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 materials McLaren'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 materials SuperFabric 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 GT The 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 Lexus Club provides a VIP event day experience.

Photo courtesy of Lexus

The Houston Dynamo Football Club and Lexus have partnered to create a new luxury fan experience at BBVA Stadium. A new multi-year agreement makes Lexus the Exclusive Luxury Automobile partner of Houston Dynamo FC, the Houston Dash, and BBVA Stadium.

Thea agreement includes an all-inclusive premium seating area inside BBVA Stadium, which will be called the Lexus Club. Guests will have access to an air conditioned space during games, a private menmbers-only bar, and all-inclusive food and non-alcoholic beverages throughout the match.

"We are thrilled to welcome Lexus to our Club family and to introduce our fans to the new-look Lexus Lounge this season," said Club President John Walker. "The Lexus brand is synonymous with luxury and enjoyment, and we couldn't imagine a better partner to align with the premium experience at BBVA Stadium."

Lexus Club at BBVA Stadium

Photo courtesy of Lexus

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Lexus will also serve as the presenting sponsor of the Club's year-end awards celebration, an even formerly known as the Dynamo Celebration. Traditionally, this event honors the most outstanding players on the team.

The agreement also makes Lexus the entitlement sponsor of 'Keys to the Game,' a digital series that will be featured on the club's social media channels and run through the regular season.

Lexus drivers also benefit from the partnership. The first 75 Lexus owners to arrive at the Lexus Lot, located off of Texas Ave. at Bastrop St. on the north end of BBVA Stadium, will receive complimentary parking on Houston Dynamo FC game days; and Lexus drivers in that lot will receive free car washes during the match at select Dynamo matches.

Additionally, Lexus drivers will also receive an exclusive 10 percent discount at the adidas Dynamo Team Shop inside BBVA Stadium, simply by showing their Lexus key fob upon checkout on Dynamo and Dash match days.

The Lexus Club will host its first event this evening when the Houston Dynamo play the San Jose Earthquakes.

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The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz was designed to be capable of taking owners to their next adventure.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The story of the Hyundai Santa Cruz goes back at least eight years. It was seven years ago this January that the Santa Cruz Concept was launched at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). At the time, a representative from Hyundai told PickupTrucks.com that it would "likely take at least three or four years" to bring the truck to market in the U.S., but that it would only happen if "gauged interest is strong and positive".

The good news is that reaction was positive. Now, nearly a decade after that debut the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is a reality. What took so long? Hyundai broke it down this week.

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz as a working clay model

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

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The Santa Cruz was always meant to be a compact truck. The Santa Cruz Concept was a little longer than a Hyundai Tucson and today the 2021 Tucson is slightly shorter than the 2022 Santa Cruz.

Hyundai noted during a Q&A session today that one of the main drivers for the truck was the public's desire to have a truck that was more fuel efficient.

The third generation of the Hyundai Tucson debuted in 2015. Its fourth generation comes to market this month as a 2021 model. In the years between, alternative fuels development went from something like, "Oh look! A Prius!" to "Audi is adding its fourth and fifth new EVs for the U.S. by the end of 2021". Today, pretty every automaker has committed to a clean emissions future, which has necessitated the innovation of new platforms and new propulsion strategies.

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz design sketches

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

It wouldn't make good business sense to debut a new vehicle on an outdated platform. It also helps to streamline the manufacturing process if many products can share a production line using the same architecture. So, it was always going to be years down the road.

Hyundai's design team in California took the lead with the Santa Cruz design. Unlike some concepts that come into reality, the aesthetic of the Santa Cruz wasn't changed from spicy cinnamon into a bland vanilla to make it appeal to the masses. Hyundai kept it unique, if not a little weird, and completely unlike anything on the market today.

According to the design team, the Santa Cruz was never going to share a grille with the Palisade. While the look of the Palisade is brash, bold, and upright, the team didn't feel that it was right to transfer that look over to the Santa Cruz. The truck has ended up with a variation of the Tucson's grille, but given the muscular aesthetic of the truck, it plays differently on the forthcoming model.

Early in the design process, a Hyundai employee described the vehicle's target audience as the folks who park on the side of the road to go surfing, saying that they go from their home, down the highway, to the beach, and need something they can throw gear and boards in that also won't crowd the driveway at home and parallel parks easily.

It was with those design priorities that the 2022 Santa Cruz came to life.

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