McLaren Automotive (@mclarenauto) — Born and raised on the track, we create the most advanced performance cars in the world.
Like all McLarens, Sheffield is a city that blends cutting edge engineering, design and production with forward thinking artistic and creative vision. Described by Dr Andrew Heath, history lecturer at the University of Sheffield as a ‘city of makers’ and one ‘that’s drawing a lot of creative people as well. It has the highest number of artists outside London.’ Our choice to build our high-tech manufacturing plant here is proof that Sheffield’s materials expertise is alive and well. Now there’s a new maker in town.
An industrial power house that, at its peak in 1969, produced 3.5 million tonnes of steel, Sheffield will soon be where all the incredibly rigid yet lightweight Monocell and Monocage chassis that underpins every McLaren will be produced, when it reaches production next year.
The Sheffield region was not chosen as the location of McLaren’s new Composites Technology Centre by accident – it’s a city rich with cultural meaning. 'The area has a long association with advanced materials; first with steel, and now a future to look forward to with carbon fibre innovation and production for McLaren,’ says Mike Flewitt, McLaren Automotive’s CEO. What was once known as Steel City, is now Carbon Capital.
For the #NewMcLarenGT, driving the car in public with nothing but a swirly wrap over its sleek bodywork is a significant milestone. Engineers work for years and years, thinking of only one thing. The pursuit for perfection and unrelenting drive for quality is all consuming, but so worth it.
The #NewMcLarenGT was being tested just weeks before its unveiling, in the hills around McLaren’s satellite engineering centre based in Spain. Home to around 100 engineers, it’s the ideal location for long distance testing thanks to dry weather and great roads. Sergi Beca-Roca, Lead Development Engineer, likens the whole development process to baking… “You spend months and months preparing this perfect cake, then you give a slice to the customer… and you just hope they like it!’
Sergi is the Lead Development Engineer for the #NewMcLarenGT, drawing together the many strands of engineering work on the car that have been going on for over three years. 24 hours a day. 7 days a week, with a fleet of around 35 development cars, each one covering around 60,000 miles.
The aerodynamic work on the #NewMcLarenGT marks another big change for McLaren Development Engineers, with the focus being on having the correct aero balance for high-speed stability and low wind noise, as opposed to achieving maximum downforce as seen on the more track focused cars in the McLaren range. How do you test these aerodynamics in the real world? Engineers must remove the shape distorting camouflage panels and the true shape of the new era of grand tourers is out in the open for the first time.
It’s an amazing feeling, being out on public roads, in a car that’s near the end of development that only a handful of people know the details of. This is no prototype, this is the finished article, wrapped in vinyl, out on public roads without the bolted on ‘hard’ disguise. The first time anyone has seen the beauty of this new breed of Grand Tourer in the real world. A special moment for McLaren. #NewMcLarenGT
The unrelenting drive for quality is the same for every McLaren, but there is an important difference with the GT, which aims to redefine the segment, combining competition levels of performance with continent-crossing capability. Hours of rigorous testing in the hills of Spain all add up to incredible comfort over long journeys, combined with McLaren levels of performance. #NewMcLarenGT