February 11, 2006 The new Mercedes-Benz Formula One engine for 2006 has eight cylinders in a V-configuration, a capacity of 2.4 litres, and produces “more than 700 brake horsepower” at “more than 9,000 rpm” and weighs just 95 kilograms. The engine and the new livery of the McLaren Mercedes MP4 2006 car were unveiled overnight, adding to those we have already covered for the Toyota, BMW, Ferrari, Honda, Williams and Renault teams. In keeping with McLaren’s high tech brand values, the new livery has an innovative surface coating, which achieves a high level of reflectivity and makes the largely composite machine appear chromed. The technology used was perfected by McLaren during the past six months and is completely new to Formula One.
"A lot of research and months of work have gone into creating this unique chrome finish," explained McLaren Marketing Managing Director Ekrem Sami. "We are always looking at innovative ways to allow our sponsor partners to differentiate their brands from the competition through their partnership with the team and this unique livery is designed to be extremely photogenic. Team McLaren Mercedes had the highest audited 'Share of TV Voice' in 2005 - and we hope that this new identity will contribute to us retaining that status."
"When we created our previous livery in the mid nineties we established what we believed then was an innovative and groundbreaking new identity for McLaren Mercedes," continued Sami. "What we have launched today is as revolutionary and we hope it will be the foundation of the team's livery for many years to come."
The team can look back on a lot of success during the nine years of the former livery. At the very first race after its introduction in Melbourne in 1997 the team won and since then it has taken nearly 30 per cent of all Grands Prix victories.
The team took the opportunity to show the new livery to McLaren Group and Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines employees this evening. Two of the Groups better known personalities, drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Juan Pablo Montoya, were both impressed with their cars' 'new clothes'.
"I have only seen illustrations of the new livery until now but they do it no justice," said Kimi. "It looks fantastic and should create a bit of a stir when we drive it on tracks around the world. If we can make the car as fast as it looks then we will be in good shape."
"Wow," said Juan Pablo. "What a beautiful looking car. I have obviously been testing the MP4- 21 quite a bit already but seeing the car like this is something else."