McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt has a clear idea for the performance brand's future, and the strategy doesn't include crossovers in stark contrast to competitors like Aston Martin, Ferrari, Lamborghini, and others. The regulations are pushing the brand to build hybrids, though.
"But we have stayed very true to the concept of making supercars. That’s a question I get in some markets: ‘Are you guys going to do an SUV?’, or ‘Are you guys going to do an EV?’ The answer is no, we’re not," Flewitt said in an interview with Wheels via Car Magazine. "The answer ‘no’ is an entirely rational one. Our brand is completely grounded in motorsport, supercars, and drivers’ cars. It is way too early to be stretching the brand into other areas and trying to give brand credibility to a product that clearly has nothing to do with our history."
Gallery: McLaren Artura Teasers
That's the type of clear-cut, unequivocal answer that you don't usually hear from the folks who run automakers. McLaren execs have been against building crossovers for a while, though. For example, engineering design boss Dan Parry-Williams said that "sports utility vehicles are neither sporty nor utilitarian" in 2018. Similarly, sales and marketing boss Jolyon Nash said a crossover would "compromise the brand," and he indicated the company didn't plan to build one unless the automaker's other models weren't making money.
More hybrids are in the brand's future because they have to be. "I’m honest enough to say we only hybridise cars to meet environmental legislation to stay compliant," Flewitt told Wheels. "After 2022-23 I can’t see us launching any non-hybrid cars."
The next confirmed hybrid McLaren is the Artura that debuts in the first half of 2021. It rides on the new MCLA carbon fibre platform. The combustion portion of the powertrain is a twin-turbocharged V6. In addition, we should see a successor to the P1 hypercar in 2025.