McLaren Automotive has been celebrating the 20,000th car to have rolled off the production line at its McLaren Production Centre in Woking, Surrey.
To modern production standards, that might not sound like a lot – but when you remember that each vehicle is hand-assembled, the centre only opened in 2011 and numbers are limited to keep the brand super-exclusive, you’ll recognise that this really is some achievement.
The milestone McLaren was a 600LT Spider in Chicane Grey from the Sports Series, which was only launched last summer and will now probably be worth a small fortune as a collector’s item in the years to come.
“It is fitting that we celebrate this achievement with a 600LT Spider which has been a huge success for us, with all production slots for the coupe variant now sold out,” said McLaren’s Mike Flewitt.
He added that the brand aims to keep output at around 5,000 a year into the next decade, when it will increase to 6,000.
Now this version of the Spider has become historic, what other McLaren cars rank among their most iconic designs? Let’s take a look at some of what we think are their very best.
Described as a truly modern hypercar, the P1 incorporates all the heritage you’d expect from McLaren with some top-notch PHEV technology for supreme handling and performance.
It left the production line in 2014 with only 375 cars available – and all had sold in a month. If you wanted to get your hands on one now, you’d have to pay upwards of a million pounds.
McLaren P1 GT
McLaren already had a GTR version in existence in 1995, but it decided to reinvigorate the name with the P1 GTR, a luxury sports car to commemorate 20 years since the brand’s victory in ’24 Hours of Le Mans’.
Designed for the track alone, this concept car officially debuted at the Geneva Motor Show in 1996 and was only available to customers who had already bought the P1. Way to maintain exclusivity.
McLaren’s own website concedes that this vehicle “pushes everything to the limit” without the regulations that constrict road-cars.
Perhaps the most refined and luxurious McLaren car yet, this one was aimed at the everyday market (everyday if you happen to have a couple of mill spare change in your pocket, that is).
It had supercar standards but also took into account usability, meaning drivers could enjoy their vehicle’s breathtaking performance on long journeys without getting rattled around whatsoever.
Made for the road rather than the track, we reckon this car inspired many a five-star weekend away in the Cotswolds where it could really be shown off – or perhaps that’s just our daydream.
Seen by many fans as the brand’s biggest ever achievement, the 570S has a 3.8-litre twin turbo V8 engine that offers the same acceleration as the F1 sports car. Driver-centric yet also focused on performance, it can be driven on the track or the open road for maximum thrills. If you could only ever drive one sports car, you could easily make it this one and still be satisfied.
Finally, the best of them all, in our opinion: the F1, aka the fastest naturally-aspirated car on the planet. It goes at 243mph, people, faster than any road-going car had ever gone before.
It launched in 1992 with the first carbon fibre chassis ever seen and won Le Mans in 1995 on its first attempt.
Today, it’s still one of the fastest and most expensive supercars ever made – and you’d fork out far more than a million if you wanted to put one in your own garage. Rowan Atkinson sold his for £8 million in 2005, just to give you an idea. Like, a ballpark, in case you wanted to pop to the bank.
With the Sultan of Brunei, Elon Musk and car-fanatic Jay Leno all F1 owners, we think this vehicle firmly deserves its position as the most iconic McLaren ever.
We know, we know: what about the 675LT, the first modern car with a Longtail badge? Or the 540C coupe, seen by many as the ultimate little sporty number? Or the 650s, which brought performance to a whole new level and still looked great?
Quite frankly, we could talk about all of them all day long, but we had to eventually whittle the list down to our fave five. Of course, that doesn’t mean we’re right. So let’s open it up to McLaren fans out there and ask: what’s your best ever McLaren?
We’re looking forward to seeing your responses and chatting about some very iconic supercars.
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