Ron Dennis and the McLaren MP4-12C
British motorsports company McLaren yesterday announced the establishment of a brand new sports car company, McLaren Automotive, along with the announcement of its first model, the all-new MP4-12C supercar, which is set to go on sale in the second half of 2011. The MP4-12C will be followed by several other road cars but one thing is for certain, the company won’t be making anything but sports cars.
The information comes directly from McLaren boss Ron Dennis, who revealed that two other models are in the works: a flagship supercar to take on the likes of the Aston Martin One-77, Pagani C9 and Ferrari’s Enzo-successor, as well as a more entry-level model to compete with the Porsche 911 and Audi R8.
Unlike some of its rivals, however, McLaren is not planning any sedans, SUVs or other bodystyles, although there will be variations of existing models, such as a MP4-12C convertible and a stripped-out racing version.
"We intend to have a diverse product range but they will all have two seats," Dennis told Autocar. "This is our heritage--we are sports car makers and the engine will be in the back of all our cars."
There will also be a focus on efficiency--a word seldom heard when talking high-end sports cars. McLaren is committed to ensuring that its cars have the lowest CO2 emissions per horsepower of any car on sale, with the primary focus being on reducing the weight of its vehicles.
McLaren, and its new road car division, McLaren Automotive, look set for a bright future. Later this year the company plans to announce a new investor that will take a substantial 48 percent stake in the entire McLaren Group and according to Dennis, profitability is about four to five years away.