In a time of economic Armageddon it's nice to see someone thinking outside the box...
This week McLaren has announced the 'MP4-12C', its first road car since the remarkable F1 launched in 1991. Even more significantly it will be the first of what owner Ron Dennis claims will become a stable of high performance models and a global supercar brand.
McLaren Automotive will be the division to handle this transformation into what is hoped will be a rival to Aston Martin, Ferrari and Lamborghini. 800 people will ultimately be employed as the company looks to ship 4,000 cars per year.
Initially 1,000 of these will be the new MP4-12C, which will go on sale in 2011 with a sticker price of £150,000 - a world away from the near $1m tag pinned to the F1. Two more unnamed models will follow the MP4-12C in 2015, the first a rival to the circa £60,000 Porsche 911 and the other headliner in the £300,000+ supercar sector.
For us, of huge interest will be in seeing what technological innovations McLaren can come up with. The F1 was a tour de force famed for its central driver's position and revolutionary aerodynamics. In turn, the 200mph MP4-12C is expected to marry classic design elements such as gull-wing doors with the likes of a permanent mobile Wi-Fi connection to download the latest maps and music directly into the car.
To say we're excited would be something of an understatement...