McLaren's New SUV Project: A 'Shared Performance' Model Set To Challenge Ferrari

by AutoExpert   |  24 June, 2024

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A "Shared Performance" vehicle is in the works at McLaren, according to CEO Michael Leiters, and it will be competing head-on with the Ferrari Purosangue. Piers Scott, Head of Global Communications at McLaren Automotive, made it clear at a recent European press event that the company is "exploring a wide variety of different options" for the SUV, meaning that they have not yet settled on a design or foundation.

He did stress, however, that the "Shared Performance" model would undoubtedly have room for more than two passengers and may have either two or four doors.

McLaren

The enormous risk of investing £1 billion ($1.3 billion) to create a new architecture is too much to bear. With this in mind, McLaren is looking at a number of possibilities to acquire an SUV-compatible platform from another OEM, which might pave the way for the use of hybrid or all-electric powertrains. The vehicle's hybrid setup might include one of McLaren's exclusive V6 or V8 engines.

When asked about possible business partners, Scott almost confirmed the reports by saying that BMW may be one of them. While Scott did not go into detail, he did say that Southeast Asia may be a possible source for an EV-dedicated architecture. Concerning American car companies, Scott dispelled prior claims by saying McLaren is not in negotiations with Tesla at the moment and made it clear that conversations with Lucid were also untrue.

McLaren

According to Scott, there isn't currently any demand for a $500,000 SUV that runs entirely on electricity. But he stressed that such an offer is still possible down the road. Because of expected improvements in battery technology, McLaren thinks that 2028 is the earliest realistic timeframe for a lightweight, performance-oriented electric SUV. The high-ranking executive said that by 2024, McLaren would want to have finalized a contract.

The procedure is complex, however, and must pass muster in terms of both the financial aspects and the technical compatibility of the common architecture with McLaren's unique needs. Scott stressed the need for a very low rear overhang for a McLaren SUV in order to showcase its performance capabilities. With the help of new or current investors, he said, McLaren may acquire the needed platform directly from the partner or in return for stock.

McLaren

Mumtalakat Holding Co., a sovereign wealth fund based in Bahrain, has completed the acquisition of the brand. The new single-shareholder structure gives McLaren's management the breathing room to try something different without worrying about getting in trouble. Instead of the more inexpensive and popular Lamborghini Urus, the new product would be more in line with the exclusive and characterful Ferrari Purosangue.

McLaren plans to keep producing vehicles with internal combustion engines for as long as possible while sticking to its low-volume strategy. Following 2018's record-breaking 4,806 vehicle sales, Scott said that they want to maintain annual sales below 8,000 units throughout this decade.

McLaren

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