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McLaren Refuses To Punch Down To Grab More Sales

Industry News / 12 Comments

Good news for Porsche.

More McLarens wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing for the world, but don't expect any new model to sit below the Sport Series' 540C. This news comes straight from the company, specifically chief designer Robert Melville. Speaking to Autocar, Melville said a possible Porsche Cayman GT4 rival is "a step too far." In terms of limits, even the 570S (which we recently reviewed) is a bit too low-end for the company. "You look at Ferrari. They are coming from very high end. This [the 570S] is stretching us down to R8s and 911s and is as low as we'd want to come."

Now by nature people think of McLaren and Porsche as two very different companies, as one has a wide lineup and a ton of sales and the other is smaller and solely performance-oriented. That being said, the Cayman GT4 is no slouch. The not-quite 911 boasts a 3.8-liter flat-six pulled from the current Carrera S that is good for 385 horsepower. It makes the 0 to 60 mph sprint in 4.2 seconds and tops out on the track at 183 mph. The baby McLaren won't be sold in the United States but is set to be available everywhere else in the world. Even though it's the little one of the lineup the mid-engine supercar is still, well, super. It has a 533-horsepower 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 engine sending power to the rear wheels.

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Its top speed is 199 mph which is damn fast for the low-end of any lineup.The biggest difference between the two would be price, with the McLaren 540C selling for around $160,000 and the Cayman GT4 starting at a mere $84,600. Of course you could opt for the Clubsport version if you wanted to even up the pricing playing field. Anyway, we think it makes sense for McLaren to stay out of Cayman territory. Making new derivatives of existing models allows the automaker to expand its lineup without diluting the brand, a fear all ultra-luxury car companies share. Ferrari has shown it can be done, but it is certainly the exception to the rule.