Formula One car maker McLaren will enter the commercial market in 2011. Its first offering is the McLaren MP4-12C.
Formula One car maker McLaren unveiled plans on Thursday to build a range of commercial sports cars in Britain, using race technology to take on other high-end European manufacturers such as Ferrari and Porsche on the highways.
McLaren is banking on renewed spending after the global economic downturn to bolster demand for its first offering, the MP4-12C, which will go on sale in late 2011 with a hefty price tag of between 125,000 ($191,127) and 150,000 pounds ($227,188).
The company's leap into the commercial market is part of its long-running strategy to build revenues by moving away from a single-minded focus on the financially fickle world of Formula One racing.
"Following any recession, there's a resurgence," McLaren Automotive Chairman Ron Dennis said at the company's headquarters — and new factory site — in Woking, south of London. "We intend to catch that wave."
"Our volumes are very much linked to how we see the recovery," he added.
The company aims to make up to 1,000 of the 12C cars next year, with up to 40 percent being sold in North America.
New models will launch annually with production forecast to reach around 4,000 by the middle of the decade, but McLaren Automative Managing Director Antony Sheriff said that the company had no ambition to become the biggest manufacturer in the market.
"Although we're investing hundreds of millions of pounds into these cars, we have no desire at all to be the biggest sports car manufacturer," Sheriff said. "In fact, we take great pride in being one of the most exclusive, and aim to keep it that way."