News

McLaren: “We will not build an SUV”

Aston, Bentley, Lamborghini, Porsche and in the near future Ferrari and Lotus have all jumped on the SUV bandwagon, but British supercar maker McLaren is sticking to its supercar guns
- shares

McLaren will not follow its sports car rivals by adding an SUV to its stable.

The British supercar maker has just released its most practical model yet, the GT.

It’s a McLaren aimed at the grand touring segment and, despite its mid-engine layout, offers a luggage capacity of 570L via a specially created cargo bay above the lowered V8 that combines with the front compartment familiar from the company’s other models.

Despite a global obsession with sports utility vehicles that has even prompted Ferrari to build one, due in 2022, McLaren has no intention of copying its Formula 1 rival.

“No, we wouldn’t [go down the SUV route],” said Tom Taylor, global product manager for the McLaren GT. “I can look you in the eye as I work in product planning and work with the product plan… there is no SUV in the plan. We won’t do an SUV.”

“Partly it’s about the philosophy about being able to make a format like that [an SUV] drive like a McLaren, because that’s part of our DNA.

“We want a car that’s still light weight, still dynamic, still really agile, still feels like a McLaren. And that says to us the [mid-engined supercar] format we’ve got at the moment is the best for our brand.”

Aston Martin, Lamborghini and Lotus are other renowned sports car brands that have succumbed to the temptation to add SUVs to their line-ups.

SUVs have come to dominate Porsche sales since the then-controversial introduction of the Cayenne in 2002.

Taylor, however, said while Porsche is achieving about a quarter of a million sales per year, McLaren is targeting 6000 sales by the middle of the next decade as part of its Track25 plan.

“We’re independent, and with our ownership structure and all that it means the target is 6000 sales and we think we can get there with the next models we have coming up.

“Pretty much every premium brand has [an SUV] now, so we are standing on our own now, which is nice.”

McLaren will launch 18 new or updated models up to 2025, with its entire sports car and supercar range moving to hybrid propulsion.

McLaren’s global sales are currently at 2640 units, up 5.4 per cent on the same period last year.