McLaren outlines plan to become competitive player in sports car segment, officially unveils MP4-12C

Today at the McLaren Technology Center, Chairman Ron Dennis and Managing Director Antony Sheriff confirmed that McLaren Automotive will produce a range of highly-efficient and high-performance sports cars. The first in this range of sports cars is the light-weight, two-seater sports car called the McLaren MP4-12C.

McLaren said that the MP4-12C will be produced at the new £40 million ($61 million USD) McLaren Production Centre, creating up to 300 new jobs at the company.

McLaren said it plans to deliver up to 1,000 units of the MP4-12C in 2011 through global networks of McLaren retailers in major markets including North America, Europe, Middle-East, South Africa, and Asia-Pacific. “Over 500 retailers have applied for an initial 35 franchises in 19 countries that will be confirmed by summer 2010,” McLaren said in a statement.

Mclaren is aiming for the market segment of sports cars priced between $190,000 and $270,000.

Chairman Ron Dennis laid out an ambitious plan for McLaren to become a strong competitor in the high-performance segment and said that by the middle of the decade, McLaren wants to build up to 4,000 units annually.

We have long held the dream of building a range of McLaren high-performance sports cars that take the raw elements of Formula 1 principles, processes and performance and forge them into a unique package; one that offers customer-focused requirements of quality, efficiency, comfort and reliability,” Dennis said. “Today”s announcements confirm our intention to challenge convention at the highest levels of automotive design, from a new high-tech home that I am proud to say will deliver jobs, expertise and innovation in manufacturing and engineering.”

You can watch the hour-long press conference on McLaren’s website.

Click here to read more news on the McLaren MP4-12C.

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Refresher: Power for the 2011 McLaren MP4-12C comes from a 3.8L V8 twin-turbo engine producing around 600-hp mated to a 7-speed Seamless Shift dual-clutch gearbox (SSG). 0 to 60 mph is expected to come in the low 3 second range with a top speed of more than 200 mph. Sales begin in early 2011.

2011 McLaren MP4-12C:

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– By: Omar Rana