Vehicle Line Principal Engineer - Sports series

Location: Woking, GB

When our founder Bruce McLaren passed away at the age of 32 he left behind a legacy that has shaped who we are today. We have an unrivalled heritage which has its roots in racing; but McLaren Automotive is now creating a story of its own and we want you to be a part of it.

As part of McLaren’s Track 25 plan, we are looking to invest £1.2 billion into Research and Development, leading to the launch of 18 all-new cars or derivatives by the end of 2025.

Purpose of the Role

  • Lead Vehicle Line projects for the CVT Engineering department. Ensuring the suspension, steering, braking, wheels and tyres components with calibration associated software are delivered robustly via MDP together with the attributes of NVH, Dynamics, Steering Feel, Brake Performance, and Durability.  All areas to be delivered on time and budget with support from the CAE team.
  • Work within a matrix organization with direct report to the Chassis and Vehicle Technology Vehicle Line Manager – Sports Series whilst being the primary point of contact for the Vehicle Line Director and Chief Engineer for the CVT department.
  • The role is multi cross functional to include CVT engineering and all supporting functions of Purchasing, Logistics, Supplier Quality Assurance (SQA), Manufacturing Engineering and Quality to ensure all components are engineered simultaneously for on time delivery to cost, weight and CVT vehicle attributes
  • Ensure together with the attribute owner the Design and Engineering integrity to exceed quality, performance and commercial goals

Principal accountabilities

  • Project Management:
    • Represent CVT for the Finance, Project and Project Performance Vehicle Line meetings and report back to the CVT department. Represent CVT together with CVT Managers and Principals at Attribute meetings
    • Create and maintain CVT HLP. Work with CVT Managers, Principals and Coordinators to ensure the CVT HLP is consistent with development plan, gateways and sign-off timing.
    • Agree the CVT solutions requiring PoC to prove their feasibility with Chief Engineer, CVT Managers and Principals
  • Prepare and Present CVT MDP slides to project gateways and boardwalks, contents owned by CVT Managers
  • Create and maintain the spec book for CVT together with Chief Engineer
  • Support decision meetings with concise, accurate technical and project information
  • Ensure consequences of decisions are understood and fed back into targets, budgets and plans.
  • Lead cross departmental/functional communication by use of simultaneous engineering teams
  • Finance:
    • Accountable for managing the full budget for the Vehicle Line across the CVT department, including internal and external head count, tooling investment, D&D and BOM cost
    • Target setting of above budget in agreement with each CVT team
    • Responsible for staying within the approved CVT budget and for updating Finance with any rebalancing made between the individual CVT budget lines supported by CVT Principals/Managers
  • Component Delivery:
    • Delivery of all CVT’s components to the engineering process, on budget and time.
    • Lead and work with the supply chain and directly with suppliers to ensure that best value for money and performance is achieved together with development of supply base
    • ETRS – manage design release process through ETRS for the whole CVT group
    • Ensure DFM is followed via simultaneous engineering teams to complement ETRS timing
    • Full ownership of components to completion of PPAP with support of the Project Engineers
  • Attribute Delivery:
    • Delivery of all CVT’s subjective and objective attributes to the engineering process, on budget and time
    • Support the CVT Managers and Principals with the requirements for PoC testing ahead of feasibility approval
    • Working cooperatively with Body/Powertrain/Control/Electrical/Concept to deliver CVT cross-functional attributes, hardware owners, responsible for ensuring their systems/components meet attribute requirements.
    • Ensure the CVT Principals maintain the project objective and subjective attribute tracker.
    • Planning with the CVT Managers and Principals, driver events content as required to approve new technologies, prove performance and signoff attribute performance.  Support the CVT content at drive events as required
    • Technology selection:
    • Innovation – support, facilitate and deliver innovation into s Vehicle Line CVT with regards to material, design, technology as well as development methodologies
    • Approve all CVT technical specifications written by CVT Managers and Principals prior to approval by Chief Engineer
  • Engineering process:
    • Generate and maintain the RAT for CVT for Vehicle Line
    • Review and approve the DFMEAs for CVT for Vehicle Line
    • Ensure all DVPs are generated inline with the DFMEAs and kept upto date by CVT Teams.
    • Make sure CVT BCRs are contained within 24 hours
    • Make sure CVT BCRs must be solved in line with the McLaren PPS system including a robust understanding and dissemination of lesson learnt that are aimed at avoiding problem repetition and continuously improving our cars and the Company as a whole
    • Ensure the DVP for each CVT team is completed as per MDP requirements

Knowledge, skills and experience

  • Experienced in automotive product development or project leadership function
  • An experienced automotive leader of direct and indirect teams
  • Experienced in an OEM or tier one with a high level of Chassis and Attribute systems technical knowledge
  • Proven ability in delivery project management within an APQP or similar framework
  • Experience of high volume and niche vehicle (low volume) programmes
  • CATIA V5, PC literate and at ease with MS Office products
  • Knowledge of Dynamics, Durability, Aero, heat management, NVH and CAE Simulation and Analysis tools and processes 
  • Sound commercial and financial awareness.


  • Mechanical or Automotive Engineering Degree
  • PHD in Mechanical Engineering advantageous
  • Formal management qualifications advantageous (DMS,MBA etc)

Personal attributes

  • An energetic, driven and goal based leader with a passion for delivering challenging projects to exact and compact timescales with a significant amount of innovation and customer focus
  • An excellent communicator with the ability to lead and motivate teams and work cross functionally
  • Passionate about engineering and design in high performance automotive environments
  • A confident, engaging communicator able to influence and lead high level meetings
  • A natural mentor and coach who values personal relationships across the whole business
  • Well organised and delivery focused – with demonstrable track record of on-time delivery in a high pressure environment
  • Capable of representing a world class automotive brand        

We recognise that we can only achieve our vision with the dedication and collaboration of our world class employees.  It is our aim to become the employer of choice within the global automotive industry. 

At McLaren Automotive we are constantly looking to improve. To become the employer of choice we are always looking to develop our employee offerings. We currently offer a range of benefits to employees at all levels of the business including Private Healthcare, Contributory Pension Scheme, Life Assurance and Personal Lease Car Scheme. We also offer a range of discounts with our partner organisations. 


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