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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 570S McLaren 570S Spider  McLaren 570GT
McLaren 570S GT4 McLaren 675 LT Spider McLaren 675 LT
McLaren 600LT McLaren 600LT Spider McLaren GT
McLaren Speedtail McLaren F1 XP5 McLaren P1
McLaren P1 GTR McLaren Senna McLaren 720S GT3
McLaren MSO 720S Spider McLaren 720S  McLaren MSO 688HS
McLaren 650S Spider McLaren 650S Coupe McLaren 12c 50th Anniversary Spider
McLaren 650S Can Am McLaren 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.

From F1 to GT: The history of McLaren road cars in pictures

McLaren is known the world over for its success on the racetrack, but in recent years it has also challenged Ferrari and Porsche on the road. Not many race car constructors could pull off the move, but McLaren has. Here, we chart its history.

More McLaren on Motoring Research:

McLaren F1 (1993)

The revived McLaren company had also targeted a move from racetrack to road for years, but only decided to do so in the late 1980s. Legend has it, the decision came after team boss Ron Dennis and designer Gordon Murray got chatting in an airport after a delayed flight.

The McLaren F1 became the firm’s first-ever road car at launch in 1992 – and, with a 242mph top speed, easily the world’s fastest. Fittingly, it’s P1 in McLaren’s road car codename chronology.

Ironically, the F1 went full circle back to the racetrack and won Le Mans…

Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren (2003)

Skip forward a few years (and a few abandoned projects) for McLaren’s next road car: the 2006 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren. Codenamed P7, it was a Mercedes-Benz concept that McLaren put into production – hence the name hierarchy.

A faster 722 version, a Roadster, the limited-run Sir Stirling Moss and McLaren Edition MSO versions would follow

McLaren MP4-12C (2011)

McLaren’s breakthrough road car, the ‘P11’ MP4-12C (you’ll note a few more McLaren ‘P’ concepts were lost along the way). At launch, McLaren announced to the world it was a Ferrari-beater: it wasn’t quite, but it would soon develop into one.

At the end of 2012, McLaren dropped the MP4 bit from the name: it was now officially just ‘12C’. As well as adding a drop-top Spider, it also boosted power from 600 to 625 horsepower, tweaked other parts of the drivetrain and fitted proper door release buttons rather than the troublesome ‘swipe to open’ launch system.

McLaren P1 (2013)

Revealed at the 2012 Paris Motor Show, the McLaren P1, codenamed P12, was a stunning hypercar that’s part of McLaren’s pinnacle Ultimate Series range. Just 375 were made, with 58 track-only GTR variants following. Its active aero, gratuitous turbo ‘whoosh’ and road-hugging track mode are now the stuff of legend.

McLaren 650S (2014)

In 2014, McLaren revealed the 650S at the Geneva Motor Show. Dubbed ‘P11M’, it was a 12C wearing a P1-style nose. The idea was to offer 12C and 650S alongside one another, but orders for the 12C naturally dried up. McLaren thus discontinued the 12C (and offered the 3,500 existing 12C owners a ‘650S upgrade’ pack). The 650S was also available as a drop-top Spider.

McLaren 675LT (2015)

In 2015, the mighty 675LT arrived. That’s LT for ‘longtail’, harking back to the 1997 F1 GT. A full-length rear airbrake, hyper-tuned suspension and a wild 675 horsepower engine made for an exceptional drive (and enough speed around a track to almost match the P1). Weirdly, they also took a tin-opener to this most hardcore of models, for the Spider variant.

McLaren 570S (2015)

McLaren rounded out 2015 with what was to prove its important car yet – the 570S. A more affordable, more accessible sports car to take on the Porsche 911 and Audi R8, this is the car that saw McLaren Automotive grow to its target of building 4,000 road cars a year – and beyond. A drop-top 570S would follow, for those who want their Sports Series McLaren with a bit more sky.

McLaren 570GT (2016)

The 570GT was the first modern McLaren that wasn’t billed as an out-and-out sports car. It was more rounded, with (slightly) more supple suspension and a side-hinged glass tailgate that revealed a load bay bigger than many superminis. It’s this GT theme that the firm has subsequently developed further…

McLaren 720S (2017)

The mighty McLaren 720S was the firm’s Super Series replacement for the 650S – and the first time it had given one of its cars a ground-up makeover. The name says it all: 720 horsepower. Performance is absolutely incredible: no wonder it scooped the 2019 World Performance Car of the Year prize. Now available in open-air Spider flavour, too.

McLaren Senna (2018)

McLaren’s next Ultimate Series model was a curious follow-up to the P1. Once you get past the controversial styling, you find no hybrid systems and less power than the car that preceded it. That’s because the Senna is all about pure track work – lightweight function over form. You know what doesn’t give as much downforce as a Senna? Most conventionally pretty cars. You know what weighs a lot more? The P1, with its batteries. We reckon this 800hp tribute to Ayrton goes well enough without extra electric puff.

McLaren 600LT (2018)

Long-awaited, given the superb reaction to the 570, was this more hardcore 600LT variant. You know the drill: weight down, power up, handling tuned, aero added. This fire-spitting GT3 RS-baiter topped many Car of The Year votes, including our own. Curiously, this hardcore track version is also available with the wind-in-the-hair experience. Further testament to the stiffness of that incredible carbon tub.

McLaren Speedtail (2019)

The Speedtail is the second wave of McLaren’s two-pronged hypercar attack. It’s pretty much the opposite of the Senna in every way. This car is all about being smooth and comfortable: a hyper GT. A 250mph 1,000hp hybrid whale-tail private jet for the road, it will also carry three occupants, with the driver in the middle – a nod to the F1 that started it all.

McLaren GT (2019)

Finally, the GT. It’s a new model inspired by the success of the 570GT. This is the third of McLaren’s road cars (after the 570GT and Speedtail) to shirk outright track performance for grand touring prowess. Its sleek looks immediately mark it out as something more nuanced than its bewinged brethren. Its boot will take overnight bags and golf clubs with ease, while a new infotainment system should be a big improvement. Still want that Aston Martin DB11 AMR?

McLaren GT: all you need to know about the baby Speedtail

McLaren GT

McLaren has unveiled its new GT model. It will be the fifth independent model in the range, excluding LT, Spider and GT versions of its 570 and 720 models.

You might wonder where it sits in the McLaren range. The Sports, Super and Ultimate Series models are easily divided by performance, price and exclusivity.

McLaren

The GT is intended to be a bit more nuanced, shirking a focus on outright performance for a specific use: Grand Touring. Think of it as a middle ground between the 570GT and the Speedtail, though definitely closer to the former…

The first true McLaren Grand Tourer

McLaren GT

It doesn’t quite find a home within the existing three-level structure of McLaren’s lineup. It’s still a McLaren – mid-engined, with a twin-turbo V8 and a carbon tub – but everything has been tuned and geared towards being a cosseting continent crosser.

McLaren GT

So that means the ride comfort, cabin refinement, control optimisation and weights have all been geared towards amenability and daily usability. The new Proactive Damping Control suspension system is instrumental in realising the GT’s new more cosseting personality.

The ride height and ground clearance have even been developed with urban driving and speed bumps firmly in mind. 

McLaren GT: elegance over aggression

McLaren GT

While the GT is recognisably a McLaren, some of the marque’s more controversial design elements are gone, in favour of a more traditional look.

That means no 720S-style ‘eye sockets’ or even lights in the shape of a McLaren logo, as per previous cars. It’s a simple, slim and elegant light design, with no excessively-sized vents at all. That means most of the madness of the Senna is nowhere to be seen.

We say most, given that those gaping side vents rear of the doors look oddly familiar…

McLaren

There isn’t even any active aero, as far as we can tell. There’s no aggressive splitter, no jagged aero-focused rear end. The exhausts are low down and the diffuser is by no means intrusive.

The air exit vent, within which the elegant strip lights reside, is of a stylish and modest shape, sitting under a subtle ducktail into which the top of the car tapers.

McLaren

The styling, while more subtle than what we’ve grown accustomed to from McLaren, isn’t where the GT-ness is at its strongest, though.

You have to step inside.

The cabin of the McLaren GT

McLaren

Some of the finest luxuries in motoring are space and light. While the GT is no four-up tourer like a Ferrari GTC4Lusso, it has an overabundance of transparent surfaces that bathe the cabin in light to give it an airy feel.

The obvious large glass areas are joined by a transparent roof and buttress elements, first seen on the 720S Spider.

To look at, besides being nicely naturally lit, the interior is familiar McLaren. It does, however, feature the new (much improved and much needed) HERE infotainment system, which is McLaren’s most sophisticated system to date.

McLaren GT

One thing a GT car needs is a sizeable boot. The GT comes complete with 570 litres of storage space including the front trunk (or ‘frunk’).

In the back, McLaren knows the audience it wants for this car.

McLaren

The rear storage is big enough for a set of golf clubs, big bags and skis, and accessible via the front-hinged, full-length glazed tailgate (under which you’d find an engine in most supercars).

That lid is available with power operation, for the ultimate in McLaren GT convenience…

Power and performance: it’s still a supercar

McLaren GT

While a Grand Tourer, it’s still the McLaren of Grand Tourers. As such, you can expect serious performance for when you’ve finished relaxing.

The 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 is a development of the units found in the 720S and Senna. With 620hp and 464lb ft of torque, it’s the least powerful of the three, but provides a ‘torque curve to ensure seamless, relentless acceleration’.

McLaren

Because 0-62mph times aren’t very GT, McLaren quotes a nine-second 0-124mph time. Assume that 62mph will arrive in the low threes. Top end, it’ll be going 203mph.

Truthfully, performance figures are almost an irrelevance in this car. As long as it’s got good overtaking power (it’s a McLaren, so this is a given), it does the job.

How much is it and when can I have one?

McLaren GT

The McLaren GT is available to order now, and if your name is one of the first on the list, you can expect delivery ‘towards the end of 2019’. Prices start from £163,000, but we expect a nicely-specced car will be closer to £200,000.

Twenty thousand cars? At this rate, McLaren Automotive will hit 25,000 units in no time at all.

McLaren Automotive has now built 20,000 supercars

McLaren Automotive 20000

To readers of a certain age, McLaren Automotive celebrating the 20,000th car to be built in Woking might seem a tad surprising.

After all, when production of the iconic F1 ceased in May 1998, McLaren customers had every reason to believe they would be part of a select group of owners. Just 106 cars were built, making the F1 one of the most exclusive cars on the planet.

Little changed for more than a decade, until the next road car – an MP4 12C – left the McLaren Production Centre in July 2011. Today, you have more chance of seeing a newly-registered McLaren than you do a new Lotus.

Last year, McLaren built 4,800 cars, with output remaining at around 5,000 a year into the next decade, before increasing to 6,000. The company must strike a balance between maintaining exclusivity and satisfying increasing global demand.

Production has doubled from around 10 cars a day to more than 20, with 90 percent of the cars built in Woking exported to more than 32 different markets. This truly is a success story for British manufacturing – now marked by the 20k landmark car, a Chicane Grey 600LT Spider.

‘An important milestone’

McLaren Automotive production milestone

Mike Flewitt, McLaren Automotive CEO, said: “Achieving our 20,000th car built is an important milestone for McLaren Automotive. Last year we hand-assembled just over 4,800 cars and we plan to maintain around 5,000 cars a year for the immediate future.

“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.”

McLaren Automotive employs 2,300 people and is the largest part of the McLaren Group. There are four distinct product groups – Sports Series, Super Series, Ultimate Series and Motorsport – with cars sold via 80 retailers across the world.

The company will unveil a new Superlight Grand Tourer on 15 May, before it makes its first public appearance at Top Marques Monaco at the end of the month. 

LEGO McLaren Senna rear

McLaren builds lifesize Senna supercar out of Lego

LEGO McLaren Senna rear

McLaren’s Senna supercar has been recreated in Lego – and the result is genuinely jaw-dropping.

The 1:1 scale model consists of 467,854 bricks and took a team of 42 Lego specialists nearly 5,000 hours to assemble. Compare that to the 300 hours McLaren needs to hand-build the real thing.

At 1,700kg, the Lego Senna is also 500kg heavier than the flyweight original.

LEGO McLaren Senna and real McLaren Senna

Open the dihedral doors and you’ll discover an interior with genuine Senna hardware, including the steering wheel, pedals and carbon fibre driving seat. The badges and Pirelli tyres are also pukka McLaren parts. 

The lights and infotainment both work, while pushing the start button in the roof simulates the sound of an 800hp V8 erupting to life. 

The car’s Victory Grey with orange exterior colour scheme replicates the 219-piece, Lego Speed Champions edition Senna model, which is already on sale.

LEGO McLaren Senna interior

This is the second full-size McLaren made from Lego; the first was a 720S, built two years ago. However, the Senna uses nearly twice as many bricks.

Fans of Lego and McLaren will be able to see the model at various events this summer, including the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July.

We’ll leave the final word to MR’s Richard Aucock, who drove the Senna in 2018:

Hours after driving it, my hands were still shaking. I couldn’t sleep that night through thinking about it. I had wondered how McLaren could justify calling a car ‘Senna’. Now I knew. And I don’t think any car will feel quite the same again.

Buy a Lego McLaren kit

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McBrilliant: McLaren Glasgow is named best European retailer

McLaren Glasgow

McLaren Glasgow has been named McLaren European Retailer of the Year 2018, seeing off seven other UK dealers and European centres from as far afield as Stockholm and Riga.

It’s the third time Britain’s most northerly Macca retailer has scooped the prestigious prize, with the award claimed by McLaren Glasgow in its first year of trading in 2015, then again in 2016. The retailer also won the Global award in 2015.

In 2018, McLaren Beverly Hills lifted the Global crown, beating four regional finalists from Taipei, Mexico and Glasgow.

McLaren Glasgow European best

David Gilbert, managing director of McLaren Automotive in Europe, said: “I would like to congratulate McLaren Glasgow on claiming its third McLaren European Retailer of the Year award.

“McLaren Glasgow continues to set high standards in marketing, customer service and aftersales in addition to exemplary sales performance. This achievement is testament to the team’s commitment and I look forward to working together to continue this success in 2019.”

Other UK locations include Ascot, Birmingham, Bristol, Hatfield, Leeds, London and Manchester, plus a new retailer in the New Forest. 

No matter where you are in the UK, we suspect some of the terrific driving roads situated just north of Glasgow make the Scottish dealer a tempting location for McLaren’s most hardcore driving enthusiasts.

Service your McLaren, head north, enjoy empty roads, and return home feeling energised. Job done.