Since November 2010 there is a discussion about why McLaren Automotive doesn’t have a Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV). And still on because, this year, it has informed that there is no sunshine for it.
Initially, car factories have been developing and improving new techniques to produce with more quantity and quality. One the best moment in history was the Fordism, where according to Ford’s website:
“One hundred years ago today, Henry Ford and his team at Highland Park assembly plant launched the world’s greatest contribution to manufacturing – the first moving assembly line. It simplified assembly of the Ford Model T’s 3,000 parts by breaking it into 84 distinct steps performed by groups of workers as a rope pulled the vehicle chassis down the line. The new process revolutionized production and dropped the assembly time for a single vehicle from 12 hours to about 90 minutes.”
McLaren is well-known for applying in their sports car the carbon fibre material. For this reason, it has been working for to manager how to produce it with more efficiency:
“It took 4,000 hours to make each carbon fibre chassis on the McLaren F1. Twenty years of innovation later, it takes just four hours to produce the MonoCell that makes the McLaren 650S feel so special.”
As expected, the SUV-McLaren have to have a carbon fibre tub, in the same way as the Project 15 (P15), the McLaren Senna. Even though the British team has found how to reduce time on the assembly line, there are two others factors that should be considered. How much it will cost to have a specific carbon-fiber monocoque cell to deal with the extra size, weight, and off-road abilities – despite there is a McLaren with four-wheel-drive, the McLaren Vision Gran Turismo concept, in an SUV.
Taking as an example, and an unfair comparative between Bentley Bentayga W12 and McLaren P1, give a dimension of this challenge. The W12 is, in terms of overall length, 553 mm longer, the wheelbase is 312 mm bigger and 990 kilos heavier, and about the trunk capacity, the 310-litre more.
Moreover, it involves how to adapt and reshape the design around it, because to introduce a conventionally opening door for an SUV in a McLaren, is to breakthrough the philosophy from the past, for example, the MP4-12C’s dihedral doors.
The second fact is the update the entry-level Project 13 (P13), the McLaren 570S. The P13 was released in 2015, and already demands a revamp in terms of horsepower and design to be close to the new-model like the McLaren 720S (P14), because, this Sports Series not only helped to increase sales for Woking-based firm, also reinforced the image of mid-engined V8 layout, where respected the history from the Formula 1 and Canadian-American Challenge Cup (Can-Am) race cars.
For last, McLaren should aim in a full electric Ultimate Series in their lineup. The next Ultimate Series is going to be the BP23 and It is a hybrid-hypercar-Longtail. In contrast, in the nineties the BMW S70/2 V12 was supreme. What has changed? The downsize could one responsible for that where, today, the V8 is made in-house.
Today is mandatory to be eco-friendly as much as possible, the transition comes to switch the petrol-engine to batteries pack technology won’t be a daunting task because there is a knowledge that has been obtained by the Formula E during season two and seasons five and six, could be a point to start to implement.
McLaren Automotive was founded in 2010, and there is time to produce an SUV.