2017 McLaren 570GT

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There's no mistaking the Senna for any other car

Only last month, McLaren Automotive announced a shake-up of its former Track22 business strategy, extending the programme to the end of 2025. So it's the perfect time to take a fresh look at the company's plans for the next seven years. 

In 2016, McLaren doubled sales compared to 2015, from 1,654 cars to over 3,000, of which over 90% were exported. For CY2017, the marque said it sold 3,340 cars. Now though, the stakes have been raised significantly.

Announced at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July, the Track25 business plan will see McLaren spend GBP1.2bn on research and development so as to deliver 18 new cars or derivatives by the end of 2025. The new target is to be building and selling 6,000 cars a year by then.

The fresh business plan is an extension of the former Track22 which McLaren announced at the 2016 Geneva motor show. As well as the three extra years, an important adjustment has been the announcement that all future models will be hybrids. The company continues to state that it has no immediate plans for EVs though, nor does it see itself as a maker of SUVs.

McLaren classes its vehicles into three 'series'. This can be confusing: the Senna and Speedtail are models in their own right yet each is also part of the 'Ultimate Series'. Below these hypercars are various vehicles grouped in a Super Series and then in lower price brackets is the Sports Series.

Sports Series variants tend to have a three-digit model name starting with a 5 or a 6, while the newer 720S is so far the only car in what is presumed will be a Super Series which will eventually comprise additional variants. Perplexingly, the former 650S was part of the Super Series, not the Sports Series.

Sports Series

This additional model would be built on Line 1 - the same line as the 650S - at McLaren Automotive's Woking plant, the company's CEO Mike Flewitt told just-auto.com in March 2014. The second line made the limited run P1 model, the project code of which was P12.

P13 - one code applies to the 540, 570 and 600 - is meant to be a range of cars to challenge the Porsche 911 line-up. Mike Flewitt also told j-a that the Sports Series would be built in "slightly more volume than the 650S". All cars in the series are powered by a mid-engined V8 and closely based upon the 650S. The 570S Coupé, which was the first variant, entered production in September 2015. The three digits in the name refer to the power output in Pferdestrke.

The second, the 540C Coupé, became available globally from early 2016. It is powered by a 540PS 3.8-litre biturbo V6 which produces 540Nm of torque. North America is an important region for McLaren Automotive but the US importer does not offer the 540C Coupe. It is however, available in Canada.

A subtly revised aerodynamic package and different wheels mark out the 540C Coupé against the more powerful 570S Coupé. Unique so-called 'aero blades' below the front bumper channel air through the lower bodywork and up over the bonnet. At the rear, the diffuser sits between the twin exhausts which exit below the rear bumper. An integrated spoiler at the trailing edge of the rear deck is claimed to provide downforce.

The 570S Spider was announced in June 2017 a few weeks ahead of its public debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. It has a retractable hardtop and the car itself weighs 46kg more than the Coupe.

The 570S Coupé went on sale in the UK in October 2015, with McLaren issuing this statement to the media: "With pricing starting at £143,250, the 570S Coupé is available to order now with deliveries depending on market starting before the end of 2015 - the 540C Coupé, which retails from £126,000, follows in Q2 2016". 

The 570GT, yet another coupé variant, had its world premiere at the Geneva motor show in March 2016. This has a side-opening rear glass hatch which allows an additional 220 litres of storage space.

McLaren Automotive built its 10,000th car in December 2016. The vehicle, a 570S, rolled out of the Woking factory just over five years after the first car, a McLaren 12C, was completed. It took 42 months to build the 5,000th car but only 22 months to build the next 5,000. In early 2016, a second shift was introduced into what the company calls the McLaren Production Centre. This took capacity from 10 cars per day to 20.

The 600LT was revealed at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July. Compared to a 570S Coupé, the Long Tail is 96kg lighter, has 25 per cent bespoke parts and is powered by a 600PS and 620Nm version of McLaren's 3.8-litre biturbo V8. The bodywork has unique carbon fibre panels which make the LT 74mm longer than other Sports Series cars. This includes a special front splitter as well as bespoke side sills, an extended diffuser and a fixed rear wing. McLaren says it will produce the 600LT for 12 months commencing in October.

The

second generation Sports Series is expected to have its world premiere at the 2020 Geneva motor show. It will have a modified version of the platform employed by the second generation Super Series, which premiered at the 2017 Geneva show. The development code is said to be P16.

Super Series

The 720S replaced the 650S and was the first car for the second generation Sports Series. P14 (the development code for Sports Series II) is claimed to have a wider cabin and a lower entry-exit sill compared to the original. The first deliveries took place in May 2017, production having commenced during the previous month. A 3,994cc biturbo V8, which has the code of M840T, powers the 720S.

Mike Flewitt said at the 2017 Geneva motor show that he expected McLaren Automotive to sell 1,200 units of the 720S in 2017, including 400 Launch Edition versions. In CY2018, sales are expected to rise to 1,500 cars. There should be more variants to come, probably with less power than the 720PS of the only car in the series to be released so far.

It isn't yet clear what strategy McLaren will use for the life cycles of its models. It could well be that like Ferrari, cars will remain in production for a long time, but with major changes after three to five years, including adjusting the model names too. This is what happened with the MP4-12C, which was built between 2011 and 2014 before evolving into the 650S. In the same way, today's 720S and its future stablemates in the current Super Series, may be given fresh bodies and name badges as well as hybrid powertrains in a few years' time. True successors are probably as far off as the mid-2020s.

Ultimate Series

The

Senna was revealed to the media on 10 December 2017. A road-legal track car, it is positioned in the model range above the Sports Series and Super Series. Until the Speedtail (formerly known only by its BP23 codename) arrives in 2019, the Senna is the only car in the Ultimate Series. The company has retrospectively labelled the P1 and P1 GTR as being previous Ultimate Series cars.

McLaren released this information to the media in October 2017:

To be publicly revealed in the first quarter of 2018, it will be delivered ahead of a second future Ultimate Series model codenamed BP23 which aims to be the world's first Hyper-GT. As members of the McLaren Ultimate Series, both will be produced in very limited numbers and all examples are already assigned. Ultimate Series models are positioned above McLaren's core Super Series and have a distinct focus. Previous examples of the Series include the McLaren P1 and McLaren P1 GTR.

The Senna's mid-mounted 4.0-litre turbo V8 produces a claimed 800PS and 800Nm. The car is said to weigh just 1,198kg and is rear-wheel drive only. In McLaren's home market, the price at the time of the car's announcement was GBP800,000 including taxes. The company stated that it would build 500 units, commencing in the third quarter of 2018. Of the total production run, some 160 cars were allocated to buyers in North America, according to McLaren. The Senna's project code is P15.

The car's controversial styling includes doors which have Gorilla Glass inserts.

In November 2016, McLaren Special Operations (MSO), the department of McLaren Automotive responsible for bespoke customer cars, announced that it was developing a so-called 'Hyper-GT' with a hybrid powertrain.

The project code, BP23, means Bespoke Project 2, three-seater. Like the McLaren F1 from the 1990s, which this car is meant to make buyers think of, 106 will be made. There will be dihedral doors but unlike those on the F1, the

Speedtail's will be powered. All cars were reported as sold when the project was announced. The price was GBP2m.

Future model plan reports for other manufacturers can be viewed in the OEM product strategy summaries section of just-auto.com.

Future product program intelligence

More detail on the past, current and forthcoming models for McLaren Automotive can be found in PLDB, the future vehicles database which is part of QUBE.

The next manufacturer to be featured in the future models reports series will be BMW Aktiengesellschaft.

Source : https://www.just-auto.com/analysis/project-bp23-speedtail-and-future-mclaren-cars_id183754.aspx

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