McLaren have been big on rekindling past relationships recently. After its Formula 1 team’s (as yet) unsuccessful partnership with Honda, McLaren Automotive will be hoping that its next technical partnership will prove to be more successful. McLaren and BMW are to team up for the development of powertrains which will underpin future McLaren cars.
The history between the two brands includes the revered McLaren F1 which was fitted with a BMW-source V12 power unit. In recent times, the McLaren Automotive brand aligned itself with fierce rival, Mercedes-Benz. With this relationship cooled, the timing seems right to revitalise a formula that proved very successful to McLaren 20 years ago!
This time around, McLaren are partnering with BMW and a number of other brands to produce a higher performance combustion powertrain. We are told that it is anticipated that the new technology will deliver a higher output per capacity than currently possible with conventional technology. Another key aim of the project is to facilitate CO2 reductions.
The project, which is supported and part-funded by the UK Government through its Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), will be led by McLaren Automotive but involves six partners. McLaren Automotive will work with Ricardo and BMW Group as engine manufacturing partners while Grainger and Worrall will deliver complex, lightweight casting technology. Lentus Composites will contribute knowledge in specialist composite structures.
Experts from the University of Bath will also advise on advanced research and development capabilities in internal combustion engine systems.
Chief Executive Officer of McLaren Automotive, Mike Flewitt, said: “This is an exciting project that plays to the strengths of all partners. McLaren Automotive has an exceptional reputation for building the world’s finest engines, as showcased by our M838T and its previous category wins in the International Engine of the Year awards. We will continue to independently design and build our own engines, and the benefits of this project will help us accelerate the development of our next generation of powertrain, as confirmed in our recently-announced Track22 business plan.”