McLaren's upcoming Sports Series family of "entry level" models will help deliver a big sales boost to the British supercar maker, as the brand lines up rivals like the Audi R8 V10, Porsche 911 Turbo and Lamborghini Huracan in its gunsights.
In Melbourne to help launch McLaren's new showroom space in Southbank, McLaren Automotive’s Executive Director of Global Sales and Marketing Jolyon Nash says the Sports Series family will be a huge sales driver.
"It will provide more volume than a 650S, for sure," Nash said.
"In our long-term plans at McLaren, we anticipate that we should see some healthy growth.
But that growth won't come at the expense of chasing big volumes, as McLaren is keen to hold on to its image as an ultra-exclusive brand.
"If our volumes double over the next two years we’ll be happy. So if we’re selling between 3000-3500 cars a year in 2016 and 2017 we’ll be very happy, but we’ll still be very exclusive," he said.
"What the Sports Series will do is sell in a segment below the 650S and will attract new customers to the McLaren brand."
The Sports Series range will comprise three different bodystyles, with a coupe, convertible and fastbacked "GT" expected to be offered.
Technological details remain under wraps, but the car's carbon chassis is expected to differ from that used by the 650S, while the engine will be based on the turbocharged 3.8 litre V8 used by the 12C, 650S and P1, albeit in a lower state of tune.
Nash also reiterated that McLaren won't ever branch out into other more prosaic types of vehicles like four-door grand-tourers or SUVs, unlike some of its competitors.
"I don’t think you’ll ever see a McLaren SUV, I can’t imagine it," he told TMR.
"We will stay true to what McLaren is. It’s a sports car company, a supercar company, and that’s what we’ll focus on."
Asked if that meant a low-slung fast four-door was also off the cards, Nash conceded that it wasn't likely.
"You can never say never, but I can’t imagine it. I can’t imagine a McLaren with four doors or five doors, or even three doors," he said.
"I think the success of any strong brand is understanding what the brand represents and understanding what the customers expect of the brand and to be true to that.
"It’s very easy to dilute the brand over time as you maybe shift to meet certain trends in the market, and I don’t think that’s McLaren.
"We’re a racing car company, our DNA is all in Formula One, we’re all about high-performance cars."
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