Design

McLaren Tech Club reveals how the company selected the GT's high-tech interior materials

McLaren has finely appointed the interior of its GT model.

Photo courtesy of McLaren Automotive Ltd.

The sleek design on the exterior of most supercars is matched by its interior. There aren't plush surfaces. Aesthetic softness has given way to straightforward design and luxurious materials. The McLaren GT is no different.

What is different about the cabin of the GT is what materials fill it and where the company sought inspiration for them. That is the subject of the latest video from the McLaren Tech Club.

McLaren GT interior materialsMcLaren's design team sought inspiration from non-traditional sources.Photo courtesy of McLaren Automotive Ltd.

To get to the current materials mix in the GT, the McLaren design team explored alternatives to traditional coverings in the car in places like the luggage area, on seats, and in the trim pieces. They also took into account the tactile quality of the materials used, focusing on the user experience from a tactile and operational perspective, equally. The greatest example of this can be found in the curled aluminum of the driver controls.

The concept of lightweighting cars is about more than just the chassis, engine, and body panels. It also extends to the interior. Materials like leather can add pounds to the overall weight of the car. However, it looks good and customers respond to its aesthetic appeal. But, leather doesn't have to be everywhere in the vehicle.

A new material called SuperFabric was originally designed for military and aerospace operations. It has many redeeming qualities. It's abrasion, slash, stain, and rodent resistant. It's breathable yet durable. Most importantly, perhaps, for McLaren, it's available in numerous patterns, designs, styles, and colors.

What makes it so durable? The woven fabric is infused with a tiny layer of armored guard plates. It is then embossed with a hexagonal pattern.

McLaren GT interior materialsSuperFabric is a new material that holds up well to wear and tear.Photo courtesy of McLaren Automotive Ltd.

In addition to lightweighting initiatives, McLaren designs sought to bring finer materials to the GT. Now, whether a buyers chooses supple Nappa leather or upgrades to softgrain leather Alcantara, all the materials will be sourced from Scotland's Bridge of Weir company.

Alternatively, cashmere, as seen in the McLaren Verdant Theme GT concept car, is available in Dove Gray or Jet Black.

"Introducing innovative new interior materials for any McLaren is a huge challenge," said Jo Lewis, Colour and Materials Design Manager, McLaren Automotive Ltd. "With the GT we were creating beauty and luxury but with the additional layers of functionality and advanced technology that are inherent in every car we design – and all delivered in a very modern way. Everything in a McLaren is there for a reason, not simply to look good; the materials need to be authentic not only in appearance and to the touch, but also in meeting our requirements for minimizing weight and performance in use."

McLarenn GTThe new materials are featured throughout the cabin. Photo courtesy of McLaren Automotive Ltd.

Designers sought to bring intention to their styling as well. Finishers, bezels, paddles and switches made of knurled aluminum are designed to establish a level of sophistication as well as reinforce McLaren's focus on technical precision.

The same can be said for the "hidden until lit" ambient lighting in the model, a first for McLaren. The lights are first shown as a finishing strip of sold metallic finish but glow once the ignition is turned on. This is similar to how the headlights on the 2020 Hyundai Sonata react, however that lighting is on the exterior. The McLaren lights change color at the command of the driver, a feature that has similar tech to what you'll find in BMW and Kia models.

To learn more, watch the latest episode of the McLaren Tech Club below:

McLaren Tech Club - Episode 6 - How does McLaren use pioneering, space-age materials in the New GT?www.youtube.com

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The IIHS may increase the speeds it uses to test advanced driver aids.

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently announced that it is considering changing the speeds it uses to test vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention systems. The agency currently tests the systems at 12 and 25 mph, but says that the speeds don't accurately represent the types of crashes the safety tech is meant to prevent.

Front crash preventionwww.youtube.com

Automatic emergency braking (AEB) is designed to notify of a possible collision and help respond with automatic application of braking. Just like a human using the brake pedal, it can stop the car, but higher speeds make it difficult to stop in time. The new tests would be conducted at 35 to 45 mph, which is the range where a large number of rear-end crashes occur. As Automotive News noted, an IIHS study showed 43 percent of rear-end crashes occur at speeds of 45 mph or less, so it's important to have a test that shows how well the tech performs at those levels.

A whopping 85 percent of 2022 vehicles earned a "Superior" rating in the current testing regime, so the IIHS will remove it from 2023 testing and Top Safety Pick award evaluations. Their view is that, since the majority of vehicles meet the criteria, it's no longer an accurate way of evaluating performance. In its place, the agency introduced a night test for automatic emergency braking systems that will begin next year.

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The new Type R set a Suzuka Circuit lap record.

Honda

The new Honda Civic somehow improves on the formula laid out by its numerous predecessors and does so with style, refinement, and value. The Civic Si built on that foundation with a potent turbocharged engine and solid handling, but Honda's not done with the Civic. The automaker just teased the new Civic Type R, and it set records at Japan's Suzuka Circuit during a recent testing session.

The All-New 2023 Type R Achieves Track Record at Suzukawww.youtube.com

The Type R lapped Suzuka Circuit in 2 minutes, 23.120 seconds, a record-breaking lap for a front-wheel drive car. The video features neat telemetry information on-screen during the lap as well, but the real excitement comes later when full specs are revealed.

Honda's been understandably mum on details on the new Type R's powertrain and performance numbers, but the car is expected to carry the same powertrain with its predecessor. The 300-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine made that car a force to be reckoned with, so the 2023 Civic Type R will likely continue carrying that torch.

Honda Civic Type RHonda will fully reveal the car this summer. Honda

Honda will reveal the car in all its glory this summer. As for pricing, the previous car started around $38,000, so the new model should be around there to start. That, of course, is before dealers mark it up and other lucky buyers snap them up for insane resale on an auction site.

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