Merging with a big German automaker is almost certain to make it a reality.
Late last month, McLaren teased its first-ever SUV, albeit one meant for off-road racing rather than mainstream markets. This came as something of a shock, but it should be no surprise that the financially unstable creator of Ferrari-rivaling supercars would be keen to gauge the reactions of its biggest fans before introducing something that could solve its liquidity problems. Speaking of which, it was incorrectly reported last week that McLaren would be taken over by Audi, something that the Woking-based supercar company was quick to deny. However, a merger with the German giant is not completely off the table, and that got us thinking: What if McLaren created an SUV based on the Audi RS Q8?
Such a thing may seem grotesque and unnatural, but Ferrari is set to launch its own SUV in the Purosangue, and the Bentayga has helped Bentley shift thousands more units and generate millions more in revenue just as the Cayenne before it did for Porsche. If McLaren is to be taken over by a mainstream automaker like Audi or BMW, it would make sense for the British brand to rummage in its new partner's parts bins to save money on development costs. Thus, we imagine McLaren's first SUV being something trendy, launching with a sloped roofline a-la Lamborghini Urus, Aston Martin DBX, et al.
While the RS Q8 has a mightily impressive engine to offer, it is proliferated across the aforementioned SUV offerings from other VW-owned brands. If McLaren wants its SUV to stand out from the crowd, it needs to provide a unique experience, and making its 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 work in an SUV could be a start down the right path. Obviously, it would make no sense for the engine to be a masterpiece if the big Mac can't put its power down, so we predict that the McLaren SUV will be the brand's first car with all-wheel drive. Yes, this is all rather disappointing to contemplate, and an obnoxious super crossover is not something we want in this world, but if it means saving McLaren from financial ruin, we'll grin and bear it.