McLaren Automotive has officially opened its second carbon fiber production facility. Officially called the McLaren Composites Technology Centre (MCTC), the facility aims to be a world leader in innovating lightweight carbon fiber and composites that will work together with future powertrain developments. This will result in better weight savings and produce 'greater energy efficiencies'.
Present during the ceremonies and officially opening the £50 million (Php 3.4 billion) production facility in Yorkshire, England were the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Bahrain. Together with McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt, they then unveiled a special carbon fiber plaque which will be displayed at the newly opened facility.
“It is an important milestone for us as a ground-breaking, innovative car company and allows us to tap into the great energy, vitality and skills this part of the world has to offer. What goes on here at the MCTC will be vital for our ability to make good on our intention to continue to develop and unveil cars that are lightest in class; it is my belief that Britain – through facilities like this - can become a world leader in lightweight materials technology that will help create more efficient future vehicles,” said Flewitt.
Carbon fiber has been an essential part of McLaren's DNA. In fact, the company says they were the first to use a carbon fiber chassis in Formula 1 back in 1981. Today, carbon fiber in used in almost all it's vehicle components; from the tub where drivers sit in, all the way to the external bodywork. The British marque even claims that since they began using the lightweight material, every sportscar, racecar or supercar has used carbon fiber.
The MCTC was first announced back in February 2017 with construction beginning just five months later. Full operation of the facility is expected to begin in 2020 and will bring about 200 direct jobs and produce carbon fiber tubs which will then be sent to the McLaren Production Center in Woking, Surrey for assembly. For the time being however, the MCTC will only be on trial, producing and completing trial tubs.