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Wednesday, Nov 29, 2023

New McLaren Showroom Doubles in Size

Newport Beach Automotive Group has a new, roomier home in Irvine to show off its McLaren luxury sports cars.

The Irvine-based luxury car dealership—which also carries Bugatti, Lamborghini, Koenigsegg and Pininfarina—last month opened a 6,000-square-foot showroom to feature classic vehicles from British automaker McLaren.

The showroom joins the hub of high-end dealerships in the Irvine Auto Center complex at the city’s Spectrum area, which includes the group’s retail sites for Bugatti and Lamborghini.

The company spent $11 million on the new McLaren dealership, which is nearly double the size of its former showroom on Coast Highway.

“PCH gave the brand great exposure, but we outgrew it,” Dealer Principal Pietro Frigerio told the Business Journal.

The old site had little parking, no service center and no venue for events, he said.

By contrast, the new location features an expanded service facility, surrounding glass doors that leverage SoCal’s sunny weather, a patio and a bar, which will be open during events for McLaren owners, officials said.

McLaren events range from coffee gatherings to racing experiences across the globe.

“We really want to get in touch with our customers and we want to have our customers getting in touch with each other,” McLaren CEO Michael Leiters told the Business Journal.

Founding Dealer

The company is named after Bruce McLaren, a New Zealander who went on to win car races around the world and eventually started his own company.

Nowadays, the cars are made in Woking, a suburb southwest of London.

Newport Beach Automotive Group is one of McLaren’s 10 founding retailers, when the car company first entered the North American and South American markets in 2011.

The dealer has since sold nearly 750 new McLarens, making it one of the most successful dealerships for the brand globally, according to officials.

The dealer calls Irvine the heart of its biggest market, which is Southern California.

McLarens made up 40% of the group’s revenue last year, which reached $300 million. That’s up 7% from the year prior.

The dealer, however, expects a 15% dip in revenue this year due to reduced inventory for new cars because of continued supply chain challenges.

Company officials noted that it currently counts 100 cars in its lot; it usually has 120.

Its limited availability of new cars also affects the dealer’s used car supply, as owners refrain from selling their vehicles until new models become available, according to Frigerio.

The dealer last year sold 70 McLarens. Annual McLaren sales for the dealer range from 50 to 100 vehicles.

Though the group this year is on target to beat last year’s total sold McLarens, supply chain troubles may cause the dealer to fall short of its 2022 total, Frigerio said.

Whether it surpasses last year’s total sales, the group has already sold out of the recently launched McLaren 750S—the lightest and most powerful vehicle in the brand’s series production, which starts at $324,000.

First Mainstream Hybrid

The McLaren 750S made appearances at the group’s showroom opening along with the Artura, the brand’s first mainstream hybrid, which starts at $237,500.

McLaren launched its first overall hybrid, the P1, in 2013. The P1 at the time cost $1.3 million; some listed models today go for around $2 million.

The technology to advance from hybrid to fully electric is a few years out for luxury sports cars, according to McLaren Americas President Nicolas Brown.

“A supercar has to be lightweight,” Brown told the Business Journal. “Batteries are heavy. So, to go fully electric, from our perspective, isn’t suitable for a supercar.”

Moreover, to abandon lightweight engineering in favor of a fully electric vehicle would be to disregard a major selling point for McLaren.

The 750S “is more than 600 pounds lighter than the best competitor now,” McLaren CEO Leiters said.

“The basic ingredients of a supercar are lightweight engineering and aerodynamics,” which are top priorities for McLaren as “the only racing company who is building cars.”

Local Ties

McLaren has a few other connections to Orange County, outside the dealership and its local base of wealthy buyers.

The McLaren Racing team is backed by New York’s MSP Sports Capital, which first bought into the F1 team in 2020, investing nearly $250 million.

MSP execs include Newport Beach’s Jeff Moorad, who joined the F1 team’s board following the investment.

Corporate sponsors of the racing team include Irvine’s data analytics software company Alteryx Inc. (NYSE: AYX). Visitors invited to the Alteryx headquarters at Spectrum Terrace can try out a McLaren racing simulator.

Military Meets Luxury at South Coast

While executives eyeing Newport Beach Automotive Group’s McLarens are typically looking for a step up from their Mercedes or BMW, prospective buyers for Revzani Motors are in the market for a ride that looks straight out of a sci-fi movie or video game.

The Costa Mesa-based “military meets luxury” automaker this year launched its Vengeance SUV, which starts at $285,000.

The company’s showroom is on the ground floor of the Park Tower office tower along Bristol Avenue, across the street from South Coast Plaza.

The company was founded about a decade ago by University of California, Irvine grad Ferris Rezvani.

The Vengeance’s futuristic design hails from Concept Vehicle Artist Milen Ivanov, who has designed vehicles for Netflix’s “Fast & Furious Spy Racers” animated series.

Customers can make their Vengeance bulletproof with Rezvani’s “Military Package.”

The bundle comes with bulletproof vests and helmets, electrified door handles, strobe lights, blinding lights, gas masks and a pepper spray dispenser.

The military editions of Rezvani’s other vehicles, the Tank SUV and the Hercules 6×6, also offer the same tactical features.
Reservations for all of Rezvani’s current models cost $1,500.

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