Our reporters empty their notebooks to round up this week's gossip from across the automotive industry
17 April 2018

​This week's snippets of automotive news include news on McLaren's SUV, Citroen Cactus, BMW on autonomy and Mercedes' design. 

McLaren SUV: 

McLaren continues to scoff at speculation that it will follow the lead of its performance car rivals by building an SUV. During a recent media event, and with tongue firmly in cheek, McLaren officials flashed up a US publication’s rendering of a prospective McLaren-badged SUV on a screen.

“I’m not the first person to point out that sports utility vehicles are neither sporty nor utilitarian,” said McLaren’s engineering design boss, Dan Parry-Williams. “In terms of our philosophy of ‘everything for a reason’, I don’t get it.”

Citroen Cactus: 

Cactus is a model, not a range of cars, according to Citroën boss Linda Jackson. When the C4 Cactus was first shown in 2014, it prompted speculation that Citroën may make Cactus versions of all its models. “Cactus is a model,” Jackson said. “It might have inspired us, but it’s definitely a model. There’s only one brand: Citroën.”

BMW on autonomy: 

The amount of testing required to fully develop an autonomous car will be about 50 million kilometres, which is 10 times the amount done for the latest 5 Series, according to BMW development boss Klaus Fröhlich.

Mercedes design:

The Mercedes board has freed up its designers to take more risks in terms of styling, according to the firm’s interior design chief, Hartmut Sinkwitz. He said that approach was allowing Mercedes to make more ‘emotional’ interiors than rivals: “The Mercedes board trusts us to get things right and be bolder, which allows us to go for a more expressive design.”

Our Verdict

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Comments
4

17 April 2018

Actually theres 2 Citroen brands if you include the daft idea of making DS a separate brand. Maybe if they dropped DS and concentrated on Citroen we could have some better cars ?

XXXX just went POP.

17 April 2018
typos1 wrote:

Actually theres 2 Citroen brands if you include the daft idea of making DS a separate brand. Maybe if they dropped DS and concentrated on Citroen we could have some better cars ?

DS was basically their competitor to MINI with the DS3.

Expand that to a couple of crossovers and a big 'executive' hatchback the DS5.

A shame they won't fit the new Cactus comfortable suspension to the DS5, which was panned as it did the unforgivable of being an uncomfortably suspensioned big French car.

17 April 2018

That headline got me worried then, thank god there's at least one company holding out! 

17 April 2018
Mikey C wrote:

That headline got me worried then, thank god there's at least one company holding out! 

I had an argument with an Autocar writer here not too long ago, and I will repeat what I said to him to you:

Dan is an engineer but not the boss - like Ferrari, McLaren is now beholden to global shareholders. The Autocar writer argued, rather flimsily I might add, that because all/most of its cars share the same basic platform a SUV would incur enormous costs - so in other words McLaren will remain a one-trick pony??? I don't believe they won't have access to funds for a new platform. That's just nonsense. Can they survive as they do now indefinitely? I'm not saying they have to produce SUVs, but I don't think they can survive solely on supercars either...

Watch this space in 3 to 5 years time.

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