The next six years are laid out for the company in Track 22, their ambitious business plan. "It's a track that gives us a very profitable and sustainable business," said CEO Mike Flewitt at its launch.
Fifteen all-new or derivative models are planned (note they launched four between 2010 and 2015). Hybrid technology will feature in 50 per cent of models and a full EV car is planned, potentially for the halo car of the range.
All this, however, within a limited production run of 5,000 cars a year. No more, or McLarens will become as common as buses (perhaps). Also, you might have to start getting machines to build them, and that's a big no-no: it takes a man 11 days to build a McLaren v 15 hours for machines to build a Qashqai. Also, you'd probably have to go looking for outside funding for expansion, instead of funding your own R&D, and all these are things that enable McLaren to hammer their little "Surrey, England" badge into the leather on the centre console.
Does it matter if they lose some of the magic? How much do customers care that their cars are hand built? Well, you'd have to sit inside one to know the answer to that. Like Maseratis, McLarens feel that little bit different. Harder, in every sense of the word: the leather feels stitched tighter, the engine growl harsher, the steering stiffer, the design less fanciful, more forceful.
Different. British. Excellent.