• Nov 13th 2009 at 3:29PM
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Inside McLaren: developing the MP4-12C – Click above to view the video after the jump

McLaren Automotive has just dropped a new video, the first in a series, that promises to show the story behind the company's upcoming MP4-12C supercar. This first episode gives us a peek at the car's development background, introduces us to some of the key players in the process, and even gives us a look at some of the key venues in the gestation of the new Lamborghini and Ferrari fighter from Woking.

This first short film, which you can find after the jump, is entitled: Inside McLaren: developing the MP4-12C. Pretty straightforward then, as is the dialogue. Technical Director Dick Glover takes us on a brief tour of McLaren's facilities – Racing, Electronics and Automotive, which he describes as the heart of the operation. He even points out the F1 simulator, where drivers and engineers have worked on race setups for the past 12 years. The MP4-12C team gets to play in there, too.

Next up is Chief Test Driver Chris Goodwin. He talks about the tracks and roads used in the development process, tracks like the Nürburgring Nordschleife and the Top Gear track at Dunsfold, which happens to be close to the McLaren facilities. Chris also gives us an idea of the extreme temperatures the 12C has been tested in, from the Arctic to Bahrain. Episode 1 wraps up with an introduction to some of the key engineers on the team, including Simon Andrew, Rob Tyers and Steve Hayes.

All of this is punctuated with glimpses of the 12C in action, which is why we're really all here in the first place. As cool as the McLaren facility is, the car is the star. Follow the jump for the video and full press release from McLaren.

[Source: McLaren]


McLaren Automotive video series takes viewers inside McLaren and reveals MP4-12C development plans

McLaren Automotive today launches the first in a series of broadcast-quality short videos, which present a rare insight into a performance car testing programme from the development team behind the new McLaren MP4-12C.

As a brand new car company, McLaren Automotive has a unique and engaging story to tell prior to its first model going on sale in Spring 2011. Meanwhile, 2009's intense testing and development programme is clearly demonstrating the 12C's potential and McLaren Automotive is presenting rare company footage and insight that reveals its plans, processes and challenges.

In a short film entitled 'Inside McLaren: developing the MP4-12C', viewers take the first steps to understanding how McLaren Automotive will fulfil its ambition to launch the MP4-12C as a genuine challenger to the world's best high performance sports cars. Highlights include:
  • An introduction to the McLaren Technology Centre (MTC) and the MP4-12C test programme by McLaren Automotive Technical Director, Dick Glover
  • Chief Test Driver Chris Goodwin on how the 12C performs in extreme test conditions
  • An overview by senior engineers of the integrated approach to development on roads and tracks around the world and, virtually, back at MTC
  • 12C development (XP) prototypes on road and track in England and Germany, and extreme hot weather testing in Bahrain
The challenging and comprehensive development programme has taken in some of the world's most famous race circuits and most inhospitable driving environments; from the dry and cold, ice and snow of the Arctic, to the hot and humid, sand-soaked air of the Middle-East.

Combined with cutting-edge simulation programmes, Formula 1 techniques, personnel and processes, and thousands of miles of 'real world' on-road driving on the UK's notoriously poor tarmac surfaces, the tight-knit testing team has taken giant strides through 2009 in the 12C's development. The result is 'pure' McLaren: a revolutionary high performance sports car that features unique engineering solutions to deliver new standards in comfort, driving dynamics, economy and performance in the 'core'* sports car market.

*'Core' market according to McLaren Automotive are performance sports cars priced between £125,000 and £175,000

Dick Glover, Technical Director at McLaren Automotive is responsible for the 50-strong Testing and Development team and the eight development (XP) cars that have featured in the 2009 programme: "I am really proud of what the team has achieved this year," he said.

"Having to develop a brand new range of cars from scratch to the standards expected of McLaren, featuring ground-breaking new structures and powertrain is the ultimate challenge and one we are relishing. Sure, we have challenges – that is why we go to these places that absolutely push the cars to their limits and beyond – but now we know just what the 12C is capable of, we are able to push on into 2010 and deliver cars of which McLaren will be rightly proud."

The 2009 testing programme has focused heavily on two of the most famous tracks in the world – the notorious Nordschleife Nurburgring and the circuit seen by millions on-screen, the BBC Top Gear test track at Dunsfold Aerodrome. Both tracks push cars to their limits. But the success of the programme will also rest on McLaren's technological innovation and experience.

The results of a testing session's road and track performance are rapidly assessed within MTC. Simulation and rapid engineering practices – two core aspects of a successful Formula 1 team – are then employed to re-calibrate the XP test cars in-situ ready for the following day, or night's, development targets.

Chris Goodwin, professional racing driver and Chief Test Driver at McLaren Automotive, summed up the self-imposed pressures on the development team: "McLaren has always set itself the highest standards. We are the most successful ever motor racing team, we designed and built one of the world's most iconic sports cars in the world in the McLaren F1, and pioneered carbon fibre development on race and road cars.

"We took those standards into the development programme for the MP4-12C in order to launch a new high performance sports car comparable with past achievements and offering new levels of performance for the future. For us, these targets were simply starting points and that attitude requires the most thorough development possible. We believe that our global testing is delivering incredible strides for the 12C."

Other highlights:
  • Simon Andrew (Vehicle Development Engineer)sends back detailed daily reports from all test sessions to McLaren Automotive personnel in a wide range of functions, not just other members of his team. This ensures that the full range of the company's engineers, designers and management are able to contribute their experience.
  • Rob Tyers is one of many team members introduced from the McLaren Racing division, bringing their experience of rapid decision-making in a highly competitive environment to bear on a traditionally slower-paced industry. No other car company in the world offers this combination and experience of motor racing and road-car development personnel under one roof.
  • McLaren Automotive has developed a unique programme inspired by the rapid development requirements of Formula 1. This brings together the whole development team at one venue over a period of up to two weeks. Huge strides are gained during these intense testing periods as all car systems are stretched to their limits in combination and as a whole, rather than part by part in sequence.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      I have been to that facility and i must say the coolest place i have ever been. if you can think of the movie Men in black. well its just like that.....
      • 5 Years Ago
      Lucas, you got to be kidding about the doors right?? I guess you never owned a car worth anything and parked it close to something where opening the doors becomes a nightmare in case you hit the sidewalk curb or something next to the car? The Lambo doors and this are the smartest ways to design doors for cars that are worth so much money. It actually serves a purpose. Also, have you seen the height of some of the curbs in Countries that have some real history and old architecture?? Good luck getting out of your super low car that has side opening doors.
      • 5 Years Ago
      as I view the website,

      Is there any way to make the images a smaller default size? and view more posts on a single page.

      Or is it just my firefox browser???

      Is it passe to keep up with articles older than 6 hrs? I dunno whatever.
        • 5 Years Ago
        lol, we cry'n'wait for better commenting system several years by now
      • 5 Years Ago
      top gear track as a test track....ftw!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I am finding it hard to care. There are so many supercars out now... and honestly, McLaren really dropped the ball. This one might perform better, but it lost all of the unique style/features of the original. It just looks like some generic supercar; like something you'd see in a non-licensed videogame like grand theft auto, or Cruisin USA or something. Just... meh. I'd rather have the original. Or lots of cars. This one just looks boring.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Then I guess you're not a true car enthusiast. If you're car crazy then you can appreciate any car irregardless of what it is and how it looks *cough LFA*
        • 5 Years Ago
        Look closer.

        First off, it isn't a successor to the F1. It isn't a cost-no-object moon-shot.

        It is a competitor to the F458 and Gallardo, and maybe also the Audi R8 and Porsche 997 Turbo.

        It may not latch on to your eyes with vice grips on first impression.... but the proportions and lines are very nice.

        It is more subtle than most cars in it's class... but after poring over the details, the car looks better and better every time I look at it.

        Although the chin spoiler on the front should be painted, and the wheels could be a little less generic of a design, I will grant that bit. (it would look so much better with wheels of a similar design to the Mazda Furai concept race car... kind of a twisted take on a BBS-style wheel...) But those are very small changes.

        But the car isn't even for sale yet... slight aesthetics could still be tinkered with just a bit.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Besides increased sales to footballers and rap guys, name ONE FUNCTIONAL benefit of those stupid doors?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Less opening width than traditional long coupe doors, and greater overhead height than top-hinged gull wing doors.

        Have you ever tried to get in or out of a two door car when some nitwit came and parked less than 2 feet away from the side of your car?

        You get to try to squeeze yourself between the car and open door, when the door is only open a few degrees.

        The only thing more space efficient in a parking space are jack-knife doors, which require larger armature hinge assemblies in the front fenders, and extend taller when open, and are more difficult to reach (bottom edge, rather than an interior door card pull) when open, from the seated position.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Sorry, I should clarify...

        Butterfly doors (McLarens including, SLR, etc...) have less likelyhood to hit you in the head when you are standing up while getting in and out than gull-wing doors. (they move forward and up, not just up)

        They require less reach to close from the seated position, because the door is fixed at the bottom of the A-pillar, lower on the car.

        But also they require less overhead ceiling clearance than gull wing doors, again, due to the base of the A-pillar being a fixed hinge point, instead of the whole door hinging upward at the high point of the roof.
        • 5 Years Ago
        the doors double as pantie removers
        • 5 Years Ago
        just STFU
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