Is McLaren Mercedes still together?

This blog will explain the partnership between Mclaren and Mercedes Benz and answer the following questions: is Mclaren and Mercedes Benz still together? What was the car developed by Mclaren and Mercedes Benz? Why did the partnership between Mclaren and Mercedes Benz end?

Is McLaren and Mercedes Benz still together?

No, Mclaren Automotive is not together with Mercedes Benz. Mclaren automotive is famous for producing supercars and it is fully under the ownership of a bigger Mclaren Group. Mclaren Group is a British company based in Woking, England. The Mclaren formula 1 racing team and the Mclaren automotive come under the Mclaren group.

Daimler Benz, which is the parent company of Mercedes Benz, had 40 per cent ownership of Mclaren from 1995 to 2009. Mclaren was registered as a dormant company until 2010, after that it was registered as Mclaren automotive.

Mclaren was already jointly developing powertrain and other technological components with Mercedes Benz for the Formula 1 team. Mclaren also had expertise in using carbon fibre to construct racing monocoques used in formula 1 cars. Mercedes Benz decided to collaborate with Mclaren racing and design a grand tourer car. In 1999, Mercedes Benz unveiled the vision SLR car which will act as a base model for the development of the future grand tourer.

What was the car developed by Mclaren and Mercedes Benz?

The car developed in the collaboration of Mclaren and Mercedes Benz was called the Mercedes Benz SLR Mclaren. The Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren model series C199 was a two-seater supercar sold from 2003 to 2009. The letter SLR means Sport Leicht Rennsport or sport light racing. 

True to its name the Mercedes SLR Mclaren only weighed between 1,743–1,768 kg. Its design was based on the 1950s Mercedes 300 and it was also nicknamed tomorrow’s silver arrow. Mercedes Benz race cars dominated the motorsports category they entered hence in the motorsports world they are called silver arrows. Thus the Mercedes SLR Mclaren paid homage to the 1950s SLR and dominant days of Mercedes Benz in Motorsports.

The internal name of Mercedes SLR Mclaren was P7 and it was also launched in different body styles such as coupé, roadster and speedster. Before the car was put into production the last stages of the development were completed at the Mclaren technology centre.  

Mclaren made very important modifications to the body and placement of the engine. The engine was placed closer to the ground, behind the front axle. The centre of gravity of the car was significantly improved. The P7 became one of the few grand tourers with a front mid-engine layout. 

Carbon fibre was used in the construction of the roof and chassis of the car it was lighter and more eager to turn compared to its direct competitors like the Ferrari GTO and Aston Martin Vanquish

The SLR was powered by a 5.5-litre supercharged V8 engine that produced 617 horsepower and  780 Nm of torque. The power output was bumped up to 641 horsepower and 820 Nm of torque for the limited 722 edition model. The increase in overall output was achieved by using a modified supercharger which is said to have increased the boost pressure by 15 psi. 

The standard model could accelerate from 0 to 62 miles per hour in 3.8 seconds while the 722 could do that closer to the 3-second mark. The top speed was around 340  km/h. The 722 also featured modified suspension as the 19-inch (480 mm) light-alloy wheels were standard. The lighter alloy wheels also reduced the unsprung mass of the car. 

The Mercedes-Benz McLaren SLR Convertible was launched in 2007 and it weighed 1,791.5 kg, slightly more than the speedster and roadster models. The additional way was due to the reinforced chassis to compensate for the lack of a roof. 

Sir Stirling Moss along with the co-driver Denis Jenkinson won the 1000 mile Mille Miglia race in 1955, the 722 SLR Mclaren was launched as a tribute to him and carries his signature on a plaque under the door. It was also the last SLR model that was produced and even today it can be priced at more than 3 million dollars at supercar auctions.

Although the Mercedes SLR McLaren was a superb car, Mercedes Benz and Mclaren never actually fulfilled their expectations on the sale of the model. therefore, the three proposed models were never put into production. The three models were given internal names P8, P9 and P10. 

The P8 and P9 models were supposed to be smaller and cheaper versions of the SLR powered by non-supercharged V8 engines and compete against the dominating Ferrari and Aston Martin models.

The P10 on the other hand was meant to replace the existing Mercedes SLR Mclaren model. Mercedes Benz realised that the development and manufacturing of all the three models in collaboration with Mclaren were not going to be profitable and hence all the plans were stopped in 2005.

Why did the partnership between Mclaren and Mercedes Benz end?

The partnership between McLaren and Mercedes Benz ended because Mclaren wanted to develop its own sports car and Mercedes Benz was not interested in a further partnership. Mercedes Benz also acquired complete control over AMG in 2000 and wanted to establish the brand as a high performance sports car manufacturer. Mercedes AMG also launched the SLS AMG which was the first car developed completely in-house. 

In formula one Motorsport, Mercedes took over the Brawn formula one racing team and sold the 40 per cent ownership in Mclaren. The Brawn formula team became the current day Mercedes Benz AMG Petronas formula one racing team and went on to win the constructor championship 8 times in a row.

Mclaren continued to use the antigens supplied by Daimler Benz in formula 1 but the engine was severely underpowered compared to the Renault engine. Therefore, in 2015 Mclaren ended the remaining partnership with Mercedes Benz and started to use the turbo-hybrid V6 engines manufactured by Honda.

Unfortunately for Mclaren, the deal with Honda was never successful as both the racing car suffered many reliability issues in the race. The team had to run the engine at lower power output so that the cars could at least finish the races.

Mclaren again decided to become one of the customers of Mercedes Benz and signed the deal to use Mercedes Powertrain in formula 1 till 2024.

Other articles about Mercedes Benz you may be interested in

What is the Mercedes Benz Equivalent to the BMW M4?

Is the Mercedes Benz S65 Worth the Extra Cost?

Is Mercedes Benz considered a  luxury brand?

Conclusion

The partnership between Mclaren and Mercedes Benz gave the world a very capable sports tourer that can be as good as a race car around a car and be comfortable enough for a 1000 mile grand tour. During the partnership Mercedes never actually owned Mclaren completely and currently, Mclaren is still manufacturing two-seater sports cars like Mclaren GT and Mclaren 720s. The Mclaren P1 hybrid was also very successful and produced 1000 horsepower with its combined internal combustion engine and electric motors.

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