McLaren Cars has historically been known for their two-door, mid engine supercars that can seat two occupants - or three, including driver, in the case of the F1. That’s been their bread and butter up until now, but that may soon change.
Not drastically, however. Supercar makers such as Ferrari and Lamborghini have at least toyed producing other types of cars. Still fast ones, yes, but different - such as the upcoming Aston Martin DBX, Lamborghini Urus, Ferrari FF.
While we’re on the FF, it seems that McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt’s comment on a possible new model at the Shanghai Motor Show sounds like it could play out similarly to Ferrari’s four-seat GT. He was asked by AutoExpress if their portfolio could include a four-seater at some point.
While Flewitt was open to the idea off one day producing a four-seater McLaren, a four-door super saloon is a notion he dismissed outright, which contrarily was the route chosen by Porsche and Aston Martin with the Panamera and Rapide in part to compete with the Maserati Quattroporte at the time of their introduction.
“We’d look at it, see if it’s what the market wants and see if it would still have the driving attributes that you’d want from our cars – you would have to use a slightly longer wheelbase so you would lose a little of the agility that’s there. But if what you got back was more attractive than what else is in that segment then maybe, yes.”
Since a four-seat McLaren that’s also mid-engined wouldn’t make sense from a packaging perspective, a 2+2 GT would still throw the Woking-based automaker into uncharted territory. Thus far, the only front-engine car they produced was the SLR in close collaboration with Mercedes-Benz.
Should that pass the initial prototype phase, the way in which McLaren would execute this new model would need to be handled with precision, done so that the car and its positioning remain congruent with the McLaren brand and the rest of their cars.
The new flagship in their Super Series, the 720S that was launched at the Geneva Motor Show last month to replace the 650S, has been selling out order books for the modest production numbers the hand built cars can be rolled out the factory. Flewitt revealed at in the short period since its unveil, over 1,400 orders have been placed, with deliveries already stretched into 2018.
The Shanghai Motor Show marks introduction of the 720S into the Chinese market, and those numbers are expected to swell once again. Though it’s possible that a 2+2 GT would expand McLaren to new buyers, one might has to wonder if there’s enough of an impetus for them to do so at all.