Launch of facility to build world’s greenest supercar engine

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The McLaren V8 twin-turbo engine – the world’s ‘greenest supercar engine’ – will be produced at Ricardo’s new High Performance Assembly Facility, which was formally declared open today.

Designed and developed by Ricardo in partnership with McLaren, the state-of-the-art M838T 90 degree, V8 twin-turbo engine is seen as the world’s greenest supercar engine.

Using the latest materials and engine design technology, the engine delivers 600 horsepower and yet is sub 200kg and boasts emissions of just 279 g/km CO2 in the McLaren MP4-12C high-performance sports car.

Its fuel consumption is also class-leading, reflecting the use of an unrelenting focus on the reduction of internal friction. The resulting highly downsized engine represents a new benchmark for high performance turbocharged engine design, providing an exceptional driving experience with instant throttle response and feedback.

Ricardo’s new High Performance Assembly Facility at the Shoreham Technical Centre was formally declared open today by local Member of Parliament Tim Loughton.

This brand-new state-of-the-art production facility provides a near clean room production environment in which each and every process is carried out according to strict quality principles and within a comprehensive ‘no faults forward’ culture.

The facility builds upon the established reputation of the Ricardo Performance Products group which is already well known for the production of the advanced Ricardo-designed transmissions for the Ford GT and the Bugatti Veyron supercar, as well as numerous driveline systems and components for the highest levels of competitive motorsport.

“The launch of the new High Performance Assembly Facility is an important milestone in the development of Ricardo,” commented Ricardo UK managing director Martin Fausset. “As a company we have always prided ourselves in developing the very best in engineering product innovation based upon the most fuel-efficient and clean technologies. We have also been able to offer an extremely high quality, low volume production service for products, such as the Bugatti Veyron dual clutch transmission, which have been designed and engineered by Ricardo.

For the first time however in the case of the new McLaren engine, we have worked in partnership with our customer to develop a class-leading product – the world’s most fuel-efficient supercar engine – while simultaneously engineering and building a state-of-the-art assembly facility in which it will be produced.”

Ron Dennis, executive chairman of McLaren Automotive and McLaren Group, added: “I am immensely proud of the teams supporting the launch of the McLaren MP4-12C: at McLaren and at our suppliers. This is the first car in our new range of bespoke high-performance sports cars and is ‘pure’ McLaren: every component from the switchgear to the carbon chassis to the innovative and revolutionary engine is designed for this car.

That has been a huge challenge for us as we launch a new British car company, and one that has needed the full support from our technical partners in the projects. Ricardo has joined us in this story and together we have developed a new type of performance car engine; an engine that is already generating critical acclaim for its balance of segment-leading power and efficiency as well as driveability. This partnership will also produce 100’s of skilled new jobs in manufacturing at a crucial time in the country’s economic cycle and I congratulate Ricardo in joining with us in this commitment to investment and innovation in the UK.”

The new Ricardo High Performance Assembly Facility was specified, designed, constructed and commissioned in just 18 months around the requirements of its lead customer, McLaren Automotive, for which Ricardo will act as the production supplier of the M838T engine.