VOLVO XC40 GOES SKI­ING AT AFRISKI

AN­DREAS BAREIS: MCLAREN SU­PER SE­RIES VE­HI­CLE LINE DI­REC­TOR

Driven - - Contents - Re­port by DEON VAN DER WALT | Im­ages © MCLAREN

Sun, snow and live mu­sic. What could be bet­ter?

DE­SPITE AS­SUR­ANCES THAT AN­DREAS BAREIS IS ONE OF THE MOST AM­I­CA­BLE PEO­PLE HE WAS EVER LIKELY TO MEET, DEON VAN DER WALT DE­SCRIBES HOW HE FELT A TINGE OF IN­TIM­I­DA­TION BE­FORE GET­TING DOWN TO BUSI­NESS WITH MCLAREN’S NEW VE­HI­CLE LINE DI­REC­TOR FOR THE SU­PER SE­RIES, AN­DREAS BAREIS.

For some back­ground on McLaren’s for­mer Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor for Mid­dle East, Africa and Latin Amer­ica, read­ers might re­mem­ber An­dreas Bareis from the one-on-one in­ter­view Driven con­ducted with him in the June 2016 edi­tion. At that stage, he had just taken over the reins as re­gional chief. Not an easy job we’d say, but he was un­de­ni­ably the best man for it at the time.

When Bareis joined McLaren in 2012, he was tasked with es­tab­lish­ing a net­work for qual­ity con­trol and cus­tomer feed­back. What this meant, is that he was re­spon­si­ble for find­ing out ex­actly what McLaren own­ers wanted, and ex­pected from their cars; well, that’s the short ver­sion of it.

Some ways be­fore that, he stud­ied Me­chan­i­cal En­gi­neer­ing at the Univer­sity of Ap­plied Sciences in Stuttgart, Ger­many where­after he joined the ranks at Mercedes-Benz, us­ing his en­gi­neer­ing skills on the pro­duc­tion line, and to lead the op­er­a­tional ac­tiv­i­ties at A123 Sys­tems, the com­pany that suc­cess­fully in­tro­duced the Ki­netic En­ergy Re­cov­ery Sys­tem (KERS) into McLaren’s For­mula 1 team.

CHAL­LENGE DIS­GUISED AS OP­POR­TU­NITY

As Driven in­ter­viewed An­dreas at the McLaren South Africa head-of­fice

at Daytona in Sand­ton, he was about to step into the next ve­hi­cle-craft­ing chap­ter of his life, ready­ing to swop the tight reins of his MD po­si­tion for the driv­ing seat of ev­ery­thing ve­hi­cle-de­vel­op­ment for Wok­ing’s Su­per Se­ries range. Fo­cussed on the core of McLaren’s prod­uct port­fo­lio, the Su­per Se­ries range in­cludes the com­pany’s resur­gent MP4-12C, the 650S, the track-fo­cused 675LT and the hy­per­carad­ja­cent 720S.

There’s no deny­ing that An­dreas has taken on an enor­mous re­spon­si­bil­ity, but then again, he is uniquely qual­i­fied with his ex­pe­ri­ence in en­gi­neer­ing, qual­ity and most re­cently the man­age­rial as­pect that makes his quiver of ex­per­tise a triple-threat.

Ask­ing him about the chal­lenges of his new role, he merely smiled and, in an au­thor­i­ta­tive Ger­man ac­cent, an­swered that it’s only get­ting up to speed dur­ing the first few months on the new job that he views as a po­ten­tial chal­lenge. Adding that the fast-paced en­vi­ron­ment at McLaren and be­ing re­spon­si­ble for defin­ing ev­ery devel­op­men­tal de­tail of an en­tire range of ve­hi­cles, will also keep him on his toes.

The up­side is that his new role grants him the unique op­por­tu­nity to put his sig­na­ture on McLaren prod­ucts. “The most ex­cit­ing for me is if I can de­velop a car where I can in­cor­po­rate my own ideas into it. It’s about tak­ing a car from an idea, to sketch and through to con­cept phase where it has to be signed off by the ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee, where af­ter the car has to be fully de­liv­ered.”

FIND­ING THE SWEET SPOT

Im­mers­ing him­self in McLaren’s 10step car-build­ing process is where An­dreas be­lieves that his unique set of skills will be put to good use. As Ve­hi­cle Line Di­rec­tor, he can fi­nally im­ple­ment all the ideas and in­sights pro­vided by clients, from what they would want in their su­per­car to pos­si­ble im­prove­ments, which will be­come part of the DNA of a new gen­er­a­tion of ve­hi­cles to roll off the McLaren fac­tory floor.

This also cre­ates a set of en­gi­neer­ing chal­lenges; from whether an in­creased door size will af­fect the car’s drag co­ef­fi­cient, to re­vised power out­put and how this will af­fect the longevity of the pow­er­train. In essence, there’s more to the job than just se­lect­ing the best colour scheme — it’s about find­ing the sweet spot between driv­ing en­joy­ment, us­abil­ity, per­for­mance, aes­thet­ics and a bunch of el­e­ments we can hardly grasp and then, in­cor­po­rat­ing all of that in an ef­fec­tive man­ner.

CUS­TOMER FO­CUS

Of course, we had to ask what it is that clients de­mand most from their McLarens. As it turns out, the over­lap­ping ar­eas of de­mand and ex­e­cu­tion are fuzzier than just a data graph.

Ac­cord­ing to An­dreas, what is re­quired of a McLaren not only dif­fers from one in­di­vid­ual to the next, but the needs are also ge­o­graph­i­cal. He used an ex­am­ple where the tech­nol­ogy de­manded from a cus­tomer in Ja­pan dif­fers from what a South African would want, al­though we’d wa­ger any South African’s wish list has a pot-hole re­sis­tant tyre com­pound on it. An­dreas also be­lieves that, on the road, cus­tomers want com­fort, while on the flip side of the same coin, they also want to go to the near­est race­track and ‘smash’ it around the bends in blis­ter­ing time. Us­ing the 720S as an ex­am­ple of cus­tomer feed­back, he said it’s con­sid­er­ably more ac­ces­si­ble on a day-to-day ba­sis with easy-to-open doors and a level of com­fort that re­sem­bles (as close as pos­si­ble) that of a lux­ury cruiser.

TRACK22

The next ob­jec­tive for the man whose heart beats pure per­for­mance, is the McLaren Track22 pro­gramme. Rolled out in 2016, the pro­gramme shifts fo­cus to­wards the ‘track’ that the su­per­car brand is on, lead­ing up­wards to 2022. The aim is to de­liver 15 all-new su­per­car mod­els that were launched since the pro­gramme’s in­cep­tion, and ac­cord­ing to Bareis, Track22 is al­ready in full ex­e­cu­tion.

The road to 2022 also in­volves an ad­vance­ment as­pect in which the com­pany aims to power at least 50% of all its cars us­ing hy­brid tech­nol­ogy that is sim­i­lar in ex­e­cu­tion to the petrol-hy­brid pow­er­train in the P1 hy­per­car.

LAST WORD

The fu­ture looks bright for McLaren, and es­pe­cially the range at its core. We ex­pect to see some even more im­pres­sive ve­hi­cles to roll out of Wok­ing as An­dreas Bareis pours his di­verse knowl­edge and ex­per­tise into ev­ery sleek line and rum­bling kilo­watt.

Most im­por­tantly, how­ever, is the per­sonal stamp that he will wield in defin­ing each McLaren that wears a Su­per Se­ries badge go­ing for­ward.

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