Our reporters empty their notebooks to round up this week’s gossip from across the automotive industry
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.”
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.
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.”