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Car and Driver: McLaren Invests $1.4 Billion in R&D, Promises Ferrari-Beating Product Onslaught


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McLaren P1 carbon fiber tribute

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McLaren showed off both the new 570GT and 675LT Spider at the Geneva auto show, but the sports-car maker’s most significant news came with the announcement of a six-year program that will see it invest $1.4 billion in new products, and lead to the launch of 15 new models or derivatives by 2022.

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That is a serious amount of cash for an automaker that produced few than 3000 cars last year, but it is a clear measure of McLaren’s determination to climb to the top of its particularly competitive segment. In addition, this investment apparently is being made before the company’s stockholders get paid.

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We will have to wait to find out what many of those new models are, or have fun guessing, but we do know about several already. Most obvious is an open-topped version of the Sports Series to join the 570S and 570GT, which we’re expecting to see later this year. After that, things start to get even more interesting with the production version of the ‘P14’, the car that will replace the 650S and 675LT.

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We know that McLaren will continue with its current strategy of using a set of shared components, although company CEO Mike Flewitt was keen to emphasize when we talked to him at the show that his company’s carbon-fiber tub and twin-turbocharged V-8 engine are constantly evolving as different iteration come online. “You will probably never see something again where every single component is new,” he said. “We developed a new steering rack for the LT, the 570S, and the next-generation cars; we don’t make a big fuss about it but it’s how we improve things whenever we can.”

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McLaren has confirmed that more than half of its models will feature some kind of hybrid powertrain by the end of this business plan, with the P14 getting a system that, as in the P1, will add more performance than it costs in weight. It also will mean the car can meet stricter emissions and consumption targets without having to use a downsized engine.

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