Archive for the 'McLaren' Category

The rich keep getting richer…

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

If you look at the sheer number of exotic car models out there, then estimate the sales of those models ranging from a few dozen per year produced by a company like Bugatti to ten thousand a year produced by sister company Bentley, you might be forgiven for assuming that the global economic downturn never existed.

McLaren, of Formula and McLaren F1 supercar fame, is back with a new car to be launched in early 2011. The new car is the McLaren MP4-12C. It was borne out of the dissolution of the longstanding relationship between Mercedes-Benz and McLaren. The cooperative produced such fabled cars at the Mercedes-Benz SLR and SLC. It will reach 124 mph in fewer than 10 seconds, but will be able to stop in less than half that amount. From the moment the first example is rolled off the production line, it will be an instant hit and a sure-footed supercar. Much cheaper than the original F1, the car should run about £175,000, with both cheaper and more expensive models to follow-up in subsequent years.

For more than a quarter of a million dollars, you might think that such a car would have a very limited following, yet McLaren has just announced that they already have 2700 interested buyers. That is more than two years worth of production. That figure is astounding when you consider the number of people out of work in the US and the EU – the likely primary markets for these cars.

Yet, the figure may not be an anomaly. Rolls-Royce, a unit of BMW Group, has announced record monthly sales since its relaunch in 2003. The company produced 300 hand-made vehicles from its Goodwood facility in June 2010. Sales were up 400 per cent, with strong growth in Asia-Pacific, particularly China. This may cause some to ponder whether the Chinese really are communist!

But that’s not all. Mercedes-Benz also has reported a record June sales month. 113,200 vehicles were moved with strong results from the high-end E-class and S-class models. Interestingly, on the low end of the totem pole, the über-cheap Smart ForTwo has seen a continued slump in sales, even in the new U.S. market. Smart hopes to turn around their sales decline by launching an updated Smart later this summer.

Sources:

http://www.autocar.co.uk/News/NewsArticle/AllCars/251307

http://www.leftlanenews.com/rolls-royce-bucks-economic-downturn-sells-out.html

http://www.autonews.com/article/20100705/ANE/307059932/1131

VOTW: McLaren’s F1 team tests the new MP4-12C

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Let’s say you have £175,000 burning a hole in your pocket. Let’s say you have a penchant for great sports cars. And let’s say that you fancy yourself as a sort of middle-aged bloke that plans to make his debut one day in Formula 1 racing. If that’s the case, you probably want to drive the same kind of car that F1 drivers are driving. After all, you can’t show up to a black-tie party wearing pajamas (unless you’re Hugh Hefner perhaps). So what do you do? So many choices for supercars out there. You might choose a Porsche GT2 or a Ferrari 458. Or you might choose the same car F1 champions Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton have been driving, the 2011 McLaren MP4-12C.

See video for details!

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Video of the Week: McLaren’s new supercar

Monday, December 28th, 2009

Not satisfied with merely producing supercars for Mercedes or F1, McLaren is producing a successor to the fabled McLaren F1. Our guess is Rowan Atkinson already has two on order.

Early Fall auto news round-up

Saturday, November 7th, 2009

scirocco_cup_cng

Volkswagen

VW in an effort to promote the tons of eco-friendlier cars launched at IAA in Frankfurt in September has decided to pursue eco-sales with a new eco-friendly racing series. The company is starting a single-make racing series where all of the cars run on bio-produced compressed natural gas. The model used in the series is the new Scirocco and should reduce racetrack CO2 output by 80 per cent over today’s racing fuels. The 2.0-liter 4-cylinder cars will have 220 horsepower on tap. Not bad for an alt fuel car!

Source: http://www.wired.com/autopia/2009/10/volkswagen-cng/

On other green fronts, VW Group is working with Stanford University in California in a US$5.75 million project to make VW the largest carmaker with R&D in Silicon Valley. Already the two companies have produced autonomous (read self-driving) versions of the VW Passat and now the Audi TT-S. The Audi TT-S will attempt to drive itself up the 14,110-foot Pike’s Peak next year, according Wired.

vail_01

Source: http://www.wired.com/autopia/2009/10/vw-vail/

Audi’s Johan de Nysschen, critical of the Chevy Volt, took an interview with Time recently to express his views on the state of the luxury auto industry. He stated that Audi’s goal is to be the “top” German luxury manufacturer, but not necessarily in terms of sales. He also reiterated the push for more fuel-efficient vehicles leading to Zero emissions cars in the not so distant future.

Source: http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1933906,00.html

Bugatti

Bugatti has unleashed a new concept car the 4-seat, 4-door (can you believe it???) Galibier 16C. Autocar magazine claims the production will start in 2013 at £900,000. We will believe it when we see it! Interestingly, the car’s engine will be the same as in the Veyron but will only sport 800BHP. Apparently, 200 get lost when adding 2 doors.

http://www.autocar.co.uk/News/NewsArticle.aspx?AR=244753

Caterham

Rarely does Caterham make the news, except when they unleash new, wildly fun lightweight roadster, but unfortunately, Caterham’s found Graham Nearn died in late October. Nearn has been selling the then-titled Lotus 7 since its introduction in 1959, and then when the car was discontinued in 1973, Nearn bought the rights and has been producing the car ever since and in more exciting, evolving versions. You can even buy a kit and put a Caterham 7 together yourself. If you are not familiar with this brand, you should be!

Top Gear featured it in a segment awhile back:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOxHV6QfJkg

Source: http://www.autocar.co.uk/News/NewsArticle.aspx?AR=244398

Ferrari

Beyond the KM has previously marveled at the sales resiliency of the Ferrari nameplate. But even THIS economy has the prancing stallion kow-towing to the bear market of Wall Street.

Its third quarter results for 2009 showed revenues of 396 million euros (£359m) – down from 450m euros (£408m) in the same period last year. It sold 1454 cars, down 4.3 per cent year on year.

However, Ferrari announced that it has grown its market share in every market it monitors, against a drop in supercar sales of around 40 per cent.

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