• Apr 1, 2010
McLaren MP4-12C – Click above for high-res image gallery

Mercedes-Benz and McLaren used to be synonymous, both on the racing circuit with their Formula One collaboration as well as in the stratosphere of supercar-dom with the Mercedes SLR McLaren. But that's all in the history books now as the two outfits have gone their separate ways in both arenas.

For its part, Mercedes chose to go in-house with the SLS AMG, the effective successor to the SLR McLaren, while McLaren has developed the new MP4-12C supercar in-house as well, right down to the engine. Meanwhile Mercedes bought the Brawn GP team and is selling its stake in McLaren back to the team.

So why the split? According to Norbert Haug (pictured at right with Daimler chairman Dr. Dieter Zetsche), the schism on both fronts came down to McLaren's desire to produce the MP4-12C independently. With all the factors that lead to the breakup, pinpointing that one specifically seems a little far-fetched to us, but as Mercedes' motorsport chief, we'd presume Haug knows what he's talking about.



[Source: Autocar]


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  • 16 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      I has Mazda eyes....
      • 4 Years Ago
      Why is it that every time Norbert Haug offers his opinion on something, it stinks of sour grapes? That excuse sounds more like playground jealousy than a real reason as to why the two would split. Mind you, when I heard Mercedes were buying a stake in McLaren, the first thing that came to mind, given Norbert Haug's abrasive nature, was that it was going to end some time, and most likely end acrimoniously.

      My theory is that Haug and the Mercedes motorsport outfit are now realising that they're coming off worse in this whole split, and he's trying to tarnish McLaren's reputation who, in the past couple of decades, have been synonymous with success at the highest levels of motorsport.

      It's like someone took his lollipop away.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Merc are doing an EV version of their SLS.... I doubt McLaren are doing an EV version of their 12C.
        • 4 Years Ago
        And damn straight they shouldn't. Leave the social statements to those more concerned with image than engineering.

        McLaren does interesting things because they have real technical benefit and engineering relevance to doing the job as well as possible.

        Electric is not a prime-time solution, because electrical storage facilities (the BATTERIES) are nowhere near the energy density, and are 10 times the weight of a gasoline fuel tank. And a couple hundred pounds worth of lithium-based substrate just waiting to ignite if it ever gets exposed to atmosphere.

        It isn't about the motors delivering energy to the pavement. It is about where the energy for the motors COMES FROM.

        Leave electric to the people trying to make social statements.

        Let McLaren continue to build what works the best. KThnxBye.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I wouldn't expect an EV version of the MP4-12C... but perhaps the McLaren KERS system (or a variation thereof) could make it into the car, giving them some green cred (and some extra oomph). Throw in stop/start technology, and you'd have a car that could be pretty thrifty around town, and still blow the doors off just about anything else.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'd say they're probably better off separately, anyway. The SLR was pretty mediocre compared to the supercars it was competing with, and I'd say that was partly because it just didn't fit the disparate brand briefs for its constituent builders.

      The MP4 is clearly a much more serious sports car than the SLR ever was (a torque converter in a supercar? Really?), and the SLS is, well, much more Mercedes - performance and comfort, but makes no pretense at setting the world on fire.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Let me get this one straight Chrysler saved Daimler ?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Daimler drained Chrysler's cash reserves dry, and threw away the carcass.
        • 4 Years Ago
        How old are you that you don't remember this? Daimler was basically broke when it took over a very cash-rich Chrysler. That cash reserve was put to bad use to restructure Daimler AG, while Chrysler was left to die.

        That "merger of equals" saved Daimler. No question about it.

        Ruthless and disgusting German company if there ever was one.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Good bye, good riddance.

      SLS is a fine car, and all that.

      But McLaren is better, and has been for a long time. Mercedes has never done anything close to what McLaren did with the F1.

      And SLS may be a very fine front-engined GT, but the 12C is likely to be the better sports car, from the ground up.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The SLS costs less than half of what the SLR did, and less than even the SL65 Black. Hardly a successor to the awesome SLR, though performance-wise it may very well be. I'd expect Mercedes to have something more high end coming within the next year or so.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Then one must wonder why the SLR was so expensive, that the SLS can be a performance equivalent car for so much less money.

        MC4-12C is aslo significantly less expensive, even with a bespoke engine and CF/Aluminum chassis... So it doesn't seem like McLaren was necessarily the instigator of such high costs, either.

        From what I vaguely remember reading, McLaren wasn't to happy with all the strictures and dictates that MB had as hoops for McLaren to jump through for that project. I wonder if AMG was similarly dictated to, or if they had more leeway.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I believe it. Daimler has to be one of the most arrogant auto companies around today. Chrysler never should've saved them.
        • 4 Years Ago
        You got that right.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I was hoping the drivers seat would be in the center of the car. So hot
      • 4 Years Ago
      Damn, that is one SEXY car!
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