“Weight is the Enemy” According to Chief Designer at McLaren

24th October 2012

In an interview with Drive, Frank Stephenson, Chief Designer for McLaren Automotive, discusses the development of the 12C Spider. During the 20 minute session, Frank talks about the challenge of keeping the weight of the vehicle to a minimum, describing weight as ‘the enemy’.

The 12C Spider makes use of a carbon fiber composite ‘tub’ which has to be extremely stiff to make up for the lack of a roof which would otherwise add to the structural stiffness. However, adding stiffness to the tub and chassis can also add an undesirable amount of weight to the vehicle, affecting both performance and fuel efficiency.

Take a look at the video below to find out more about McLaren’s approach to weight reduction.


 “We do everything we can to make sure weight is reduced to a minimum. With a carbon fiber tub you have absolutely no reason to add weight to it because the inherent qualities and stiffness are there.” – Frank Stephenson