News that the McLaren Composites Technology Centre in Sheffield has built its first prototype MonoCell tub might not have broken the internet this week – or sparked the same level of conversation as our 992 911 review on the forums – but we should not underestimate the significance of this step towards the brand’s Track25 business plan.
The Sheffield site will bring McLaren’s carbon tub production in house, while also ramping up the pace of development for next-gen MonoCells that should be lighter and stiffer than their predecessor. While at this stage the centre has only produced a prototype, it’s on course to become McLaren’s tub provider from 2020 – which is a quick turnaround for such a complex process by anyone’s measure.
But McLaren has proven time and time again that it can do things quickly and efficiently, and we only have to look back eight years to see where it all began. Because it was with the launch of the MP4-12C that McLaren Automotive’s story began and the carbon fibre tub was at the very centre of it, literally. So perhaps it’s only natural that this week’s news has had us looking for pictures of that original model which, to these eyes, is looking even better with age. Don’t you think?
We’ve decided to dedicate our desktop backgrounds to the purposeful shape of the 12C GT3 racer, because its bodywork adds aggression to the parts that many have long believed lacked originality on the eight-year-old road model. Of course, the tub that bound all of those parts together was identical to the MonoCell in the road model, emphasising how from its birth this bonded McLaren part has been one of the industry’s most cutting edge components. And now, it’ll come with a Yorkshire seal of approval too!