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Mclaren suv

Lightweight Hybrid McLaren SUV Inches Closer to Reality

Another one bites the dust! Yes, joining Ferrari, Aston Martin, Rolls-Royce, and Lamborghini, it’s looking like McLaren will also have its own SUV coming in a few years’ time as it grapples to rectify its finances and steer forward towards increased profitability. Of course, we know creating an SUV is a surefire way to succeed, as others in this sector have proven earlier. However, making an SUV is not so bad as while purists loathe the move, it means more profits, which could then be poured towards the development of new supercars along with unlocking new markets.

McLaren has been through stormy weather but under new ownership and CEO Michael Leiters, the ship has crossed those troubled waters. Michael Leiters, in his previous role, was the chief technology officer at Ferrari, and in his new role, he wants the brand to expand without losing its core DNA. Hence, while lightweight supercars laced with electrification would continue to be the mainstay of McLaren, it will increase its product line-up to not depend on a few products to be sustainable.

RELATED: 2024 McLaren 750S Review: Still the Ultimate Everyday Supercar?

2024 McLaren GTS | Image: McLaren
2024 McLaren GTS | Image: McLaren

Like Ferrari, McLaren does not mention the word ‘SUV’. They’ve stated that it will be a ‘shared performance vehicle’—that is, a McLaren with more space for your family or friends to scare them silly and a commodious boot, too. It should also be a lifestyle vehicle with the same aerodynamics and lightweight materials that a McLaren is known for but in a crossover bodyshell.

This is important as a few years back, previous CEO Mike Flewitt said McLaren would never build an SUV, but it is nearly impossible to ignore such a lucrative market.

For McLaren, dipping its toes into the controversial but financially lucrative high-end SUV segment is a tricky thing as it needs to have the core brand values and not stray further from them. However, with time being of utmost importance, collaborating with another carmaker can drastically cut down development costs and the many years it will take to bring it to the market. Hence, like the Artura, the future SUV or SPV (shared performance vehicle) will likely use a plug-in hybrid V6 or V8 to keep up with the power race.

2023 BMW XM | Image: BMW Australia
The McLaren SUV could use a powerful hybrid engine like that in the BMW XM | Image: BMW Australia

The brand, which was once rumoured to be in talks with BMW over an electric supercar, could nab a powertrain like that from the BMW XM. That said, despite sharing the architecture, McLaren will likely develop its future SUV as a bespoke product and position it as a Purosangue rival.

Currently, the Lamborghini Urus, Aston Martin DBX, Rolls-Royce Cullinan, and Ferrari Purosangue are some of the best sellers for their respective brands. We’d expect this new McLaren SUV to be the key to the company’s growth. However, even with vehicle development at a frenzied pace, do not expect this car to land in the showrooms before 2027, at least.

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