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2013 McLaren GREAT 12C

2013 McLaren GREAT 12C

Innovation is at the heart of what McLaren does and there’s no question that when it comes to making use of the latest technologies available, there aren’t a lot of companies — British ones, at that — that can hold a candle to McLaren.

That’s also why the automaker is a staunch supporter of the GREAT campaign, an initiative in the UK that aims to highlight the it’s status as a world leader when it comes to technology.

In celebration of its advocacy to this cause, McLaren and F1 racecar driver Jenson Button recently unveiled the GREAT 12C, a McLaren supercar dressed up in the latest GREAT campaign livery, complete with fancy graphics and the campaigns key message "Innovation is GREAT" plastered throughout the 12C.

There is no mention of any performance mods on this liveried 12C, so we assume that it features the same 3.8-liter V-8 powerplant that produces 616 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque as the standard 12C. This engine sprints the 12C to 60 mph in just 3.1 seconds and up to a top speed of 207 mph.

If you remember, this isn’t the first McLaren that has prominently displayed the advocacy on its body. Last year, McLaren did the same to an MP4-12C GT3, giving it the same unique treatment to match the message it wished to bestow.

The 2013 GREAT 12C will make the usual promotional rounds in the coming days, beginning with an appearance at an exclusive ‘McLaren 50’ screening of Formula 1 film ‘RUSH’ today before leading a procession of rare cars from Buckingham Palace to Marlborough House Gardens in the St James’s Palace Concours d’Elegance.

Click past the jump to read about the first GREAT McLaren, the MP4-12C GT3

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Repairs for Rowan Atkinson’s McLaren F1 Eclipses $1 Million

There are a handful of cars that cost over $1 million. However, for repairs for a car to hit seven figures, well, that’s unheard of…

Not anymore, apparently.

Rowan Atkinson’s McLaren F1, which was destroyed during an accident that occurred back in August 2011, is now up and running again. Now, repairing a totally mangled supercar of the stature of the McLaren F1 takes a pretty long time, as McLaren engineers will attest after spending more than a year restoring the car to run again. With that much time spent on just putting the car back together, costs for the repair eventually ran up to the tune of £910,000 ($1.44 million).

That figure is even more remarkable considering that it’s three times as expensive as any other repair claim that has been documented in the UK. Just a hunch: Mr. Atkinson’s insurance company will no doubt raise his insurance rates after this deal – whether they paid for it or not.

Granted, it’s a McLaren F1. But still, $1 million for repairing a car is just absurd.

Note: Photo above is not Rowan Atkinson’s restored McLaren F1

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McLaren Celebrating Their 50th Anniversary With Special Badges

McLaren Celebrating Their 50th Anniversary With Special Badges

Add McLaren to the growing list of automakers that are celebrating their anniversary this year.

The British automaker has been mum about their plans, but now that every other automaker has unfurled their respective anniversary plans, McLaren has finally announced their own anniversary plans 50 years after founder Bruce McLaren started a company that has since reinvented the supercar genre.

To celebrate this momentous occasion, McLaren will use a 50th anniversary logo on everything from their merchandise all the way to the new MP4-28 Formula 1 race car.

It’s certainly worth noting that McLaren has a lot to celebrate about, considering the trail they’ve blazed in the supercar world. Whether it’s through exotics or even the world of motorsports, the British automaker has made the kind of emphatic stamp in the industry only a few can claim to have matched.

And as Ron Dennis, McLaren’s executive chairman, eloquently puts it, "This is a book that’s still being written...and that, perhaps, is the greatest legacy of McLaren."

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Battle of the McLarens: F1 GTR takes on the MP4-12C

Battle of the McLarens: F1 GTR takes on the MP4-12C

The new McLaren MP4-12C is quite a slice of heaven if you’re into supercars. Only a handful of other supercars can stake claim to being as capable – if not more – than the MP4-12C so judging by that factor alone, there’s a piece of this McLaren machine that every gear head in the right frame of mind would want to have a piece of.

But seeing as McLaren is a brand that doesn’t produce new models every year, the bigger and far more intriguing question is how their new bad boy stacks up against its bigger brother, the F1. Or in this particular case, how it can hold up against the racecar version of its predecessor, the F1 GTR. Steve Sutcliffe of Autocar went to the only place where you can pit the two rockets on wheels head-to-head with one another: the race track.

On sheer stats alone, the F1-GTR already has the leg-up over the MP4-12C not because both have an output of somewhere in the neighborhood of 600 horsepower, but because the former, as a pure and unadulterated race car, is about 1,000 lbs lighter than the latter.

At the end of the test, it was pretty evident that despite all the new technologies that come with the MP4-12C, it’s heavier frame still played a pivotal role in the competition – albeit barely – failing to edge the F1 GTR in a good ol’ fashioned sprint to the finish line.

Nevertheless, the MP4-12C is still one of those rare supercars that any man would be lucky to own, regardless of how it stacks up against a race version of its older brother.

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McLaren S-Works Venge Bicycle by Specialized

McLaren S-Works Venge Bicycle by Specialized

This week, we saw BMW release the Carbon Racer and Land Rover introduce the Range Rover Evoque bicycle. Kind of odd to have two automakers release bicycles in the same seven-day span, isn’t it?
Apparently, though, there’s still another automaker – a luxury supercar brand – that also has a new bicycle scheduled for release. We don’t know what the deal is, to be honest, but it seems that these car brands are branching out more than we thought.

McLaren, one of the foremost and esteemed supercar brands on the planet, has just launched their very own sports bicycle, the S-Works Venge. Who would’ve thought?

Built in collaboration with American manufacturer Specialized and designed by Chris D’Aluisio, the head of research and development for Specialized, the S-Works Venge is a high-end performance bicycle that has an aerodynamic frame built completely from carbon fiber and weighs at a ridiculously light weight of less than 1 kg, which is about two pounds if you’re keeping score. Add in all the necessary parts and elements of the bike, including the fork, the seat, the crankset, and the electronic gearshift, and you have the whole thing weighing in at just 2.07 kg, or about 4.5 lbs.

The bike will be available in two different specifications, the McLaren and the S-Works Venge. Both versions are expected to hit the market no later than 2011 with the latter scheduled to hit stores in the UK next month with the former following suit later this year, possibly around September.

We don’t know how this is going to affect McLaren’s rep as a purely exotic automaker, but given that so many other brands seem to share the same train-of-thought these days, launching your own high-performance bicycle isn’t a bad idea.

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McLaren finally starts production of MP4-12C supercar

McLaren finally starts production of MP4-12C supercar

In an industry that moves as fast as the automotive world, it seems like the McLaren MP4-12C was launched ages ago. Obviously, it’s only been a little over a year since the road successor to the McLaren F1 was introduced, so unless our calendars run on Martian time, the production stage of the MP4-12C certainly was a long time coming.

Fortunately, the people over there at Woking, England finally decided to start building the very first production MP4-12C and while the car dubbed ‘Chassis 01’ is still a long ways away from being completed, it’s definitely cause for relief to see that the work is already underway.

We certainly hope that once production starts, it’s going to be a seamless process for the people of McLaren, especially if they’re trying to build 1,000 cars for this year, which is what they’ve been projecting all along.

We’re very hopeful that the MP4-12C and its 3.8-liter, 600-horsepower V8 engine will be unleashed out on the roads soon. We’ve all waited a long time and though a lot of us probably won’t even get a sniff of this British beast, those people in line to buy this car probably has had an even more excruciating wait on their hands.

In the meantime, we can all enjoy these new build photos released by McLaren, as well as a special video documenting the year of testing the MP4-12C was subjected to.

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McLaren MP4-12C makes public debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed

McLaren MP4-12C makes public debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed

It’s been a long time coming, but you know what they say, “better late than never”.

The McLaren MP4-12C finally made its public debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed and the boys from Woking certainly didn’t waste any time making an impression on the gathered audience with their new prized baby.

As part of its debut, the MP4-12C was given its first public shakedown at the event’s annual Supercar Run where McLaren managing director Anthony Sheriff, together with Formula One drivers Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton each took turns unleashing the supercar up the track over the weekend.

For his part, Sheriff couldn’t have imagined a more perfect setting for the MP4-12C’s world debut. "The visitors to our stand were the perfect blend of car enthusiasts and potential customers,” he said. “I’m delighted that we chose Goodwood Festival of Speed to unveil the 12C to the public. Two British Formula 1 World Champions were behind the wheel of the car as we led the field up the hill. A major landmark, delivered to McLaren’s high standards."

And just to rub in the fact that the MP4-12C is arguably one of the fastest machines on the planet, McLaren made it clear that their orange supercar set finished in pole position in each of the Supercar Runs it participated in. Can’t say we’re surprised.

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McLaren MP4 12C - UK prices revealed

McLaren MP4 12C - UK prices revealed

McLaren announced today that theMP4 12C sports car will make its public debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July and that it will go on sale next spring with prices between £125,000 and £175,000.

The company also announced that over 2,500 people expressed interest in buying the 12C and have already registered for the vehicle. This is a huge demand considering the company only has 1000 units planned for the first year: "The UK, along with the USA, will be McLaren’s biggest market, and initial interest in the UK for the 12C already exceeds the first year’s allocation. A full model range of high-performance, two-seat, mid-engine McLaren sports cars will be completed by the middle of the decade."

Of the 19 countries, and 35 retailers, launching McLaren Automotive, the UK, USA, and Germany will be the company’s biggest markets for the 1,000 12Cs planned for production in 2011. Between 300 and 400 cars are planned for North America, 400 to 500 for Europe (70 percent to UK and Germany), and 100 to 200 each for the Middle East/South Africa and Asia Pacific regions.

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History-making McLaren F1 turns 20 years old!

History-making McLaren F1 turns 20 years old!

Though it’s not as old as some of its supercar contemporaries, McLaren Automotive has, in its existence, established quite a glowing reputation for being one of the most desirable, most popular, and most expensive cars on the planet.

That being said, not many people know that McLaren’s pride and joy - the F1 - is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Yep, the very same car that was described two decades ago as the "the finest sports car the world had ever seen" is celebrating the big ’2-0’.

Apart from being one of the fastest production cars in the world, the McLaren F1 also dominated the auto racing world, running away with the 1995 GT1 championship, as well as finishing first, third, fourth, fifth, and thirteenth at the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans.

And for its 20th birthday, McLaren threw quite a lavish party for the F1, inviting owners of the supercar to a dinner at the McLaren headquarters in Woking, England, where the owners were given a chance to rub elbows with other F1 owners and share their own fond memories of sitting behind the wheel of one of the world’s most popular supercars and, predictably, being the center of attention wherever they went.

Press Release after the jump

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Behold a McLaren F1 overload!

Behold a McLaren F1 overload!

You don’t need to remind us how rare and exotic a McLaren F1 is. As a matter of fact, the moment you see one, you kind of feel like you’ve won the lottery. Of course, you didn’t really win any money so the sense of euphoria quickly goes away the moment the F1 zooms past you.

Now, imagine the looks on the faces of these people who were able to see the sight of, not just one McLaren F1, but 21 of them all in the same place at the same time live and up close. Yeah, 21 units of one of the world’s rarest four-wheeled machines together at the same place, at the same time.

It’s not as good as actually owning one, but for car enthusiasts that can’t afford one - that’s us - it’s about as close as it gets to an otherworldly experience.

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Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton take the covers off of the McLaren MP4-12C

Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton take the covers off of the McLaren MP4-12C

Earlier today, McLaren head honcho Ron Dennis stood in front of a podium and talked about how the new MP4-12C will set a new benchmark on the way supercars are viewed by the public. Though we’ve heard that line quite a few times in the past, we’re not discounting Dennis proclamation because, well, it’s a McLaren, and the last time they unveiled a new supercar back in 1993 - the F1 - a lot of us thought that it was the future of supercars, which, in some ways it ended up becoming.

So fast forward to earlier today and Dennis is flanked by his two stud F1 drivers, Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button for the official unveiling of the production-ready MP4-12C.

Drumrolls, please...

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Jay Leno rides shotgun on-board the McLaren MP4-12C

Jay Leno rides shotgun on-board the McLaren MP4-12C

When Jay Leno went to the UK a few months ago, he had a couple of appointments he had to go to, two of which included his guest appearance on the highly-popular auto show Top Gear and an invitation to take a tour of the McLaren headquarters in Woking. What wasn’t brought to our attention was when he was there, he was also given a chance to ride the new McLaren MP4-12C.

Together with McLaren chief test driver Chris Goodwin, Leno rode shotgun around the Top Gear race track in England on the MP4-12C with Leno providing commentary on how the car felt while it was taking its run on the track.

After the ride, the two continue their discussion about the car with Goodwin explaining the finer points of how the MP4-12C is unlike any other supercar on the face of the earth.

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Video: Jay Leno given guided tour of McLaren facility in Woking, England

Video: Jay Leno given guided tour of McLaren facility in Woking, England

The many perks of being Jay Leno makes for a very long list, and for us pistonheads of lesser stature, we probably would kill just to spend one day in that man’s shoes. The connections and access that Jay Leno has in the auto industry is something a lot of us can only dream about.

Recently, America’s number one car freak was given a walking tour of McLaren’s factory in Woking, England where he was shown a number of things we only see in our imaginations. For starters, McLaren Managing Director Anthony Sheriff takes Leno inside the company’s inner grounds to show him the carbon fiber central tub that is being used in the company’s new supercar, the MP4-12C. After that, Leno was taken inside a small room where he was shown a three-dimensional CAD rendering of the supercar and then was given a first-hand look at the McLaren P11. Leno even was given a chance to get behind the wheel of the car to examine its interior.

Sigh, indeed.

While the company didn’t show the MP4-12C in all its glory, the mere fact that he was given a private tour of the facility – including a number of restricted areas that only McLaren employees are allowed to go to – makes us all want to cry in envy.

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Pro-drive to Unite with McClaren F1 Owner?

Prodrive is set to debut their proto-type F1 race car at the end of this year. After its debut the F1 vehicle will be put into production in mid 2008. The new chasis and engine for the Prodrive F1 will be a joint effort as Mr Dennis Richards is looking for partners at the moment. Speculative reports point to Mclaren F1 principal owner Ron Dennis.

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McLaren Electronic Systems partner with Microsoft.

McLaren Electronic Systems partner with Microsoft.

McLaren and Microsoft partner to supply FIA.

McLaren Electronic Systems part of the Mclaren organisation will supply the FIA with a ECU that colloects data from F1 teams.

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