Carbon fibre breakthrough key to production supercar

Key to McLaren's new MP4-12C sports car is its carbon fibre 'MonoCell' whose hollow tubular construction not only protects its occupants but provides the main structural strength of the vehicle.

Key also is the way the company has had to combine its traditional craftsmanship manufacture of F1 and occasional supercars with supply chain and production engineering management to ramp up to producing 1000 cars a year.

It nonetheless sets out to be the fastest car of its type on the road, with an acceleration of 0 to 200km/h in less than 10s, a top speed in excess of 200mph, and make a profit from its price tag, which admittedly is £150,000 plus, but which is less expensive than other 'supercars' on the market.

Three years R&D has gone into the car, four years into the MonoCell, and the car has its own specially developed V8 engine, which has been developed from scratch and is not adapted from anything else. Carbon emissions are less than 300g/km.

Further details of the car willl form the subject of a feature article of a forthcoming edition of 'Eureka'.

Tom Shelley

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