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McLaren set for Australian launch

Australia bound: McLaren's MP4-12C will arrive in the Sydney showroom in 2011.

20 supercar buyers queue for 322km/h McLaren in Oz as UK company confirms roll-out

1 Dec 2010

AUSTRALIA’S newly appointed McLaren distributor, Trivett Automotive, expects to sell up to 20 of the 322km/h British supercars in 2011 from a new Sydney dealership that it plans to open in May.

The Sydney-based prestige car group – named yesterday by formula one team boss Ron Dennis’s McLaren Automotive as one of 35 distributors around the world – says it already has been fielding strong enquiries from potential buyers in Australia, with one customer looking at buying two of the mid-engined McLaren MP4-12C two-seaters.

Trivett executive chairman Greg Duncan told GoAuto that he expected sales of the carbon-fibre bodied super sportscar to grow to about 50 units in 2012, when it also plans to add a Melbourne retail outlet.

And with two more models due to roll out from McLaren’s Surrey production centre by 2014, that volume could double, Mr Duncan said.

That would have the new brand nipping at the heels of long-established Ferrari which sold 104 cars in Australia last year and should sell about 120 units this year, and well ahead of Lamborghini, which has delivered 38 units so far in 2010.

In its official announcement, McLaren described Australia as a key market for its super sportscars in the Asia-Pacific region.

McLaren joins other top-end brands such as Rolls-Royce, Bugatti, Bentley, Aston Martin and Lotus in Trivett’s Australian distribution stable. Trivett also owns a string of retail outlets selling BMW, Mini, Jaguar, Porsche, Peugeot, Honda Land Rover, Volvo and Peugeot.

42 center imageLeft: McLaren MP4-12C. Below: McLaren Automotive chairman Ron Dennis.

The 441kW 3.8-litre V8 two-seat McLaren MP4-12C – which can sprint to 200km/h in 10 seconds – made its debut at Britian’s Goodwood Festival of Speed earlier this year.

It will go on sale in Europe from early 2011 before being rolled out around the world to cashed-up car lovers. In the UK, the starting price is £168,500 – about the same prices as a Lamborghini Gallardo LP 550-2 Balboni, which sells in Australia for $489,000.

The initial production run from McLaren’s Surrey plant in the UK will be 1000, but the company claims to have 3000 expressions of interest from potential buyers.

Announcing the Australian distribution arrangements, Ian Gorsuch, McLaren Automotive’s regional director for the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific, described Trivett as “among the best car retailers in the region – if not the best”.

“Australia is a key market for us, and the extremely positive feedback we have received so far from potential customers is evidence of the strength of the McLaren brand there,” he said.

Mr Gorsuch said Trivett’s reputation and experience in the Australian market proved highly attractive to McLaren Automotive.

Trivett executive chairman Greg Duncan said the appointment was a watermark moment in the 25 year history of Trivett.

“We’re thrilled to be appointed as McLaren’s official Australian dealer,” he said.

“This appointment continues our association with quality, prestige marques, but it does more than that – it also brings to our company what will undoubtedly be some of the world’s very best sports cars. That makes for an exciting future.”

Mr Duncan told GoAuto that McLaren was sending a car to Australia for the brand’s official local launch about February.

He said that for many of the prospective buyers, it wiould be the first time they had seen the car in the flesh.

He said McLaren’s reputation was so strong in Australia that buyers were willing to put down a deposit without a test drive.

Mr Duncan said the new Sydney dealership would open in May and the first demonstrator would arrive about July or August with first deliveries starting in October or November.

He said all three McLaren models would be available to all markets, but there was a question mark over whether the second model due to emerge into production would be built in right-hand drive.

The debut model, the mid-engined McLaren MP4-12C – C stands for carbon-fibre – employs formula one-style composite materials and tips the scales at just 1300kg.

Powered by a bespoke McLaren twin-turbo V8 than can rev past 10,000rpm, the British sports car uses a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission to channel the 441kW of power and 601Nm of torque to the rear wheels.

The zero-to100km/h sprint time is said to be less than four seconds, McLaren hopes to sell up to 4000 cars a year once it completes its range, which is expected to include two more models after the MP4-12C.

The models are expected to include a lower-priced sports car, which will be McLaren’s volume vehicle.

The first road-going car to bear the McLaren name was the record-breaking F1, with Ron Dennis and McLaren later developing the Mercedes-McLaren SLR supercar using Benz mechanicals.

The MP4-12C is McLaren's first original car to be powered by an engine developed in-house.

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