In line with McLaren Automotive’s goals including further advancement of the lightweight carbon fibre MonoCage structures at the core of McLaren road cars, they have opened the new£50m McLaren Composites Technology Centre in Yorkshire. The opening was executed in true McLaren style with McLaren Automotive Chief Executive Mike Flewitt being on-hand to illuminate the facility’s McLaren sign for the first time. Guests were then treated to a spectacular indoor light show then greeted guests, just before the recently unveiled McLaren Senna road car capped off the evening by ‘christening’ the new centre’s floor with a series of expertly choregraphed ‘doughnuts’, leaving a fresh trail of Pirelli tyre rubber to mark the successful opening. The Senna is of course named after legendary triple World Championship-winning Brazilian Formula 1 driver Ayrton Senna, and was joined at the opening by Ayrton’s his original 1989 Grand Prix-winning McLaren MP4/5 racer.
Mike Flewitt said: “Today is an important and exciting milestone for everyone at McLaren Automotive, as well as a personal honour, to officially turn on the McLaren sign at what will be our McLaren Composites Technology Centre when it opens later this year. It marks the continued development of the current 2,100 strong company, and will bring new jobs to the Sheffield region which has a proud association with advanced materials; first with steel and now a future to look forward to with carbon fibre innovation and production for McLaren.”
Once fully operational, the new composites technology centre will house McLaren’s second production facility and its first one to be based outside of its Woking home, supplying carbon fibre tubs to the McLaren Production Centre in Surrey where hand-assembly of the marque’s sports cars and supercars is conducted with fastidious levels of attention to detail. Alongside its expertise in lightweight materials, McLaren continues the development in hybrid technology which it first delivered with the P1 hypercar in 2013. These will become crucial technologies in McLaren’s quest to derive increased performance from its road cars even under constantly tightening environmental legislation. Under its Track22 business plan, at least half of McLaren’s road car line-up will be hybrids by 2022.