McLaren Just Says No To SUVs
If you were hoping to see McLaren jump on the SUV bandwagon anytime soon, you can stop now. McLaren has made it clear, once again, that it doesn’t want to join Bentley, Rolls-Royce or Lamborghini in the growing niche of expensive, luxury SUVs. In fact, McLaren went as far as to explain why the brand doesn’t need an SUV to remain profitable, despite having a narrow vehicle lineup.
Speaking to Automotive News at the Geneva Motor Show, McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt said the carmaker can survive without building an SUV by keeping its sales spread over as many regions as possible. "For example, China is very volatile. If we overcommit to China, we’ll lose a load of sales," said Flewitt. China is currently one of the most important markets for luxury SUVs, and is where both Bentley and Rolls-Royce are hoping to make big bucks with their upcoming ultra-expensive rigs.
Flewitt thinks it’s also important to keep tight control over costs, which McLaren does with great success by using the same carbon-fiber platform and twin-turbo V-8 engine for its entire lineup. Now forming the basis of two-car range, the combo will become the backbone of the Sports Series, smaller-than 650S models aimed at the Porsche 911. Lastly, Flewitt said McLaren would rather spend money to keep its current products fresh rather than enter a new niche. "The fresher you keep the produce the more you can keep your price up," he added.
Updated 03/31/2015: As it launched the new 570S Coupe sports car at the 2015 New York Auto Show, McLaren reiterated that it won’t develop an SUV by displaying a large photo with crossovers from Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Aston Martin, and Lamborghini with a big, orange X over them (Chris Harris/Twitter). Find out more below.
Continue reading to learn why McLaren decided it needs no SUV in its lineup.
Why it matters
Having already surpassed the 1,400 annual sales needed to make a profit, and with the new Sports Series projected to boost deliveries to about 3,000 units a year, it’s safe to assume McLaren isn’t likely to hit financial hardship anytime soon. If anything, the Brits are on track to achieve the sales objective announced in 2014, of 4,000 vehicles a year by 2017. Of course, an SUV could boost sales to far more impressive figures, but it seems McLaren isn’t willing to give up on its heritage for the sake of profits just yet.
Mocking Tomorrow’s Luxury SUVs
This isn’t the first time McLaren says no to building an SUV, and it’s probably not the last time since Woking is bombarded with questions on that matter quite often. That’s why I understand the Brits felt it was appropriate to mock other automakers that recently decided to jump on the SUV bandwagon without any experience whatsoever in this niche. Except for Lamborghini of course. What McLaren is actually trying to point out is that it is not willing to betray its tradition as a sports and race car manufacturer just to increase sales, which is exactly what Bentley, Rolls-Royce, and Lamborghini did recently, with Aston Martin likely to join in a few years. All I can say is kudos to McLaren for standing firm against the SUV trend. Oh yeah, and I just love how they crossed those SUVs with two Papaya Orange lines, the company’s trademark color.
Launched at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, the 675LT is the latest sports car developed by Woking. Essentially a slightly longer version of the 650S (LT stands for Long Tail), the 675LT features enhanced aerodynamics and a more-powerful version of the twin-turbo, 3.8-liter V-8 engine. The retuned mill cranks out 666 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, a 26-horsepower and 16-pound-feet increase, and enables the sports car to hit 62 mph in 2.9 seconds. Zero to 124 mph takes 7.9 seconds, a significant half-second improvement, while top speed is 205 mph.
Source: Automotive News