By on July 30, 2008

Spy images of Mercedes new Gullwing CLC/SLC courtesy of Auto Motor und SportWith the McLaren-Mercedes SLR set to end production, McLaren wants to build a new supercar of its own (front mid-engine THIS). Auto Motor und Sport reports that Mercedes, which owns some 40 percent of McLaren, reckon the new hot rod would compete with its forthcoming Gullwing super-SL. And? Racing boss Ron Dennis and partner Mansour Ojjeh each own 15 percent of McLaren; the royal family of Bahrain own the other 30 percent. They're all hot for a new McLaren road car. Accordingly, two mid-engined prototypes are currently undergoing track testing, one of which sports a German-built V10 race engine. Mercedes is livid, threatening to cut all payments to McLaren if it doesn't halt development plans. Ultimately, Mercedes is going to have to bite the bullet and buy out the last 11 percent of McLaren if they want to call the shots (outbidding the royal family of Bahrain ain't gonna be easy). Meanwhile everyone has to make nice and work together on the F1 circuit, where McLaren-Mercedes pilot Lewis Hamilton is kicking ass and taking names. So who's writing the novel?

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9 Comments on “McLaren Vs. Mercedes Supercar Showdown...”

  • avatar

    This is nowhere as entertaining as the whole BMW / VW / RR / Bentley, naming / brand-mark fiasco.

    If the McLaren P11 in anyway involves Gordon Murray, it’ll be an interesting car to behold.

  • avatar

    Gordon Murray is too busy building a really small car.

    But I echo the sentiment. Imagine an updated McLaren F1, incorporating all the new materials and technologies that have come up since that car’s debut.


  • avatar

    Why should MB be bothered – people who can afford to buy SLRs and F1s can afford to buy both.

  • avatar

    Mclaren went to BMW for the F1’s engine. There’s nothing to stop them from doing the same again. Mercedes can’t afford to sabotage Hamilton’s ambitions, because if he does win the World Championship, that’s the kind of publicity money can’t buy.

    Mercedes has been rumored to be trying to buy the rest of McLaren, but Ron Dennis is no fool, and his ambitions go far beyond Formula One. No way he or mansour sell up.

    Dieter, meet Rock and Hard Place. You’ll be seated between them for a while.

  • avatar

    Why would they want to build a MB-branded supercar anyway? Wasn’t the SLR a bit of a flop? If McLaren builds a successful supercar, MB, being a large shareholder, wins.

    The only reason for MB to build a supercar is ego. If they were more self-confident, they wouldn’t need a carbon-fiber phallic prestige-piece. Maybe they are still crying into their pillow at night over the whole Chrysler thing. It’s okay Deiter, it’ll be ok.

  • avatar
    the duke

    While in some ways I like the idea new gullwing, it’s sad that we see function follow form on this car. Meaning, there is no reason for the gullwing doors other than the fact that they look cool. I guarantee they will make the car heavier than if it didn’t have them.

    How is this different than the 300SL of yore? Well, that car had a tube frame chassis (as it was designed as a race car) so they couldn’t put normal doors on it as that is where the frame was. Gull-wings were the only option (and cut high, over the tube frame). Form followed funtion, as it always did at Mercedes until Marketing started bossing engineering around.

    Ask anyone with a DeLorean DMC-12 or Bricklin SV-1 how gullwing doors are to live with – aside from looking cool. Sadly, the latter is all MB cares about any more.

  • avatar

    great story.

    They’ll sell 250, worldwide.

    200 will end up in collections
    25 driven by dowagers who have no idea what it is.
    25 will be enjoyed by the kids and hangers on. Sadly, 17 will be wrecked this way.

  • avatar

    Because the Mustang version was so lame, it’s the new Night Rider car! Glenn A. Larson returns!

  • avatar

    I wonder if it’s even possible to significantly improve the original F1. They could probably pull another 75 HP from an emissions-compliant engine. The brakes could be carbon composite rather than iron, and the CD player would have to become an MP3 player. Otherwise, the car is as technically impressive now as it was in 1993.

    We’ve got quite a lot of competent supercars, I’m actually more interested in the T25.

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