Inside McLaren: developing the MP4-12C
McLaren Automotive presents the first in a series of broadcast-quality short videos, which reveals the performance car testing programme for the new McLaren MP4-12C.
The politics of the company includes this unique and engaging story, which precedes the first model going on sale in Spring 2011. The footage reveals McLaren Automotive's plans, processes and challenges.
The first film is named "Inside McLaren: developing the MP4-12C". Highlights include an introduction to the McLaren Technology Centre (MTC) and the MP4-12C test programme by McLaren Automotive Technical Director, Dick Glover. It also features testing in extreme conditions by Chief Test Driver Chris Goodwin. Other highlight is an overview by senior engineers of the integrated approach to development on roads and tracks around the world and, virtually, back at MTC. Last, but not least - 12C development (XP) prototypes on road and track in England and Germany, and extreme hot weather testing in Bahrain.
McLaren MP4-12C will be priced between £125,000 and £175,000. The car is tested in almost every possible driving conditions: from the dry and cold, ice and snow of the Arctic, to the hot and humid, sand-soaked air of the Middle-East.
This new model has the tough task to become a legend, like the previous McLaren F1.
"Having to develop a brand new range of cars from scratch to the standards expected of McLaren, featuring ground-breaking new structures and powertrain is the ultimate challenge and one we are relishing. Sure, we have challenges – that is why we go to these places that absolutely push the cars to their limits and beyond – but now we know just what the 12C is capable of, we are able to push on into 2010 and deliver cars of which McLaren will be rightly proud."
The 2009 programme features testing on two of the most famous race tracks in the world - Nordschleife Nurburgring and the BBC Top Gear test track at Dunsfold Aerodrome. Both tracks push the car to its the limits.
"McLaren has always set itself the highest standards. We are the most successful ever motor racing team, we designed and built one of the world's most iconic sports cars in the world in the McLaren F1, and pioneered carbon fibre development on race and road cars, said Chief Test Driver at McLaren Automotive - Chris Goodwin.
"We took those standards into the development programme for the MP4-12C in order to launch a new high performance sports car comparable with past achievements and offering new levels of performance for the future. For us, these targets were simply starting points and that attitude requires the most thorough development possible. We believe that our global testing is delivering incredible strides for the 12C.", he added.
Other highlights feature Simon Andrew (Vehicle Development Engineer), who sends back detailed daily reports from all test sessions to McLaren Automotive personnel in a wide range of functions, not just other members of his team. This ensures that the full range of the company's engineers, designers and management are able to contribute their experience.
Rob Tyers is one of many team members introduced from the McLaren Racing division, bringing their experience of rapid decision-making in a highly competitive environment to bear on a traditionally slower-paced industry. No other car company in the world offers this combination and experience of motor racing and road-car development personnel under one roof. And the last highlight is developing a unique programme by McLaren Automotive, which is inspired by the rapid development requirements of Formula 1. This brings together the whole development team at one venue over a period of up to two weeks. Huge strides are gained during these intense testing periods as all car systems are stretched to their limits in combination and as a whole, rather than part by part in sequence.