Will McLaren ever build a front-engined sports car?

Mid-engined supercars aren’t exactly practical when it comes to luggage room, but McLaren set a new benchmark with the GT. Essentially a successor to the 570S-based 570GT, the McLaren GT offers more space than front-engined grand tourers and even most full-size sedans. But what if the GT was a shooting brake with the engine mounted in the front? A question that no one asked, answered by Rain Prisk, a designed who rendered many production models with different body styles.

The front-engined, shooting brake McLaren GT is incredibly cool

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With the massive vents in the rear fenders no longer needed for a front-engined layout, the rear fenders are smoother

I admit, I never imagined the McLaren GT as a shooting brake. And I’m sorry I didn’t, because Rain Prisk’s version is as awesome as they get. And despite the front-engined layout and the longer roof, it retains the sportiness of the actual GT. That’s because the designer went with a really low roof that features a coupé-style rear section.

The front fascia is virtually identical to the actual production model, including the headlamps and the bumper. However, because Rain Prisk designed the car with a front-mounted engine, the nose is significantly longer. The designer also added a stylish vent that extends toward the back from the upper front wheel arch and cooling outlets below.

Rain Prisk Just Did the Unimaginable to the McLaren GT and We Like It!
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The roof becomes narrower toward the rear, while the rear window is very small. Bye-bye rearward visibility

The profile is a bit more stylish now. With the massive vents in the rear fenders no longer needed for a front-engined layout, the rear fenders are smoother. But they retain the muscular shape. The side skirt is also smoother, but the big dent in the lower door makes up for that and keeps the lower profile of the car aggressive. The roofline is obviously different. The A-pillar seems to retain the shape of the production car, but the door window is longer and the roof sits higher toward the B-pillar. Rain Prisk also added a big quarter window, while the C-pillar is longer in order to help extend the roof toward the deck lid.

The roof becomes narrower toward the rear, while the rear window is very small. Bye-bye rearward visibility. Remember the Ferrari Breadvan based on the iconic 250 GTO? It sure seems like the creator of this rendering used it as inspiration for the rear section of the roof. Around back, the shooting brake looks identical to the GT below the fascia. Modifications include a revised center section that connects to new rear window and a roof-mounted spoiler.

All told, this rendering looks legit and proves that the McLaren GT would look cool with a shooting brake body.

Should McLaren Do It?

What if the Mclaren GT was a front engined shooting brake?

Posted by Rain Prisk on Monday, August 12, 2019

Definitely! A proper grand tourer with the engine in the front would be a cool choice and a big blow to automakers like Ferrari, Bentley, and Aston Martin. A shooting break body style would be even more exotic. Such a model will have no problem in competing with the big boys in this market. Just picture a spacious grand tourer with a cool design and a beefed-up V-8 engine rated at more than 700 horsepower. Ferrari 812 Superfast who?

Is It Doable?

What if the Mclaren GT was a front engined shooting brake?

Posted by Rain Prisk on Monday, August 12, 2019

Well, not exactly. At least not if it’s based on the GT. Converting the GT’s platform to a front-engined layout would be way too expensive for McLaren. Also, the 4.0-liter V-8 that the British firm uses nowadays would need a serious makeover for this configuration. It is doable only if McLaren develops a standalone car for this niche. The issue here is that McLaren built only mid-engine vehicles so far.

There is an exception in the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, but even though this car was assembled in Surrey, England, it was built in cooperation with Mercedes-Benz. So technically speaking, McLaren didn’t build a front-engined car by itself.

2005 Mercedes SLR McLaren
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I guess I would rule out this opportunity, but it probably won’t happen very soon. But while McLaren made it clear that it won’t build SUVs, it never said that it won’t develop a front-engine car.

Until it happens, all we can do is enjoy this rendering and virtual designs that will come in the future.

Further reading

2020 McLaren GT
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Read our full review on the 2020 McLaren GT.

Source: Rain Prisk

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