New McLaren supercar confirmed for KSA and UAE
Al Ghassan Motors becomes one of 35 global partners selling just 1,000 cars a year.
June 23, 2010 12:44 by Samuel Potter
Building on their portfolio of supercars, Al-Ghasan Motors has landed the Saudi distributorship for the McLaren MP4-12C, the latest from the supercar maker’s stable, says Arab News.
And in the UAE, Al Habtoor Motors Company will be the local partner, says Emirates Business. Al Habtoor will begin selling McLaren Automotive’s first car, the MP4-12C, from mid 2011, with the UAE expected to be one of McLaren Automotive’s biggest markets.
The car is also set to make its debut in Saudi Arabia in 2011. The mid-engined 12C has generated over 2,500 expressions of interest worldwide, far exceeding the first year’s anticipated production. There is, say McLaren “huge interest from Saudi car enthusiasts.”
“Saudi car buyers are demanding, while at the same time enjoying and appreciating high performance cars. As such they are fully aware of the McLaren brand thanks to the F1 and SLR projects, which benchmarked McLaren on a different level from other high end car manufacturers,” said Ghassan Al-Sulaiman, president and CEO of Al-Ghassan Motors.
Al-Ghassan Motors will join a global network of 35 partners who will be responsible for selling an initial annual production run of 1,000 MP4-12Cs. As McLaren Automotive moves to a full model range of high-performance, two-seat, mid-engine sports cars, the aim is to sell around 4,000 models annually by the middle of the decade.
Al-Sulaiman said that over the years Ghassan Motors had built up a thorough respect and understanding of McLaren’s products. “Our partnership with them is a great achievement. Our aim is to translate our appreciation for McLaren into delivering the highest standards of customer service. Not only will we be there during every step of the purchase process, we will look after the car and owner afterward, giving them everything they need for years of happy ownership,” he concluded.
McLaren Automotive has a rich heritage in producing premium sports cars for the road. The McLaren F1 road car, which was launched in 1992, set the world land speed record for a production car, and is regarded as one of the best examples of supercar exotica. The Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, one of the fastest cars on the streets, is also the most successful supercar ever in its price bracket.
At the heart of the 12C is the revolutionary one-piece molded carbon composite cell — the Monocell. The car weighs only 1,300 kg (2,866 lb) and the one-piece Monocell F1 style tub, weighs just 80 kg. The use of carbon-fiber throughout the car results in an extraordinarily high power-weight and torque weight ratios.
McLaren pioneered the use of carbon composite construction in the 1981 Formula 1 MP4/1 model and set a trend that all Formula 1 teams have followed. The Monocell’s light weight, high strength, torsional rigidity, and longevity also brings dynamic benefits to the size of the car and contributes to a more compact car that is easier to position on the road.