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Got a need for speed? McLaren to roll out 200-mph MP4-12C

Formula One car maker McLaren will enter the commercial market in 2011. Its first offering is the McLaren MP4-12C.

A handout image obtained on March 19, 2010, in London, shows the McLaren MP4-12C vehicle. Formula One automaker McLaren has launched a supercar, part of a drive by the firm to shift up a gear in its battle to capture the high-performance commercial sports car market. The MP4-12C, modeled on technology used by McLaren's Formula One team, will go into production next year with 1,000 of the cars expected to roll off the production line in 2011, the firm said.

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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.

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