McLaren says that under no circumstances will it ever build a high performance SUV regardless of its volume potential.
Speaking to CarAdvice at the unveiling of the new McLaren 570S in New York today, the British brand’s global executive director of sales and marketing, Joylon Nash, said he can “categorically” rule out SUVs in the McLaren lineup.
“I am sure there is growth opportunity in the segment but that’s not McLaren.” Nash said.
McLaren’s rivals, such as Bentley, Aston Martin and even Lamborghini are all actively working on a performance SUV, but Nash is determined that McLaren will not chase volume at the expense of the brand’s image.
“McLaren is about high performance sports cars. The promise to our customers is that we will deliver sports cars that will deliver a breathtaking experience, that’s what we do. We know how to design and engineer and manufacturer high performance sports cars, that’s our core competence and that’s what we will stick to. We just cannot imagine a McLaren SUV.”
McLaren’s head of product development, Mark Vinnels, told CarAdvice that an SUV would confuse customers, considering McLaren road cars in their current incarnation are only five years old.
“It would be really easy to confuse customers that we do have and confuse the brand by putting something in there that isn’t pure,” Vinnels said.
“Maybe if we had been around for 30 years, it would be something we would consider.”
Asked if a four-seater is something McLaren would look into, Vinnels said “We will see”.
“Even that has to be justified, it can’t just have two seats in the back just for the sake of it. I don’t want a car with a longer wheelbase that won’t handle. Our market research says don’t do it.”
McLaren’s current goal is to reach 4,000 global sales per year by 2017, with the model line up consisting of three series: Ultimate, which is the P1 hypercar, Super, which is the 650S supercar lineup and Sports, which is the new 570S and 540C (to be unveiled in Shanghai next month).
Last year McLaren sold 26 cars in Australia, as part of 1649 units sold worldwide.