Let's make one thing clear: McLaren, the British maker of racecars and supercars like the new P1 is not the same company as Maclaren, the British manufacturer of premium baby strollers, known for its 1965 innovation of the folding umbrella model.
But there is an automotive connection at Maclaren: its new BMW Buggy model, developed jointly with the German carmaker, even bears small windows in the shape of a BMW kidney grille on the canopy -- the hood, if you will.
Baby strollers and carriages carrying the brand names of automakers are new territory for some of the companies that market to nameplate-conscious parents. Even the most famous baby of the moment may ride one soon: Silver Cross, long a supplier of strollers to the royal family, is producing an Aston Martin model that may be just the thing for Prince George, the new royal infant. (Black-and-white film of the young Prince Charles shows him in a Silver Cross stroller.)
The brand marks on the Maclaren BMW model, under license from the automaker, are tasteful and discreet: there are BMW roundels on the hub caps of the auto-style wheels and one on the buckle for the seat belt. The BMW stroller is part of a series of strollers called Objects of Design that have included models branded Burberry, Juicy Couture and Lacoste.
The original Maclaren, according to the company history, was designed for a grandchild by Owen Maclaren, an aeronautical engineer and test pilot who had designed the landing gear for the Spitfire fighter plane. The BMW Buggy was designed by Carolyn Komminsk, Maclaren's chief of design, and comes with a reclining seat and removable seat pad.
The designers visited BMW studios and even the automaker's museum in Munich, Ms. Komminsk said in an e-mail, noting shapes and materials.
"The Maclaren BMW Buggy is meant to reflect the sleek design and efficient maneuvering of the BMW and the innovation, design, style and safety of Maclaren," she said.
Maclaren, once among the most prestigious stroller brand in the United States, has encountered challenges, not the least of which was a 2009 recall for finger injuries caused by the hinges of folding models. Informal sidewalk surveys in Brooklyn neighborhoods thick with young parents revealed an abundance of hot brands and models like the Uppababy Vista or the all-terrain Bugaboo Buffalo.
The BMW link may draw attention back to Maclaren, especially among fathers.
"I believe we've captured the enthusiasm of car, design and style enthusiasts," Ms. Komminsk said. "The audiences we are after, in addition to mothers of course, are fathers. Our buggies have VIN numbers, like a car, so we can trace a unique part all the way back to its origin."
Accessories include an expandable foot muff, a park blanket, an umbrella and, of course, a cup holder. The BMW Buggy is available in black, silver and blue for $385.
Even more prestigious child transport is Aston Martin's new Silver Cross Surf stroller -- make that pram, British style -- built, like a Vanquish or Rapide, on an agile, athletic chassis of aluminum and magnesium. Inside is Aston-level Alcantara fabric and leather. The name Aston Martin is rendered on the push bar handle in gleaming metal letters so large no passing rival nanny is likely to miss the association.
Aston Martin cars are favorites of Prince Charles and his son Prince William, the proud new father. William and his wife, Kate, were seen leaving their 2011 wedding in a 1969 Aston Martin DB6 MKII Volante, lent by Charles.
The shape of the wheels on the new pram echoes the twin-spoke configuration of the wheels on the Aston Martin One-77 supercar. That model, priced around $1.4 million, was limited to 77 examples; the pram is limited to 800. It is priced around $3,000 and is available through Harrods.
Silver Cross is a noted brand in the world of prams, citing origins dating to 1877 when, it claims, William Wilson, an inventor, created the first baby pram.
A Silver Cross served the infant Princess Diana. One model is called Balmoral, like the royal family's Scottish castle.
More affordable are Jeep-branded strollers, which come in many models, found at Babies "R" Us and other stores or online at such sites as allthingsjeep.com. Strollers are part of the lucrative licensing of the brand's rugged, go-everywhere image. (No separate stroller figure is available, but sales of licensed Jeep products totaled about $550 million in 2008.)
Jeep strollers include the tough Jeep Liberty Limited Urban Terrain and the Jeep Liberty Sport X All-Terrain. Parents who want to keep in shape while spending time with the baby can try the Jeep Overland Limited Jogging Stroller. They are often sold at Walmart and other stores and at several online retailers for about $200.
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.