Every time McLaren has been asked if it will offer an SUV, the answer has always been clear: no way, no how! As recently as 2019, the British performance car maker was insisting it would never develop such a model.
They say only fools never change their minds. It appears the company is no fool, because there are reports the company changed course. Indeed, the Autocar website reported this morning that the company is working on an SUV, one scheduled to launch in the second half of this decade. Unsurprisingly, it would be all-electric.
No doubt the success of the brand's rivals, notably Lamborghini and Aston Martin with their Urus and DBX, respectively, have played a role in the change of heart. For both those companies, their SUVs currently account for half of all sales.
SUVs being essentially money-making machines, McLaren couldn’t really afford to turn a blind eye indefinitely, especially since it has been in real financial trouble since the pandemic began. Beyond that, the company has no choice but to invest in electrification to comply with European standards.
In this context, an SUV can only help. Porsche went down the same road a little over 20 years ago. We know what happened next.
And what kind of SUV will we get? According to Autocar, McLaren is looking to develop something along the lines of the sleek Purosangue performance model Ferrari is preparing, rather than a bigger, all-purpose SUV like Porsche’s Cayenne. Autocar come to this conclusion in part because McLaren's new CEO is Michael Leiters - who previously worked at Ferrari developing the Purosangue. On the other hand, before that, he worked at Porsche, helping to build several versions of... the Cayenne.
Either way, given who's at the helm, it's clear the good ship McLaren is probably heading into SUV waters.
Stay tuned, but be patient. A McLaren SUV, if it comes to pass, won’t happen overnight.