McLaren Automotive just launched its new sports car operation in March, and at the same time started work to build the new plant that will build its cars--starting with the MP4-12C. Today the company revealed the plant's construction is running ahead of schedule, meaning we should see the new mid-engine McLaren reach volume production at or ahead of its target date of 2011.

The first MP4-12Cs will be built at the existing Production Hall in McLaren's Technology Centre (MTC) starting later this year, but the lessons learned in the smaller-scale production will translate to helping make the full-production run of up to 1,000 of the cars next year at the soon-completed McLaren Production Center (MPC) more efficient.

When completed, the MPC will be just two minutes--by foot--from the MTC, meaning McLaren can tap its racing operations for expertise and assistance in its production car manufacturing with ease. Considering the MP4-12C is designed with an F1-like one-piece carbon fiber tub chassis, the overlap between the two divisions is likely to be greater than at other, larger automakers.

Groundwork for a U.S. sales network for the MP4-12C and future McLaren production cars is already being laid. To get a head start on speccing out your own MP4-12C, check out the configurator here.

For more on the upcoming 2012 McLaren MP4-12C, check out our preview story here.