The all-new McLaren MP4-12C, as seen in this morning’s video, is set to be the first of a range of high-performance sports cars from the reinvigorated British manufacturer.
McLaren Automotive Chairman, Ron Dennis, said there comes a time when the maturity of a company and its future development depends on broadening its activities, and admitted that time was now for McLaren.
“We have long held the dream of building a range of innovative McLaren sports cars. Sports cars that take the raw elements of Formula One principles, processes and performance and forge them into a unique package that adds the requirements of quality, efficiency, comfort and reliability.
“Everything is in place and on schedule for the first of our new range of cars [the MP4-12C] to go on sale in the first half of 2011,” Mr Dennis said.
He confirmed yesterday the MP4-12C and subsequent models will roll off the line at the brand new £40 million (AUD$66.3 million) McLaren Production Centre (MPC).
“It is with great confidence and genuine excitement that we move forward with our plans to open up a new chapter for McLaren and the UK’s modern manufacturing industries,” Mr Dennis said.
Construction of the 32,000m² manufacturing facility in Woking, England, began on March 1 and is due for completion in just 12 months.
It will create up to 300 new jobs and support around 800 workers, with a view to manufacture 1000 12C’s in 2011.
McLaren confirmed it has so far taken 1600 ‘expressions of interest to purchase’ from around the world.
Claiming to be “the most powerful, the most efficient, and the lightest” car in the core sports class, McLaren will initially sell the MP4-12C through 35 dedicated dealers in 19 countries for between £125,000 and £175,000 (AUD$207,200 and $290,000).
Among other things, McLaren has designed the car to be “well packaged, fully equipped and a comfortable place to be on a drive from London to Monte Carlo, New York to Miami or Sydney to Perth”.
Yes, that’s right.
Australia will be part of the Asia-Pacific market (along with Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore) which is expected to make up 10 to 20 percent of total sales.
McLaren Automotive regional director for the Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific, Ian Gorsuch, said a key challenge will be developing a regional understanding of the McLaren brand and what it stands for.
“Often with new sports cars there is a perception that they are esoteric one-offs. McLaren and the 12C are not. This is the launch of a long-term sports car program backed up by a heritage going back decades.
“Most of our customers in the Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific regions will be well educated in the world of supercars and are very demanding of both the technology in the car but also its reliability. They will not accept a car that simply looks pretty in their collection, but is not satisfying to drive,” Mr Gorsuch said.
Canada and the US will share 30 to 40 percent of the initial MP4-12C supply. Europe (UK, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Italy, France and Belgium) will get a similar volume while the Middle-East/South Africa market (Bahrain, UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and South Africa) is expected to demand the remaining 10 to 20 percent.