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McLaren Automotive doesn't want to tie up with another carmaker, saying that its independence helps it stay nimble and keep up with advances in technology.

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As McLaren Automotive prepares to launch its new entry-level Sports Series, it has named its senior designer, Robert Melville, to the new role of Chief Designer. He'll continue to report to designer director Frank Stephenson.

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The automotive division of McLaren has just returned its first yearly profit, netting 4.5 million pounds ($7.5 million at today's rates) in pre-tax profit and 12.4 million pounds ($20.7 million) in operating profits on revenue of 285.4 million pounds ($478.1 million).

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With new versions of the 12C coming out all the time, the new P1 still wowing crowds and additional projects underway, sports car fanatics might surmise that McLaren is doing pretty well for itself these days. But Formula One fans would likely disagree. After losing its longtime prodigy Lewis Hamilton to its longtime partner, Mercedes, McLaren failed to land on the podium (let alone win an actual grand prix) even once last season. In fact, the last time McLaren – one of the most historical

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It was back in 1963 that 26-year-old Bruce McLaren founded Bruce McLaren Motor Racing Ltd. in London with no more than a handful of dedicated employees. Today, nearly fifty years later, the McLaren Group employs more than 2,000 and is credited with developing, manufacturing and racing some of the world's greatest supercars on a global stage.

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It's been one heck of a first year for McLaren Automotive. Since setting up shop twelve months ago, the Formula One team's new sportscar-making unit has sold over 1,000 examples of the MP4-12C supercar, but that's not the sum total of its achievements.

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The Middle East is an enormously vital market for McLaren, and not just because its oil barons have the cash to buy as many MP4-12C supercars as they and every member of their family could possibly want. While the team has only won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix once and has yet to do the same at the Bahrain Grand Prix – the only two in the region (discounting Turkey), the company is part owned by Saudi businessman Mansour Ojjeh, and another part by the royal family of Bahrain.

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If you've got the cash to place on the hood (or nose cone, as it were), most any Formula One team will sell you one of their old race cars. After all, they're not using them anymore, and it's a good way to raise funds to develop next year's car. But not McLaren. The team from Woking – one of the most successful in the series – doesn't sell its old cars, though with 176 grand prix victories, twelve drivers' championships and eight constructors' titles, you can bet they'd fetch a prett

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Niche automakers face a difficult decision: lay out the mountain of cash it takes to have their exotic rides certified for American roads, or save the money and miss out on one of the largest markets. McLaren Automotive had the new MP4-12C homologated for the United States, and now they're thankful that they did.

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Rumors and conjecture will only get you so far, particularly when we're talking about the stratosphere of supercardom where speculation can disappear back into the ether from whence it came as quickly as it emerged in the first place. What we need to really anticipate the arrival of a new record-breaking hypercar is concrete evidence. And concrete evidence, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, is what we have here before us today.

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Anything Ferrari can do, McLaren can do better. At least that's what the boys in Woking seem to believe. After all, McLaren has trounced Ferrari around the Formula One circuit for the past several years now. But while the British team has followed its Italian rival from grand prix racing into building supercars with the McLaren F1, Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren and (most recently) the MP4-12C, one thing Ferrari does that McLaren doesn't is grand tourers. And with the advent of the FF, shooting brake

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When a McLaren hits the race track, the competition had better watch out. The British outfit is, after all, one of the most successful in Formula One, having won 176 grands prix, a dozen drivers' championships and eight constructors' titles. But McLaren's prowess extends beyond F1. The Woking firm was a force to be reckoned with in Can-Am in the late 60s, and the last time it built an endurance racing sportscar – the famed F1 GTR back in 1995 – it trounced even the advanced prototype

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Legends come and legends go when it comes to supercars, but few remain etched as indelibly in our hearts and minds as the McLaren F1. Still capable of trouncing 99% of the performance machinery being built today, the legendary F1 is one icon whose successor has been anticipated arguably more than any other.

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Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. But most of all, give us your supercars.

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Turning a Formula One team into an automaker is no mean feat. Ferrari did it decades ago, and now McLaren is following suit. The first product of the newly formed McLaren Automotive – an offshoot of the F1 team – has already hit the market in the form of the MP4-12C, with several additional models planned over the coming years. But in order to do so, they'll need a state-of-the-art production facility.

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List price is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg when considering the purchase of a new supercar. Never mind the premium you're likely to pay a speculator to avoid long waiting lists, or astronomic insurance rates, for that matter. If you actually plan on driving your six-figure exotic, you're going to be spending a whole lot on fuel, plus another chunk on gas-guzzler tax. Right?

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List price is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg when considering the purchase of a new supercar. Never mind the premium you're likely to pay a speculator to avoid long waiting lists, or astronomic insurance rates, for that matter. If you actually plan on driving your six-figure exotic, you're going to be spending a whole lot on fuel, plus another chunk on gas-guzzler tax. Right?

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With the MP4-12C hitting a rapidly expanding chain of dealerships around the world, McLaren Automotive is moving on to its next project: developing a successor to the iconic McLaren F1. In fact, reports from the UK indicate that testing of the first prototypes is already underway in locations like Spain, Bahrain and Germany.

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McLaren Special Operations may sound like a new unit of special forces in the British military, but is, in fact, actually the new client customization division of the supercar manufacturer behind the MP4-12C. We first got wind of the new service at Pebble Beach where it was presented, one year after the North American debut of the car itself, but now McLaren has unleashed more details and a full batch of photos.

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The Formula 1 circus is still a little more than a month away from sailing in to Marina Bay for the 2011 Singapore Grand Prix, but an outfit like McLaren isn't accustomed to sitting around and waiting. So they've brought a little bit of Singapore to them.

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A Formula One team runs very differently than a car manufacturer. When an F1 team finds that a new suspension component or aerodynamic winglet isn't performing exactly as expected – or as their star driver would like – they go straight back to the drawing board and come up with a solution, lickety-split.

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