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McLaren Automotive builds 20,000th car

Less than eight years after the first McLaren was built at Woking, the firm hits a major milestone

By Matt Bird / Monday, May 13, 2019

Hand on heart, did you see McLaren Automotive reaching this sales volume this soon? In the grand scheme of vehicle building, 2011 is not all that long ago; in the history of the automobile it's barely a long sigh. And yet since July of that year 20,000 cars have been made at Woking by McLaren Automotive; 20,000 cars, lest it be forgotten, of at least 540hp, at least £140,000 and never more than two seats.

To be this successful as a new player in such a rarefied niche of the automotive market is worthy of some considerable praise; goes to show that demand for supercars remains strong, too. The 20,000th car produced at the McLaren Production Centre was a 600LT Spider, right-hand drive and Chicane Grey. Fitting perhaps (and in no way staged, of course) given it's probably the best car yet made by McLaren Automotive - as exciting and rewarding as the incredible 600LT Coupe, with seemingly no penalty for its convertible roof.

McLaren now makes more than 20 cars a day, with sales in more than 32 markets and a total revenue for last year of £1.2bn. Which is all well and good - bravo McLaren. What it also means, though, is a plethora of secondhand McLarens available as the total run has reached the impressive 20k milestone.

As has been discussed previously on PH, the original 12C looks like something of a bargain at present. There's so much of what continues to define modern McLaren in it - the 3.8-litre V8 still sees service in the 600LT, as does the gearbox; every single car has used a carbon tub and the dim-witted IRIS system will be familiar to all - yet really nice examples are comfortably less than £100k. This 12C is the cheapest in our classifieds at £77k and looks fantastic - how much further can they fall?

The 650S represented a more significant leap from the 12C than it was really given credit for (with coupes and convertibles now available at £100k), but the introduction of the Sports Series cars - 540C and 570S, now joined by the GT and LT - that really opened McLaren up to a wider audience. Cars in the classifieds that caught our eye included this well travelled (and nicely specced) GT, this Vermillion Red S at less than £100k, and this rather fetching Spider - Vega Blue having been introduced for the 570S Spider.

While those cars, and the current 720S, are those that have built the volume for McLaren, it's probably the limited-run models that have really forged its reputation among buyers, public and press as makers as some of the best supercars around. Unsurprisingly given their limited availability, values have held up strongly, though versions of all McLaren's specials are available on PH. See this UK-supplied P1, in Graphite Grey with Oxblood interior, barely driven with 365 miles and up for £1.2m. Those with mere six-figure budgets might be tempted by a Burton Blue Senna, this one with 800 miles to match its 800hp and 800kg of downforce at £849,950.

Finally, the LTs. While it's too early for 600 Spiders to be on the market, seven equivalent Coupes are for sale, all at around £200,000. As for its iconic 675LT predecessor, it really depends on variant; early coupes are nearing £200,000, with Spiders commanding more cash, right up to this MSO Carbon Series car at £585,000...

Across just a few years, that's quite some model range. With cars like the Speedtail and GT set to join them soon, expect that 20,000 figure to be added to pretty rapidly - and the plaudits to follow not long after.

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