McLaren to Develop Hybrid SUV and Electric Supercar, CEO Michael Leiters Confirms

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McLaren to Develop Hybrid SUV and Electric Supercar, CEO Michael Leiters Confirms
McLaren to Develop Hybrid SUV and Electric Supercar, CEO Michael Leiters Confirms

McLaren, renowned for its high-performance supercars, is set to broaden its horizons with the development of a plug-in hybrid SUV and an all-electric supercar. In an interview with Car and Driver, McLaren’s CEO Michael Leiters shared insights into these exciting new ventures, signaling a significant shift in the company’s strategy.

Despite former CEO Mike Flewitt's firm stance against SUVs, current CEO Michael Leiters is embracing the change. He confirmed that McLaren is planning to release a vehicle that, while not explicitly labeled as an SUV, certainly fits the description. Leiters referred to it as a "shared performance vehicle" (SPV), emphasizing McLaren’s intent to expand its lineup beyond traditional supercars.


The SPV will likely feature a hybrid powertrain, possibly incorporating the electrified V-6 from McLaren’s Artura. While Leiters did not reveal the partner automaker, he hinted at past discussions with BMW, suggesting a collaborative effort on the platform. This hybrid SUV will aim to compete with high-end models like the Rolls-Royce Cullinan and Ferrari Purosangue, with pricing expected around $400,000.

In addition to the SPV, McLaren is developing an all-electric supercar. Leiters emphasized the importance of maintaining the performance characteristics that define a true supercar, such as keeping the weight comparable to the 3,300-pound Artura. This new electric model aims to set benchmarks in the supercar segment, combining McLaren’s expertise in performance with cutting-edge electric vehicle technology.

Despite the focus on hybrid and electric models, McLaren remains committed to internal combustion engines for the foreseeable future. Leiters reiterated that combustion engines will continue to play a significant role in McLaren’s lineup, ensuring that the brand’s heritage and driving experience remain intact.

Leiters acknowledged the practicality of collaborating with larger automakers for the development of the SPV. This approach would leverage synergies and technological expertise that McLaren alone might not possess. The recent consolidation of McLaren’s ownership under the Bahrain sovereign wealth fund, Mumtalakat, could facilitate such partnerships by providing stability and potential stake offerings to future collaborators.

McLaren’s move towards hybrid and electric vehicles marks a strategic evolution aimed at unlocking the company’s full potential. The SPV and the electric supercar represent McLaren’s ambition to cater to a broader audience while maintaining its reputation for high-performance, innovative engineering.

As the automotive industry continues to evolve, McLaren’s willingness to adapt and innovate ensures that it remains at the forefront of performance and luxury. With these upcoming models, McLaren is poised to redefine its legacy and set new standards in the world of high-performance vehicles.

Source: Car and Driver

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