Could a McLaren SUV Be On the Way to Challenge Ferrari and Lamborghini?

Ferrari is doing it. Lamborghini did it. So did Aston Martin. All of these supercar manufacturers are now diving into making SUVs, so why not McLaren? McLaren has been making supercars since the 1980s and today makes several low-slung, usually orange, hyper-, and supercars that will draw a crowd wherever they park. It’s also a successful Formula 1 constructor. For several months now internet sleuths have been trying to find out if McLaren is working on an SUV and several awkward-looking drawings have appeared. The Urus is Lamborghini’s most successful model ever, and many say that the Cayenne saved Porsche 20 years ago. So, what could a McLaren SUV be like?

Like Ferrari, McLaren is a racing company that makes roadgoing cars

McLaren makes race cars and supercars for the road. Could a new McLaren SUV be on the horizon?
Lando Norris of Great Britain driving the McLaren MCL36 | Formula 1 via Getty Images

McLaren is a racing company at its core. Like Ferrari. It makes Formula 1 cars, Indy cars, and a wild Extreme E, EV, off-road racer. Those racing cars created a demand for car nerds to want roadgoing cars. While McLaren did make some rare one-off cars, it didn’t really build steam until 2015. The company breaks them up into fast, faster, and fastest with the 570-series cars, the 650 and now 720-series cars, and the ultimate cars like the P1 and the Senna. McLaren’s numbers reflect the cars’ metric horsepower numbers.

So what could a McLaren SUV be like?

McLaren makes an off-road racer for the Extreme E series. Could a McLaren SUV take cues from this racer?
McLaren’s Extreme E race car | McLaren

Dozens of writers have said a new McLaren SUV is inevitable. Sure, at one point the CEO of McLaren said that it would never build an SUV, but so did Ferrari’s old CEO, too. Today, all of McLaren’s cars have been two- or three-seaters (with the driver in the middle). So, the company has no design language for an SUV. Neither does Ferrari. But, McLaren’s cars are dominated by their engines being in the middle, so that means big air ducts. The front ends are swoopy and low, so we could expect that with the company’s sleek LED lights, and of course it would have to be fast.

McLaren cars are hybrids, so an SUV would likely be, too

A green-and-black 2021 McLaren 765LT Spider with its roof down
2021 McLaren 765LT Spider | McLaren

Ferrari is leaning on its heritage with the new Purosangue SUV and reportedly fitting a gasoline V12 engine in it. McLaren is a new company, compared to Ferrari, and its cars are known for high-power gas engine paired with even higher-powered electric motors. SUVs, and especially four-wheel-drive SUVs, are great for hybrid power because they’re bigger and there’s more room for batteries and 4×4 systems. Already, several McLarens are all-wheel drive.

The competition will be fierce

Lamborghini Urus in the dirt. Will McLaren build an SUV to compete?
Lamborhini Urus | Lamborghini

The Lamborghini Urus, the upcoming Ferrari Purosangue and the Aston Martin DBX are serious performance SUVs. The Urus quickly became the company’s best-selling vehicle ever. Since 2018 the Urus has graced the covers of magazines and been flaunted on Instagram by celebrities. It’s ridiculously quick, but it does that fitting a big turbocharged V8, not a big V10 or V12 like its sports cars.

The Aston Martin DBX starts at $176,00 and has 697 horsepower. It was launched in 2020 and the SUV was designed to be just as capable as its roadgoing supercars, just taller. Ferrari hasn’t released specs on the new Purosangue SUV. But it’s expected to be a beast. It will likely be built on the four-seat Roma platform, but it will be more SUV-like than car-like and have more passenger space and more cargo room than any other Ferrari.

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