CEO of McLaren Automotive confirms plans for SUV in the works

Road & Track recently interviewed McLaren Automotive CEO Michael Leiters in an effort to understand his vision for returning the carmaking operation to the top of the charts. Leiter, who has been in his role since late 2022, has been working on fixing various organizational issues, delays with models like the Artura, and securing enough funding to keep the business afloat. Despite making great cars, McLaren has struggled in recent years, with models like the 750S and 765LT carrying the weight of the brand’s aspiration while others like the GTS and Artura have failed to impress.

**Lightweight EV Supercar Innovation**
Leiters believes that one way for McLaren to regain its place at the forefront of the automotive industry is by producing a lightweight EV supercar. This project is currently in development, with a target weight of around 3,300 pounds, similar to the Artura PHEV. By creating a supercar that offers exceptional performance while remaining lightweight, Leiters hopes to set McLaren apart from its competitors. This innovative approach could potentially revolutionize the supercar market.

**Exploring the SUV Market**
In addition to the lightweight EV supercar project, McLaren is also working on a vehicle with “shared performance,” indicating that it will be capable of carrying more than two people. Leiters mentioned the possibility of developing a plug-in hybrid SUV based on a McLaren engine, while also considering potential partnerships with other automakers to enhance the project. By venturing into the SUV market, McLaren aims to tap into a new segment of consumers while maintaining the brand’s core values and DNA.

**Challenges and Opportunities**
Leiters addressed several challenges and opportunities facing McLaren, such as the balance between serial production and limited editions, the viability of an EV supercar in a changing market, and the potential for the next Ultimate Series car to be rear-wheel-drive despite its increased power. By navigating these challenges and seizing opportunities for innovation, McLaren can potentially revitalize its brand and regain its status as a leader in the supercar industry.

**Future Outlook**
Leiters’ vision for McLaren’s future involves a strategic focus on supercars and Ultimate Series cars, with an emphasis on cutting-edge technology, performance, and design. By staying true to the brand’s core values while exploring new avenues for growth and innovation, McLaren has the potential to reclaim its position at the top of the automotive world. Leiters’ bold ideas and commitment to excellence signal a promising future for McLaren as it continues to push the boundaries of automotive engineering and design.

In conclusion, the interview with McLaren CEO Michael Leiters sheds light on the brand’s current challenges, future opportunities, and innovative projects in the pipeline. By staying true to its core values while embracing new technologies and market trends, McLaren is poised to make a comeback and solidify its position as a top player in the supercar industry. Stay tuned for exciting developments from McLaren as they work towards reshaping the future of automotive excellence.

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