McLaren SUV anyone? Top boss drops top hints
British luxury automotive manufacturer McLaren is known for making high-end supercars but it hasn't been very much open to the idea of making SUVs, despite many of its competitors venturing into it in recent years. But things seem to be changing for the supercar brand with the joining of its new boss. After taking over as new McLaren boss on July 1, Michael Leiters has acknowledged that the SUV market is very attractive but that it would need to fit with the brand’s DNA.
Leiters can help McLaren grow its range to include an SUV as he has earlier led the development of the Cayenne while working at Porsche and more recently, led the development of the forthcoming Purosangue while serving as Ferrari’s technical chief. Thus, he is well-verse with the SUV market and development of these models.
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However, a McLaren SUV is not confirmed yet and is just in discussion stages as various other models are also being considered. Yet, Leiters told Autocar in an interview that there is some overlap within McLaren’s existing range, and an SUV would obviously sit in a unique position in the line-up and likely wouldn’t attract buyers away from other models.
He also acknowledged that McLaren is open to working alongside a partner for future models. “You have two sides of a partnership, one is technology and one is financial. And if you find both in one, definitely that will be the best. But the first thing is to have a technology partner to create synergies. But it has to be the right partner," he said in the interview.
He added that the company has to maintain its DNA. “I’m not interested in any partner which gives me only ‘me too’ technology. So the question is to find the right partner; the question is not to find a partner," he added.