F1 racing group McLaren has unveiled a new road car that marks the creation of a new UK-based carmaker. It plans to build the cars in a factory that it will build next to the group’s headquarters in Woking. Plans to rival the likes of Ferrari and Aston Martin are part of a strategy to grow the business outside racing, where cost cutting pressure is fierce and the move could help cushion McLaren’s racing staff from job losses if F1 budgets are cut.
“I am confident that now is the right time for McLaren Automotive,” said chairman Ron Dennis.
McLaren last produced its own road car, the F1, in 1998. The company began production on the road car in 1994, which was for a time the fastest production car ever made. A variant won the Le Mans 24-hour race in 1995.
Since 2003, McLaren has been designing and manufacturing the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren line of sports cars with the German carmaker.
But the partnership has come to the end with the 75 cars that make up the total production of the 750,000-euro ($1m; £654,000) McLaren SLR Stirling Moss, which will be the last in the series.