Archive for the ‘McLaren’ Category

Watch F1’s Fernando Alonso try the Indy 500 oval for the first time

May 3rd, 2017

One of F1’s biggest stories in 2017 actually involves a rival open-wheel series. Two-time F1 World Driver’s Champion Fernando Alonso is going to skip the Monaco Grand Prix later this month, because he’ll be 4,500 miles away competing in the 101st Indianapolis 500 instead. Alonso races in F1 for the McLaren-Honda team, and for the third season running that partnership is plumbing new depths of unreliability.

Inarguably one of the very best drivers of his generation, Alonso would surely have more championships to his name but for some bad career decisions. But after 14 years in the sport he realizes the chances of beating Michael Schumacher’s record seven championships is not in the cards, and so he has set his sights on a different challenge: winning the triple crown—the Monaco Grand Prix, Indianapolis 500, and 24 Hours of Le Mans.

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Posted in Cars Technica, Fernando Alonso, Indy 500, IndyCar, McLaren | Comments (0)

1,000hp hybrid hypercars are the next big thing, and McLaren’s is called the BP23

March 23rd, 2017


Pity the humble hypercar. For a brief moment in time you’re the hottest thing on four wheels, splashed across thousands of desktop wallpapers (and bedroom walls, if car posters are still a thing). But these days that kind of star power doesn’t last long. Blame the companies that build them. You’d think it would be hard to top something like a McLaren P1, a hybrid with 903hp (673kW) and a $1.6 million price tag, but that’s just what McLaren intends to do with the next car in its “Ultimate” series, the BP23.

The BP23 is still two years off, and details are scarce on the ground. It will be a hybrid and have even more power than the P1, and more advanced aerodynamics.

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Posted in Adrian Newey, Aston MArtin, Cars Technica, hybrid, Hypercar, McLaren, mercedes-AMG | Comments (0)

The new Mclaren 720S will do the standing quarter-mile in 10.3 seconds

February 15th, 2017

Mclaren Automotive

Things are about to heat up in the supercar wars. At the upcoming Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland, McLaren Automotive will unveil its new 720S, a replacement for the 650S that had us so smitten. The company showed us a glimpse of the new car’s carbon fiber tub at the start of the year; called Monocage II, it’s stiffer than before and will help the new car weigh less than its (already light-as-a-feather) predecessor. And on Wednesday, the company revealed that performance will also get a significant boost.

Plenty have waxed rhapsodic about the M838T engine that powers the current generation of McLarens, and the M840T builds on that base. It has grown to four liters and gets new faster-spooling, ultra-low inertia, twin-scroll turbochargers. That’s going to make the new car blisteringly fast. “The new 4.0-litre M840T is an outstanding engine powering an exceptional supercar capable of covering a standing quarter mile in 10.3 seconds,” said McLaren Super Series Vehicle Line Director Haydn Baker. “Power, torque and throttle response are all significantly enhanced compared to the first-generation Super Series, yet with fuel efficiency and emissions also notably improved.”

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McLaren and BMW team up to build engines again

February 1st, 2017


For plenty of car nerds, the names McLaren and BMW together mean something special in the engine department. BMW built the legendary 6.1L V12 that powered the McLaren F1, an engine that, in its detuned state, won Le Mans more than once. In the years since the F1, McLaren’s cars have been powered by Mercedes-Benz and, more latterly, a family of 3.8L twin-turbo V8s. Now McLaren and BMW are joining forces to work on engines once more.

The plan is to increase the specific output—the amount of power per unit volume—of the engines in McLaren’s forthcoming road cars while trying to meet socially acceptable CO2 limits. The two companies will also work with Ricardo (the British engineering company that helped develop McLaren’s current M838T engine), Grainger and Worrall (which will handle casting), Lentus Composites (composite materials), and the University of Bath.

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Posted in BMW, Cars Technica, McLaren | Comments (0)

McLaren 570S first drive: All of the emoticons

May 24th, 2016

I sent my mom a photo of the grey, alien-looking sports car hunkered low in my driveway.

“What is THAT?” She typed back.

“McLaren 570S,” I thumbed at the screen, followed by an elaborate string of emoticons

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McLaren’s new 570GT is the most refined car the company has ever made

February 25th, 2016

We are unashamed fans of McLaren’s road cars. The 650S blew our socks off last year, and we’re eagerly awaiting a visit from the 570S later this year once outside temperatures have risen some and McLaren’s press fleet migrates back east. Yesterday, the company released information about a companion to the 570S, called the 570GT. McLaren describe the 570GT as the most practical car it has ever built, “targeted towards longer journeys and weekends away.”

As with all McLaren road cars, the 570GT is built around a carbon fiber “MonoCell” tub; in this case the second iteration MonoCell with redesigned sills that make getting into and out of the car a lot easier. Changes from the more hardcore 570S include revised spring rates and some other suspension tweaks that improve the ride quality, a slightly quieter exhaust, and bespoke Pirelli tires that cut road noise by 3dB. And instead of an exposed engine bay, there’s a glass hatch that gives the car an extra 7.8 cubic feet (220L) of luggage space.

Weight is up 81lbs (37kg) compared to the 570S—2,976 lbs (1,350kg) without any fluids. That’s still comparatively little mass for the 562hp/419kW 3.8L turbocharged V8 to move, so a more refined McLaren does not necessarily mean a slower one.

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The McLaren 650S Spider becomes your favorite car—and hits 100mph—in 6.3 seconds

January 3rd, 2016

We test the McLaren 650S Spider. Cinematography by Ivan Flores, editing by Jennifer Hahn. (video link)

OK, we’ll admit it—there was a lot of excitement in the office leading up to our time with the McLaren 650S Spider. And why not? This is a proper carbon fiber supercar, built in the same factory as one of the most successful and storied Formula 1 teams. It’s from the same company that built the legendary McLaren F1, a 240mph three-seater that to many—including yours truly—remains the greatest car ever to turn a wheel. We were the first publication to get any time with McLaren’s latest press car, fresh off a boat from the UK with a mere 350 miles on the digital odometer. The following few days were extremely memorable, and the Volcano Red convertible earned its position as our favorite car of 2015.

McLaren has been building road cars for more than 20 years now. We shan’t bore you too much with talk of the F1, save to say it was the first completely carbon fiber road car, and it came with a fantastic 6L BMW V12 engine, three seats, and a top speed that wasn’t equalled until the Bugatti Veyron appeared with another 400hp. Sadly, just over 100 were ever built (the plan was to make 300), and today you’ll need quite a lot of money to buy one. Recently, one sold for $12 million—not bad for a car that was selling for less than list price in the late 1990s.

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Posted in Ars Technica Videos, Cars Technica, Features, McLaren, McLaren 650S | Comments (0)

Gallery: Hybrid hypercar happy hour

July 5th, 2015

Earlier this week we published our review of BMW’s i8 plug-in hybrid sports car. You should still read that piece, but the short take home is that it’s an amazing car and you ought to buy one if you can. However, it’s not the only game in town when it comes to plug-in hybrid sports cars, merely the cheapest. Ferrari, McLaren, and Porsche have all recently brought such cars to market. While they may beyond the reach of most of us, Alex Bellus (a good friend of Cars Technica) just conducted a photoshoot with a McLaren P1 and not one but two Porsche 918 Spyders. And because both Alex and Imola Motorsports (not to mention the cars’ owners) are nice people, they’ve allowed us to share the results.

The two cars embody the two different corporate philosophies at work at McLaren and Porsche. The McLaren P1 brings to the road a lot of know-how and technology McLaren have learned from Formula 1, with a drag reduction system just like the F1 car (a button on the steering wheel changes the rear wing’s angle of attack to let you go faster in a straight line). Porsche’s 918 Hybrid also has racing roots—the naturally aspirated V8 engine is derived from the mid-2000s RS Spyder prototype racer—but by all accounts is a more thoroughly developed road car, no doubt a result of Porsche’s much longer experience building road cars, as well as the fact that it’s larger production run (Porsche is building 918 918 Hybrids, compared to 375 McLaren P1s) gave the company a bigger budget to work with.

Sadly we’ve yet to log any time behind the wheel of either of these hybrid hypercars (or a Ferrari LaFerrari for that matter), so if you (or someone you know) happen to have one in your garage and want to see it featured on these pages, don’t be a stranger.

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Posted in Ars gallery, Cars Technica, Hybrid Cars, Hypercar, McLaren, porsche | Comments (0)