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What’s driving McLaren’s $2.2 billion venture?

The supercar maker is ready to switch into overdrive, with 18 new derivatives in the next seven years.

The McLaren name has woven many a great story. Its racing pedigree with 12 drivers’ and eight constructors’ titles in the Formula One world championships is legendary. In 2010, it embarked on another quest – to design and make sports cars and supercars under McLaren Automotive.

It has been an equally remarkable journey. In just a few short years, McLaren has emerged as a superpower in this segment, with the successful rollout of distinctive models from the MP4-12C, 540C, and 570S to the P1, 650S, 675LT and 720S. It has built more than 15,000 cars.

With the introduction of the iconic Senna in December 2017 and 600LT in July, the supercar maker is ready to switch gears into overdrive. It is backed by a business plan, Track25, to invest £1.2 billion (S$2.2 billion) into research and development, and launch 18 new derivatives, including a new P1, from now until 2025.

(RELATED: Why McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt is confident of the future)

“Everyone at McLaren Automotive remains constant in their focus of designing and crafting the world’s best drivers’ cars,” says Mike Flewitt, chief executive officer of McLaren Automotive. “We are a luxury brand that is committed to investing in innovation, whether that’s in the development and manufacture of our own carbon fibre tubs as part of a new £50 million British-based production centre, or of new powertrains with our entire range due to be hybrid by 2025, or in the deployment of technology to enhance the driving and owning experience.”

Senna, the second in the Ultimate series after P1, bears the name of legendary three-time Formula 1 champion, Ayrton Senna, while the 600LT (Longtail) embodies the McLaren philosophy of producing lightweight super sports cars that deliver extreme performance.

Says George Biggs, managing director of McLaren Automotive, Asia Pacific: “Aggressive and uncompromising, Senna is the ultimate road-legal track car. It is the strongest expression yet of McLaren’s ‘form follows function’ philosophy. For the 600LT, it redefines expectations of super sports car performance and pays homage to McLaren’s rich racing history. Exclusivity is key for this car, as the production for this model will run for only 12 months.”

(RELATED: Review: Is the McLaren Senna worth the $4.5million price tag?)