THE ROAD TO GENEVA

Ahead of the 86th Geneva International Motor Show, we join a six McLaren convoy en route to Switzerland from the McLaren Technology Centre in England.

 

 

The 86th Geneva International Motor Show will be a key event for McLaren in 2016. The new McLaren 570GT, the third model in the Sports Series, will be revealed at the show, and share the new, larger McLaren stand with the sold-out 675LT Spider, a McLaren P1™ with a full visual carbon fibre body developed by McLaren Special Operations (MSO), and the 650S GT3 racing car.

With those McLarens – and other models from the Sports Series, Super Series and Ultimate Series – heading from the McLaren Technology Centre (MTC) to Switzerland in secure transportation, a second convoy also set forth this past weekend from the MTC in Woking, England. Comprising two 650S Spiders from the Super Series and four 570S Coupés from the new Sports Series, the six McLaren convoy would take a two-day drive and cover some of Europe’s most breathtaking scenery, arriving ahead of the Geneva International Motor Show, which opens on Tuesday, 1 March. 

 

 

In light traffic (but drawing plenty of admiring glances and becoming the subject of countless cameraphone pictures) the six McLarens made easy progress around London’s M25 orbital motorway, before turning towards the English Channel. Ideas for a tunnel connecting England and France have been in existence since 1802, when a French engineer proposed an underground highway for horse-drawn carriages, but it wasn’t until 1994 that the Eurotunnel – a 50.5km (31.4-mile) subway running up to 75m beneath the surface of the English Channel – would open.

 

 

After disembarking from the railway carriages that sped them to mainland Europe, the convoy headed south to its overnight stop in Reims, in the heart of the world-famous Champagne region – not for a wine-tasting tour, but because early the next morning the six McLarens would visit the nearby Circuit de Reims-Gueux.

With long straights to test outright speed and engine power, and elevation changes and tight corners to challenge the drivers, the fast road circuit hosted its first race in 1926, and was once the home of the French Grand Prix. The last competitive event was held there in 1972, and although the race facilities were subsequently abandoned, the atmospheric pit buildings and grandstands remain. 

 

 

With a respectful homage paid, the convoy set forth through France once again, and south of Dijon the six McLarens exited the autoroute and headed towards the Jura Mountains, on the French-Swiss border. With temperatures dropping below freezing and snow capping the distant peaks and lining the roads, the drivers were thankful all the McLarens were fitted with Pirelli Winter SottoZero™ 3 tyres from our technical partner. And with the Handling and Powertrain settings in each car turned from Normal to Sport, they were also able to enjoy the roller coaster roads of the Jura Mountains Regional Natural Park to the fullest, too. 

 

 

From there it was a short drive to the heart of Geneva city centre, home of the United Nations, the Red Cross, and the motor show, which hosted the launch of the production version of the McLaren P1™ in 2013, the unveiling of the 650S in 2014, and the global debut of the 675LT Coupé and McLaren P1™ GTR just 12 months ago. This year will be equally special for McLaren…

For coverage of the 86th Geneva International Motor Show, follow our social media accounts and use the hashtag #McLarenGeneva

 

 

 

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