McLaren Confirms SUVs Aren't for Supercar Manufacturers

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
mclaren confirms suvs arent for supercar manufacturers

Let’s take a moment to consider how ubiquitous sport utility vehicles and crossovers have become. They are, quite literally, everywhere, and reason for this is that they’ve morphed into a jack-of-all-trades type of automobile.

The antiquated definition of SUV included words like “rugged” and “off-road.” But modern examples really only need to ride higher than your typical sedan to qualify. That, along with the segment’s current trendiness, has helped to make such vehicles exceeding popular. So popular, in fact, that practically every automaker is trying to build one to improve sales.

This includes supercar manufacturers. Lamborghini intentionally priced the Urus as an “entry-level” model to ensure volume — and you had better believe Aston Martin and Ferrari will do the same with their upcoming crossovers. Porsche has two SUVs and the more-affordable Macan became its best-selling model last year. However, there is one performance brand that says it has no place for such a vehicle: McLaren.

“I’m not the first person to point out an SUV is neither particularly sporty or utilitarian,” McLaren’s chief designer, Dan Parry-Williams, told Top Gear in a recent interview.

The U.K.-based company says it intends to maintain a performance-driven strategy through 2022. It is dumping over £1 billion into the research and development of 12 new models, but not a single one will be an SUV. Why? Because McLaren says the very concept of a sport utility vehicle clashes with the brand’s motto of “everything for a reason.”

“It’s not ‘everything for a reason,’ unless the reason is to clutter up the streets,” Parry-Williams explained in a rather savage burn.

While McLaren could always change its mind, like Ferrari did, it won’t be able to until after 2022. Executives have confirmed all planned models will use platforms that would make building a crossover next to impossible.

[Image: McLaren]

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  • El scotto El scotto on Jan 20, 2018

    You can't make a "brick on Popsicle sticks" a cornering demon. Looking at you, Ferrari,Porsche, and Maserati. A Bentley SUV? A bald cash grab. Add Mercedes to that column too. BMW X series? Reference "brick on Popsicle sticks" as you try to justify "superior handling". OK, I don't like the X series, not a bit. Cadillac/Lincoln/Lexus? Leather wrapped heated/cooled seats varieties of their GM/FORD/Toyota brothers. Their lesser sibling were built to be SUV's; haul boats, carry dogs and/or shotguns. Most of us are fine with that. McLaren understands supercars; ergo no SUV. Morgan might build you a shooting brake. No, it won't have a lift kit. It might come with Purdy or Holland and Holland shotguns.

  • Flipper35 Flipper35 on Jan 22, 2018

    Mercedes has always had some utility and the cars - other than the AMG branded cars - were never performance driving machines. They were good at getting from a to b in comfort but not really grin inducing on a curvy road. BMW no longer cares to be the "ultimate driving machine" as they have moved consistently more Mercedes like in the last two decades. SUVs fit right in at Bentley since they have always made big cars for people to be driven in so why not a sport utility? Lamborghini is the outrageous brand and if they can't recreate the outrageousness of the LM-002 then they shouldn't be building one. Jeep, LR and such making high performance road going SUVs is a pure mee too money grab.

  • Theflyersfan As a kid, a neighbor had one of these full-sized conversion vans with the TV and wet bar in the back. And it was so cool to go in - as a kid it was, driving it had to be terror at times with blind spots, iffy power and brakes, and the feeling that you're hauling your living room with you! Kids of the 1970s and 1980s had this experience. Afterwards with minivans and then CUV everything, not so much.And I'm crushed that a 1977 van doesn't have some kind of mural on the sides. Coyote howling at the moon, American flag, Confederate flag, bright stripes, something! You can't have a 1970's era van with plain sides! At least a "Don't Laugh. Your daughter's in here" bumper sticker on the back. I always get a Gacy or Bundy vibe with these vans...
  • Jeff S In the EV market Tesla is not a niche player it is the major player. According to the latest data of the California-based vehicle valuation and automotive research company  Kelley Blue Book, Tesla has the lion’s share with 75 percent market share in  the electric vehicle market in the first three months of 2022.Tesla has dominated the electric vehicle market for years in the United States. The electric vehicles manufactured by Tesla accounted for 79 percent of the new electric vehicles registered in the United States in 2020 and 69,95 percent in 2021. The decrease in the market share in 2021 might be explained by backlogs and the global chip shortage, but the company is ramping up its sales and has already increased its market share to 75 percent in the first quarter of the year. According to Kelley Blue Book, the top 10 EVs sold in the US in the first quarter of 2022 are;[list=1][*]Tesla Model Y[/*][*]Tesla Model 3[/*][*]Ford Mustang Mach-E[/*][*]Tesla Model X[/*][*]Hyundai Ioniq 5[/*][*]Kia EV6[/*][*]Tesla Model S[/*][*]Nissan Leaf[/*][*]Kia Niro[/*][*]Audi e-Tron[/*][/list=1]Tesla has delivered 310,048 vehicles in the first quarter of 2022, another first-quarter record. The success of Tesla is proven once again as the company has three electric cars in the top 10 most selling electric vehicles in the United States, while no other manufacturer has even two different models on the list.Tesla leads all others, selling slightly over 936,000 units in 2021. This gave the company a market share of nearly 14%.Mar 30, 2022https://interestingengineering.com/transportation/tesla-ev-market-75-percent-market-share
  • Jeff S I did not know Plymouth had a full size van prior to the mini vans. I did know about the Plymouth pickups and the Trail Duster.
  • Arthur Dailey When I grew tired of the T-Bird trying to kill me by refusing to start at the most inconvenient times/places, I replaced it with a '79 fullsized Dodge (Sportsman) van. Similar to this but with a different grille and rectangular headlights. The 4 'captains' chairs in my van were pretty much identical to the ones in this van. Mine certainly was not as nicely finished inside. And it was a handful to drive in snow/ice. One thing that strikes me about this van is that although a conversion it does not seem to have the requisite dark tint on the windows.
  • Jeff S I am not a fan of Tesla and they were niche vehicles but it seems that they have become more common. I doubt if I get an EV that it would be a Tesla. The electrical grid will have to be expanded because people over the long run are not going to accept the excuse of the grid can't handle people charging their EVs.
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