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McLaren P1 legacy lives on

The one: Only 106 McLaren F1s were ever produced but the company says the iconic car is still having a positive effect on business, 18 years after production ceased.

Halo effect continues to work for McLaren despite end of P1 production

11 May 2016

MCLAREN is continuing to bolster its most “attainable” Sports Series and intermediate Super Series ranges with more models on the way, but the British car-maker says that it is not essential to permanently offer a flagship vehicle in its Ultimate Series halo range.

Since the introduction of its three-tier system, the company has announced seven new models including the three Sports Series cars that are about to be joined by their first Spider sibling, two 675LT Super Series models and the P1 GTR track car, adding to the family of 650S, 650S Spider and the P1.

While the company is still driving growth fuelled by the availability of any Sports Series model or the 650S and 650S Spider, McLaren says the Ultimate Series cars have a different role and they continue to do their job even after the limited production run has ended.

Speaking with GoAuto at the first Australian media drive of the 540C and 570S, McLaren Automotive Asia marketing manager Geoff Tink said that even though the final P1 rolled off the production line late last year, the hyper hybrid is still elevating the brand identity in the eyes of consumers.

“It drives the ambition of the company and it really provides you with this halo model,” he said. “The P1 did that and the P1 still does that. That's still great for the brand.

“You don't have to have one on your sales floor. It's something that people dream about and you need to have that emotion when you see one on the street.” Mr Tink said that the halo effect of its most extraordinary cars is long lasting and the company was still benefiting from the reputation and achievements of its first road car – the 1993 McLaren F1.

“The F1 is still an epic car and still to this day, if anyone sees an F1 their breath is always taken away. Look what it does to the value of the car.” When asked about a replacement for the P1, Mr Tink said that a new Ultimate Series car would be produced, but only when the company had a significant new technological innovation to showcase in the model, in the same way that the P1 had breached hybrid power.

“The core of the Ultimate Series is it needs to be a halo model and it needs to involve a quantum leap in technology,” he said. “Until we have that quantum leap, we can't release a new P1.” While the new Ultimate Series car is too far away to discuss, Mr Tink did say that the first concepts of what a successor could look like were in conversation, but any kind of announcement was still a long way off.

“There's ideas in the pipeline and we think we know where that quantum leap is coming from and there are people toying with ideas, but there's no plan yet for anything like that.

“The car is legendary. The P1 is, the F1 is and whatever replaces the P1 in the future, whatever lives up to that moniker needs to be a legendary car.” With a flourishing line-up, McLaren is enjoying a steady sales increase in Australia and is on track to move 100 cars this year, compared with the 36 registrations in 2015.

That significant rise is being reflected in the company's growing dealer network, which now covers Sydney, a move to larger self-contained premises in Melbourne and a new dealership on the Gold Coast due to open in the next couple of months. Perth is also under consideration for either a showroom or service centre.

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