Bruce McLaren

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Life is measured in achievement, not in years alone.
— Bruce McLaren

Bruce McLaren only lived 32 years but in that short time, he achieved an astonishing amount. Not just a Grand Prix winning racing driver, McLaren’s vision extended far beyond the driver’s seat. An engineer, designer, inventor, and tester, Bruce was an automotive genius. One of only two men ever to win a Grand Prix in a racing car bearing his name, the motor racing company he started went on to become the most successful marque in Formula 1 history. ‘It would be a waste of life to do nothing with one’s ability’, Bruce McLaren said, and he certainly did not waste his. Born in Auckland, New Zealand in 1937, Bruce, at the age of 22, was the youngest Grand Prix winner – a record that stood for over 40 years. The following year he won the Argentinean Grand Prix and for the decade that followed, he was one of the best drivers in the world and founded the McLaren Formula 1 team. Today McLaren has become a world-leading technology company now famous for its uniquely engineered cars.

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McLaren Automotive was founded in 2010, a company that shares its home with the McLaren Formula One team. A state of the art production centre was built as an extension to the famous headquarters in Woking where the cars are hand built. However, before McLaren Automotive was officially launched, the company had already set its path when it created the iconic McLaren F1, three-seater with central driving position, designed by Gordon Murray in the early 1990’s. Only 106 units were made and they now command a price tag of over £10milion being widely acknowledged as the greatest car of the twentieth century.

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Pioneering is a core value: it is seen in McLaren’s products, its philosophy and its building. The McLaren Production Centre is unlike any other car factory and reinforces McLaren’s presence as a technology company as well as an automotive one. In its short nine-year history, McLaren has created some of the most iconic and exhilarating road cars the world has ever seen. It has been at the forefront of new technology and design most notably it has lead the way in the use of carbon fibre in vehicle production. Since introducing the first ever carbon fibre chassis into racing and road cars with the 1981 McLaren MP4/1 and 1993 McLaren F1 respectively, McLaren has not built a car without a carbon fibre chassis. More recently it was the first to create a ‘hypercar’ known as the McLaren P1TM combining hybrid technology and shrink wrapped design. Only 375 were made and the car perfectly illustrates McLaren Automotives design language throughout their products, breath taking design that tells the visual story of their function. 

Mike Flewitt, McLaren’s CEO, has been integral to the company’s success delivering on the company’s business plan Track 25, committing the brand to 18 new models and derivatives, all Sports Series and Super Series cars to be hybrid and a £1.2billion expansion plan all by 2025. The first of these new models include the recently launch 600LT Coupé and Spider which were born out of the infamous LT range from McLaren and sits within the Sports Series. More recently, at the International Geneva Motor Show, the company announced a new Grand Tourer which will be revealed within the next few months. In addition to this, the company also launched their first replacement model in the Super Series, the series at the core of the brand with the award winning 720S Coupe and now a Spider version. While in the Ultimate Series, the marques pinnacle series, customers have been enjoying designing their Speedtail, the latest car in the Ultimate Series which is an homage to the original McLaren F1 with the three seat configuration and with only 106 being made, it has put a new meaning to the word ‘bespoke’ with a limitless palette to create a truly unique car. 

Engineering excellence are at the heart of everything McLaren does: every car built, every product created, every progressive step taken is driven by the relentless pursuit of perfection. Every car McLaren builds incorporates race-bred technology, pioneering innovation and the celebrated obsession with detail. It is how Bruce did it. It is how McLaren do it. It is how it should be done. As Bruce said: ‘Life is measured in achievement, not in years alone.’

SportsSimon Blackford