Exotic Cars

McLaren's customers don't even want a SUV

McLaren's CEO tells Top Gear that his company is fine on its current course.

Nick Miotke/Roadshow

Lamborghini has one. Ferrari and Aston Martin reportedly have one each in the works. Porsche has two. But when it comes to a future McLaren SUV, don't hold your breath.

Top Gear caught up with McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt recently, and the two discussed the prospect of a sport utility vehicle with a McLaren badge. Flewitt, in no uncertain terms, told Top Gear that it's not going to happen any time soon, or ever: "There's more than enough SUVs in the world," Flewitt said. "[A]nd we don't need another one."

This look wouldn't translate well to something with a 7-inch ride height.

Nick Miotke/Roadshow

Flewitt gave Top Gear three separate ways in which he believes SUVs and McLaren don't mix. The first focuses on the brand itself: "[A]n SUV is only going to dilute the McLaren brand," Flewitt told Top Gear. "SUVs are great, they have their place, but they're not great drivers' cars."

The second and third are equally straightforward. Flewitt explained to Top Gear that McLaren doesn't have a parent company with a built-in SUV skill set, so the company would have to start from scratch, which leads to the third reason -- money. Flewitt remarked to Top Gear that starting from scratch would be hugely expensive, and thus, the company likely wouldn't make any money on a McLaren-branded SUV.

"After all that, why the hell would we do this?" Flewitt said in his Top Gear interview. He also pointed out that customer demand for such a vehicle is low, so it's hardly worth even making a case for one. If the customers are happy buying up regular ol' supercars at breakneck pace (McLaren's sales have been impressive, given their high price tags), why change the status quo?

Consumer preference for SUVs has pushed well beyond mass-market segments. Everybody wants high-sided conveyance these days, which is why Bentley and Rolls-Royce are happy to supply six-figure utes that make the Range Rover look like something out of a Toyota dealership. McLaren may eventually come around if it can make a solid business case for doing so, but based on Top Gear's interview, it appears the company is plenty content at the moment.