Monday, June 17, 2024
NewsMcLaren CEO Talks Electric Supercar and PHEV SUV Plans

McLaren CEO Talks Electric Supercar and PHEV SUV Plans

McLaren joining the big brute party

  • McLaren is finally working on an EV

  • Planning to bring first crossover to market

Hypercar builder McLaren hasn’t been exactly enthusiastic about the idea of electric vehicles or crossovers. But that was before some sales struggles, new owners, and a new CEO. Now, the company is working on building both.

In 2018 McLaren was quite clear about both. At the time, the company’s director of sales and marketing called both types of vehicles a compromise, and said there was no reason to compromise the brand. By 2022, the company was starting to come around, saying maybe byt that it needed to be in-line with the company’s DNA.

Now, in 2024, with Lamborghini and Aston Martin printing cash with crossovers and even Ferrari about to do the same, the tune at McLaren has changed.

New CEO Michael Leiters came from Ferrari with a new perspective. He spoke to Road and Track about the company’s plans.

“To unlock our full potential as a company, we believe there is a second stage. To enlarge and expand our lineup beyond the segment where we are today. We have called this ‘shared performance,’ because you can share the performance with more people than you can have in a McLaren today,” he said. Shared performance is a strange way to say crossover, but automakers have long bent over backward to avoid the SUV stigma while snagging SUV sales.

Leiters said that the company is planning this model to be a PHEV using its existing engines. The company wants to use its existing powertrain and platform to build the new larger model, which would save it development cash.

The company has also already started working on an electric supercar. “I am convinced that the first EV supercar will be a McLaren. We understand what it means to make supercars. If we are not able to do that, then nobody else will be able to,” he said. A statement that ignores vehicles from Rimac, Pininfarina, Lotus, and others.

He said those cars don’t count, because they’re too heavy. If it weighs more than two tons it isn’t a supercar, said Leiters. Instead of 4,000 pounds, McLaren is looking at matching the 3,300 pound curb weight of its gas-powered Artura.




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