Why the McLaren sports series makes me worry

Now I love it that McLaren has decided to get into car production in a big way, the f1 was an amazing car that inspired me greatly as a schoolboy in the nineties and their attitude to making the best cars in the world is something we should all champion in Great Britain. Its obvious that Ron Dennis is a genius with a nerdish eye for detail and Ferrari’s have bored me for as long as I can remember so i’m rooting for the team from Woking and celebrate they’re success. But the unveiling of the third “new” model has reminded me of a darker part of our automotive history and one that seems to linger on in even at the top of our industrial tree.

sports series Did they really need to disguise it?

I understand the difficulty of getting the most out of a car platform, and the need to market a product on different levels but the amount of times they refer to this as a new car reminds me of the badge engineering days which nearly killed the British automotive industry.

Spot the difference

image mclaren-650s-interior

p1 image00006

image (1) 06_McLaren-570S_NYlaunch-t

Its safe to say there is a strong family resemblance with the McLaren Lineup, and its unsurprising they all share a basic chassis structure and engine but with each model in different states of tune and obviously both the 650s and p1 have more exotic parts and materials. But is it really fair to say that McLaren now have three models? to use the allegro as a crude comparison it feels like they almost have have a 1100dl an equipe and a Vanden Plas.

It makes me sad because in recent memory alot of our proud marques have been peddling the same car under different names, remember the aston martin virage?

imagesimages (1)images (2)

And for that matter do you remember the lotus europa?

Lotus_Europa_S  lotus_elise_s2_111s_4dd5a2694a869

Now im not saying Mclaren shouldn’t sell the sport series , but im just tired of reading them describe the car as new from the ground up, it just seems like they are shying away from the ginormous elephant in the room. My fears started when they said they replaced the mp4c-12 with the 650s when not all that much appears to have changed between the cars. They know its a facelift and they must realise the consumer knows it . so why pretend?  I also worry that McLaren are spending too much time stretching the same basic car (2 more sports series cars are on the way dont forget) when they could be out designing an actual new car to reach an actual new audience, cars are more than just price points after all.

Anyway the car seems great value compared to the Porsche 911 turbo s so good luck to them.


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