It’s no secret that the Cayenne was the model that saved Porsche 20 years ago. At that time, the idea that a manufacturer of sports performance such as the 911 or the Carrera GT would launch an SUV would seem crazy; however, three generations later, it remains the company’s best-selling car.
Few are the manufacturers that have not ended up succumbing to the SUV trend: Aston Martin DBX, Lamborghini Urus, Lotus Eletre, Maserati Levante… Even Ferrari plans to launch a model of this type as soon as next year, the Purosangue. Given this scenario, it is not surprising that brands like McLaren are also considering taking the step.
The British firm’s new chief executive, Michael Leiters, has confirmed that it is open to launching an SUV in the future. He aims to evolve McLaren’s range beyond its current mid-engined supercars, encompassing other categories that allow the company to boost its business.
Leiters was responsible for overseeing the launch of the Cayenne during his time at Porsche and more recently has been tasked with leading the technical development of the Ferrari Purosangue. So it would be quite logical for him to carry out a similar move at McLaren.
Michael Leiters is a strong supporter of SUVs
« I developed an SUV at Ferrari. I developed an SUV at Porsche, so I love SUVs. But we won’t do it for me. However, I think it is a really important market. It still is, and it continues to grow. It is very attractive as a segment. What we have to understand as McLaren is ‘how can we find a product that is in line with our DNA?’ We shouldn’t do a classic SUV.”
According to Leiters, an SUV would have a ripple effect on McLaren’s current range, as it would give the brand greater recognition. The executive cites as an example the shock that the Cayenne represented in Porsche since many of the customers who first bought the SUV ended up also adding a 911 to their garage.
Although it has not yet received the green light, a preliminary report indicates that the McLaren SUV would be available exclusively as electric. Initially, the model would hit the market towards the end of the decade, competing not only against the aforementioned Lotus Eletre, but also against the next electric Porsche Cayenne.