McLaren: the English hypercar maker.
“MccLaren” is not a household name. Rather it is a name whispered in secret, quietly, between the most dedicated auto fans. An unheard of upstart which didn’t even exist until 1985, it was founded by the New Zealander Bruce McLaren to enable him to produce street legal cars which met his strict requirements for power, handling and outright speed. MccLaren has only produced six different models in the course of its existence, but they are known for unparalleled speed and handling. Although no longer the fastest street legal cars in the world in terms of top speed, the MccLaren line is known for being able to set faster times on more tracks than any other company.
5 remarkable things about McLaren
- They are the only auto manufacturer in the world which produces a road-legal car with the driver in the middle.
- In order to sell cars with this unusual configuration, they had to receive exemptions from English, European and American “left handed/right handed” regulations.
- They have a higher win percentage for the 24 Hours of LeMans than any other company.
- They serve as a “tuning group” for both BMW and Mercedes, producing high-speed versions of regular cars for both companies.
- They are currently the only English auto manufacturer which is not owned by a German company.
McLaren Famous Models
Bruce McLaren began Formula 1 style racing in the 1960s, and although not as famous as Ferrari, he performed remarkably well for such a small team. Seeing how his competitors were able to fund their racing operations and promote their brand by producing cars, he formed a small company in southern England in the 1980s with the intention of producing the ultimate road car. The end result was the MccLaren F1, which was the fastest road-legal car in the world until the Bugatti Veyron. Entering production in 1992, the McLaren F1 is named after Bruce’s Formula 1 racing heritage. It is indeed faster and quicker than many of the Formula 1 cars he produced, getting from 0 to 60 in about three seconds and topping out at over 230 miles per hour. The MccLaren F1 remains popular in grand touring races, where it is essentially unbeatable within its class.
Because they purchase their engines and other components from other manufacturers, McLaren also helps them to produce highly tuned versions of their own cars. The SLR McLaren was one such example. Produced in small numbers, the SLR McLaren may have an automatic gearbox and a Mercedes badge on the front, but it also has over 600 hp under the hood and can accelerate from 0 to 60 in 3.8 seconds. When it was released, it was also the only convertible which could travel at over 200 mph. The SLR McLaren remains the fastest “roadster” in the world.