McLaren is working on an SUV – report

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Is McLaren ready to finally bite the bullet and build an SUV? According to a new report from the UK, the answer is yes.

Autocar reports the British carmaker is preparing to backtrack on claims it will “never” build an SUV, and is instead gearing up to launch an electric crossover in the second half of the 2020s.

The British publication says the crossover range will be “relatively low, compact, dual- or tri-motor, four-wheel-drive designs offering exalted performance levels likely to match the recently launched Aston Martin DBX 707“.

McLaren has been one of the only sports car makers holding out against the world’s inexorable push to SUVs.

Ferrari is preparing the Purosangue, Lamborghini has the Urus, and the two best-selling Porsches worldwide in 2021 were the Macan and Cayenne. Aston Martin’s best-selling car is the DBX SUV, too.

Even Lotus, which was built around the mantra “simplify then add lightness”, is building an electric crossover.

Autocar points out the fact McLaren has recently hired Michael Leiters, the architect behind Porsche’s push into the SUV world, as its new CEO.

The current McLaren range is made up of four supercars, excluding limited-run Ultimate Series cars like the Speedtail.

The 720S and 765LT, along with the softer GT, are powered by a twin-turbocharged V8 engine, while the Artura is the brand’s first plug-in hybrid and debuts a new V6 powertrain.

Rumours about the future of McLaren started swirling late in 2021, on the back of reports of a buyout from Audi. Those reports were quickly refuted by McLaren, however.

The McLaren Applied Technologies division responsible for developing electrified powertrain tech was sold to investors in April 2021, and would not have been included in any potential deal.

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