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You can add McLaren to the list of luxury and sports car companies to say it will not build an SUV, the automaker's CEO Mike Flewitt telling Bloomberg, "We need to remain very focused. McLaren is a sports car brand and that's exactly what we're going to remain." In spite of those words, in order to save his voice, Flewitt should get business cards made printed with that response, since the question will certainly keep being asked. And if the coming Lamborghini and Bentley SUVs do well, observers will expect Flewitt's ideas on the subject to "evolve," no matter what he or Ron Dennis says publicly.

The evolution we refer to has taken place at BMW, which was never going to make a M version of its SUVs, and Porsche, which said it wouldn't make an SUV smaller than the Cayenne. Furthermore, there's Rolls-Royce, whose CEO said the company hadn't even considered an SUV because it wouldn't fit the brand's values, meanwhile rumors abounded that the company was gauging customer reaction to a sketch of a concept SUV adorned with the Spirit of Ecstasy. And five months later that same CEO said the company was "intesively thinking" about building one. Those are but few and recent examples. If McLaren doesn't waver, it will join Ferrari as the only pure-sports car company holdouts.


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  • 29 Comments
      IBx27
      • 10 Months Ago
      As soon as a car company says "we don't make SUV's," you know there is a concept for the auto show two years from that statement.
      Terry Actill
      • 10 Months Ago
      2018 CEO Mike Flewitt proudly announces the introduction of the McLaren 980T suv...
      sodamninsane
      • 10 Months Ago
      Type your comment hereSUV's certainly won't help there CAFE case in a few years but I wonder if McLaren can actually make enough money off such small volumes to support there R&D and warranty costs. Ferrari is propped up by fiat, and sells all of it's wares to other marques in order to remain a "pure" sports car manufacturer, so it doesn't really matter if it makes money or not, but McLaren is largely a standalone outfit, making the small volume case much harder for them.
      EJD1984
      • 10 Months Ago
      I wish Porsche had said that prior to the 2002 Cayenne
      Ross
      • 10 Months Ago
      Well, if Mclaren can stay true to its heritage, there is no reason filthy-rich Porsche can't do the same...Producing the Cayenne to help fund Cayman and 911 seems like a very cheap excuse to me.
      Derek Sanders
      • 10 Months Ago
      McLaren has always been a niche brand built on glorious F1 roots, Porsche is now more of a mainstream brand courtesy of the folks over at VW group who want profits on profits. However, you can't really blame them, we all go into business to make money and if the demand for a certain type of product is high you'd definitely consider it. As long as the Cayenne and Macan are quality products, the purists should eventually get over it. But the boys in Woking do have a different agenda, first they're still in the toddler stage of entering into higher volume selling. Before the MP4, they didn't really have a model readily available to the public. So they still need to have staying power in the market before even thinking about venturing off into SUV land.
        PatTheCarNut
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Derek Sanders
        People need to stop blaming (or giving credit, depending on which side of the fence you're on) VAG for Porsche's place in the markets they are in. They were heading for mainstream before Wiedeking tried to eff VW in the butt. Do you think they WEREN'T planning the Panamera, Cayenne range and Macan before VW took over? I assure you they were. Models are years in development. VW stepping in just helped them become reality much sooner with the benefit and stability of a large group and better top management. And Porsche has ALWAYS been about profit and has, with exception of a few years, been EXTREMELY profitable. VW gets dumped on for taking them away from Sports Cars, but Porsche was WELL on it's way to a larger line up and one I am thankful for, with or without VW.
        PatTheCarNut
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Derek Sanders
        People need to stop blaming (or giving credit, depending on which side of the fence you're on) VAG for Porsche's place in the markets they are in. They were heading for mainstream before Wiedeking tried to eff VW in the butt. Do you think they WEREN'T planning the Panamera, Cayenne range and Macan before VW took over? I assure you they were. Models are years in development. VW stepping in just helped them become reality much sooner with the benefit and stability of a large group and better top management. And Porsche has ALWAYS been about profit and has, with exception of a few years, been EXTREMELY profitable. VW gets dumped on for taking them away from Sports Cars, but Porsche was WELL on it's way to a larger line up and one I am thankful for, with or without VW.
      ashwats
      • 10 Months Ago
      I would like McLaren to build the ultimate SUV, not the SAV or CUV. It should be rugged and purpose built unlike 'sport car of that segment'!....
        no1bondfan
        • 10 Months Ago
        @ashwats
        Basically, a Dakar-ready vehicle, but street legal. That could be awesome.
      PlanB
      • 10 Months Ago
      C'mon McLaren do it - dropping the kids off at school would instantly become 1000% more exciting.
      tbird57w
      • 10 Months Ago
      thank heaven! they need to work getting this ugly yellow thing right first.
      ScottT
      • 10 Months Ago
      I think saying that Ferrari never built a non sports car is a bit debatable. Pininfarina made a few sedans and wagons for the 456 which were factory approved (pininfarina made all the bodies for the 456). And I'm not sure that I would consider the Ferrari FF a pure sports car. No doubt it's fast, but that doesn't necessarily make it a sport car.
      ksrcm
      • 10 Months Ago
      There are many "Last famous words" out there. One that comes into my mind ... "M cars will never have turbo charged engine". :)
        westlake10
        • 10 Months Ago
        @ksrcm
        I tend to agree. Although I understand the "no SUV" sentiment, I think it has done wonders for companies like Porsche who are able to springboard off the profits of their volume-selling SUVs. I'm pretty much in favor of whatever will assist McLaren in continuing to make world-class sports cars (not to mention McLaren over the last few years really is a welcome alternative to the usual Ferrari and Lamborghini) not that I can afford any of them ;)
      carguy1701
      • 10 Months Ago
      We'll see how long that attitude lasts. Lest we forget, Porsche was in the red when they started developing the Cayenne, and now, they make handy profit on every one they sell.
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