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McLaren sports car range: one engine, one chassis, various forms

McLaren sports car range
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In 2009, M cLaren the reset button. After a six-year interlude with Mercedes, which brought out different variations of the Mercedes SLR-McLaren, the traditional English brand went its own way again in building a super sports car. For the first time since the legendary McLaren F1, which was produced until 1998 and powered by an upgraded BMW V12 with 627 hp.

McLaren 12C as the basis for other sports cars

The second McLaren super sports car street legal was named MP4-12C. Later it was only called 12C. At first he had 600 hp under his dress. Later 625. With the McLaren 12C started the British launched a new model offensive. The convertible version was followed by the successor model 650S, which is now also available as a Spider. A pure racetrack version (650S Sprint) and a weaker version (625C) were also launched.

In between, McLaren stamped the P1 a super sports car from the ground, which wrestles with the Porsche 918 Spyder and Ferrari LaFerrari for the hybrid crown. At the Geneva Motor Show in March 2015, the British show up with the McLaren 675LT and the racetrack version P1 GTR. Then in New York with the 570S, in Shanghai with the 540C. In addition, the 675LT was presented as a Spider.

What do they have in common? All McLaren sports cars use the 12C construction kit. A 3.8-liter V8 biturbo discharges its power in all of them. A dual clutch transmission zaps the seven gears in all of them. Basically they all build on the same chassis - the MonoCell, a carbon-baked monocoque with a separate body. The advantage of this chassis concept: Compared to an aluminum or steel construction, the MonoCell should, according to McLaren be more torsion-resistant, more durable, safer and lighter. A kit, an engine, a chassis - that saves costs and makes it easier to manufacture new sports cars or offshoots.

Four McLaren sports car divisions

McLaren breaks down its sports car range into four segments. Customers can access theGet into the McLaren world. The price level is around 160,000 euros. There is the McLaren 540C, which, as the name suggests, winds 540 hp and 540 Nm from the eight-end. The British pack a little more on it in the 570S: 570 PS and 600 Nm.

McLaren is bundling its 675LT, 650S Coupé and 650S Spider models and the 625C intended for the Asian market in the 'Sports Series' so-called 'Super Series'. The upper end of the model range - called 'Ultimate Series' - is McLaren P1 and its race track offshoot P1 GTR. There is also the 'Legacy' section. Here the British group the 12C, 12C Spider, F1 and M6GT (produced in 1969) together.

M838T in several power levels

M838T - that's what McLaren calls its twin-turbo engine, which in cooperation with by the English company Ricardo (based in Shoreham). Depending on the vehicle specification, the engineers from Woking elicit more power from the V8 and let the turbochargers shovel more torque, or curb the figure eight. Its successor 650S is allowed to make more riot. New pistons, cylinder heads and exhaust valves as well as different valve timing increase the performance of the V8 biturbo by 25 to 650 hp.

The 650S is basically a modified version of the 12C. Both carry the practically identical gene pool. To justify the surcharge of around 50,000 euros (base price: 255,000 euros), McLaren has fine-tuned the technology.

McLaren 650S with less bacon

The switch box, chassis and body ended up in the gym. The transmission from the Italian manufacturer Graziano should now be able to snap in the gears faster. The chassis springs harder. For this purpose, the engineers made the spring rates on the front axle 22 percent and on the rear axle 37 percent harder.

The damper characteristics of the electronically controlled PCC (Proactive Chassis Control) have also been tightened. The overall result: 'At the limit, there are fewer roll and nodding movements around the longitudinal and transverse axis than in the 12C,' confirms sport auto test editor Christian Gebhardt.

He wears it around his hips 650S, which hits the drive shafts with 678 Nm, less fat. Thanks to the increased use of carbon fiber - for example, the carbon seats reduce the weight by 15 kilograms - the athlete weighs 1,330 kg. The 12C weighed 1,375 kilos.

McLaren 675LT revives the 'longtail' tradition

The new one McLaren 675LT is even more stingy with unnecessary pounds. The British want the sports car (dry weight 1,230 kg) to work off a full 100 kilograms. To do this, McLaren injects the V8further performance injection. As the number in the name suggests, the super sports car unleashes 675 hp. To do this, it applies 700 Nm to the crankshaft.

With the 675LT, McLaren is reviving the tradition of the legendary F1 GTR Longtail racing car, an F1 stretched by 64.1 centimeters. The 675LT doesn't tend to overhang that much, the tape measure measures 3.4 centimeters.

The strongest street athlete from Woking is the McLaren P1. The well-known 3.8-liter heart beats in the super sports car. However, pumped up to 737 hp and 900 Nm. As if that weren't enough, the P1 gets 179 little electric horses saddled up. All in all, McLaren's first hybrid sports car has a system output of 916 hp.

Consistent lightweight construction keeps the weight at just 1,395 kg despite the 26 kg electric motor and the battery cells. To put it into perspective: Competitor Porsche 918 Spyder weighs 1,634 kilos including the Weissach package.

Race track model McLaren P1 GTR

For weight savings, however, the McLaren engineers did not just rely on light carbon. In the P1 engine - called M838TQ - the starter is missing. Its job is done by the electric motor that sits under the V8.

The technicians also modified the chassis concept for the P1. MonoCell became MonoCage. In contrast to the monocoque of the 12C, part of the vehicle roof and its intake hood are also integrated here. Weight of the P1 chassis: only 90 kilograms.

McLaren has produced 375 examples of the P1. All are already sold. Unit price: over one million euros. Building on the road P1, Woking also built a GTR for the racetrack. With a topped up V8 (800 PS) and electric motor (200 PS).

In our picture gallery we show you the sports cars from McLaren.

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