Few automakers have been as closely linked to carbon-fibre chassis construction as McLaren, with the legendary McLaren F1 touted to be the first road car ever constructed thus, as well as the present era of road cars from the MP4-12C to the 570GT. The Composites Technology Centre will be tasked with the development and manufacture of Monocell and Monocage carbon-fibre chassis in future McLaren cars.

The Woking-based supercar maker has announced that it will commence construction of the 7,000 sq m composites centre this year, with the first pre-production chassis to roll out and be delivered to the McLaren Technology Centre in the second half of 2017.

Constructed with support from the Sheffield City Council, the Composites Technology Centre is sited close to the campus of the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) at the University of Sheffield, and future products to roll out from this facility will use automated manufacturing techniques developed with the AMRC, according to McLaren.

Through a combined investment of almost £50 million (RM278 million), the Composites Technology Centre is set to create more than 200 jobs, with the aim of delivering cost savings of £10 million (RM 56 million). With this in-sourcing of the carbon-fibre chassis manufacture, the average percentage of a McLaren car (by value) sourced in the United Kingdom increases by 8%, from its average of approximately 50% depending on model, McLaren said.

“We evaluated several options to achieve this objective but the opportunity created by the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre at the University of Sheffield was compelling,” said chief executive officer of McLaren Automotive, Mike Flewitt.

“At the AMRC, we will have access to some of the world’s finest composites and materials research capabilities, and I look forward to building a world-class facility and talented team at the new McLaren Composites Technology Centre,” he said.