Inside the super-slick McLaren HQ where attention

The passenger is McLaren’s public relations man Dan, the car is a 200mph MP4-12C and the lake sits in front of the firm’s UK HQ.

We are parked under the Bond -villain-like lair of McLaren boss Ron Dennis and my chaperone says: “I don’t want to lose my job.”

The HQ is a sweeping, space age building designed by Lord Foster, while 20 full-time cleaners ensure there is barely a speck of dust inside.

The floor of the production centre is covered in these tiles that, from above, give the effect of standing on a giant piece of mathematical paper.

Across the facility, every curve is from a specially chosen family of radii, from the bends in the metal on trolleys used to move parts and cars around, to the sweep in the Serene font that McLaren uses in the firm’s logo.

There are no power tools on the production line and it is recorded if someone tightens a bolt.

Unlike many cars, the vehicles are not welded or bolted but stuck using a superstrong but light adhesive used in the space industry.

No structure is above 1.6 metres, so you can see 360 degrees in every direction on the factory floor.

All of the white surfaces are the exact same shade, while the wheels of trolleys and the tiles they move on are -anti-friction to enable workers to move heavy loads with the push of a finger.

All the doorways are opened by -WiFi-linked identity cards, enabling bosses or personal assistants to know where members of staff are working.

There is a test track, where a car can be driven on rollers up to around 150km an hour so that the brakes can be tested – without the cars moving outside the building.

Anti-static ostrich feather dusters are used to clean floor mats in the paint shop to stop dirt entering the four-coat spray-painting process.

At the end of each build, the carbon fibre vehicles are subjected to a monsoon test, during which 16,000 litres of water are fired at it over six minutes to test for leaks.

There are special lights on the ceiling to mimic bright sunshine and help -technicians spot any blemishes.

And there is also an applied science lab, where boffins try to decide where the company should be heading.

One of the most complex ideas is the concept of stereolithography, or 3-D layering, whereby a bath of powdered metal has a laser fired into it, bonding the grains to create a particular part.

In the future, every car dealer could have a laser and bath to make any part according to need.

Back in the car, Dan takes me through the various set-ups for the car before allowing me to put my foot down.

As I start to tell him I have a few points on my licence, the roar of the engine drowns out my answer and I’m pinned to my seat.

Even in leafy Woking, Surrey, where sightings of -supercars must be more frequent, the machine still turns heads.


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