McLaren’s CEO has shattered rumors that the carmaker might enter the incredibly hot SUV market.
Porsche. Lamborghini. Maserati. Ferrari. All these carmakers have one thing in common: they either will make or are already making SUVs.
Normally we associate these names with luxury sports cars, but that’s just not where the money is anymore. SUVs are the ticket, and what many carmakers are selling to fuel their next generation of technologies, whether they be hybrid powertrains, artificial AI autonomous software, or electric batteries that will finally break the 400-mile barrier.
Everyone is doing it, so it was widely expected that British supercar brand McLaren would eventually make a splash in SUVs too. Here to put a stop to that is McLaren’s CEO, Mike Flewitt, in an interview with Automotive News.
McLaren has no plans to make an SUV, the CEO said, primarily because he believes a McLaren SUV just wouldn’t make any money.
It sounds ridiculous considering that SUVs are like a money printing service, but he has some pretty good reasoning behind his argument.
"When we decide to do a product there are three simple tests: It has to be right for the brand and right for the customer base, we've got to have the technology to do the best car in class, and we've got to make money," Flewitt said. "An SUV starts to reduce the purity of the brand as a supercar driver's brand. Secondly, we don't have the technology. Can you imagine from a standing start if we wanted to go out and do a better car than a Range Rover, or a Cayenne — the billions we'd have to invest? Third, therefore, is we wouldn't make any money. So it doesn't tick any box."
As for hybrid and electric supercars, that’s a different story. Flewitt admitted that the world trend with emissions controls means that the only way McLaren can keep making cars is for all their powertrains to go hybrid and eventually some must go electric. China especially has begun enacting strict emissions regulations, and with Asia being one of McLaren’s biggest markets, what China wants, China gets.
He did put the brakes on any EV plans, however. Flewitt has several requirements for an EV McLaren: it must be able to drive for 30 minutes at the track non-stop, it must be faster than current-gen McLarens, and it must be able to recharge in 30 minutes. He expects all those boxes to be ticked by 2025 due to improvements in battery technology.