonder) through 50 years of Gordon Murray’s work. It’s free to enter and there are no queues.

Forty different road and race cars are on show, ranging from the iconic McLaren F1 to Ayrton Senna’s MP4/4 Formula One car. Visitors can even ‘sit’ in the cockpits, which is something you’re unlikely to do at a real museum.

Well, not unless you fancy having your collar felt by a friendly security guard or being chased off the premises by a curator.

‘The next best thing’ to reality

Gordon Murray IGM MinBug

Professor Gordon Murray, CBE, said: “It is such thrill to share my passion for engineering purity, beautiful design, aerodynamic excellence, and technological innovation. Creating an exhibition in a free-to-view format, accessible to all, in stunning virtual reality is exciting and a source of great pride.

“For the One Formula exhibition, we gathered almost every race and road car from my 50-year career to date, and we were inundated with requests from fans across the world who wanted to visit. Being a short-term, private exhibition meant we couldn’t share our passion with these enthusiasts. So, doing so in virtual form is the next best thing!”

Other exhibits include the IGM MinBug designed and built by Murray in 1971, the IGM Midas-Alfa of 1981, the OX flat-pack truck, and the TVR Griffith.

The opening of the exhibition coincides with the launch of Murray’s One Formula book, a two-volume, 900-page epic charting 50 years of automotive design and engineering.

To lose an entire afternoon ‘walking’ through the online exhibition, visit oneformulagordonmurray.com.