Lightning strikes again with BMW McLaren partnership

They’ve done it before with the McLaren F1, and it was a success, but can lightning strike twice for the newly announced collaboration between McLaren and BMW to develop new engine technology?

The primary objective of the new technology is to achieve a higher output per capacity while keeping CO2 emissions as low as possible, and is expected to show up as early as 2020 in BMW and McLaren engines respectively.

We could speculate and say that this partnership will result in a mean next-generation M6 or, more likely, BMW is secretly planning a thoroughbred supercar. Something to compete with the likes of the Audi R8 and the Mercedes AMG-GTR; but then again, just speculation.

Headed by McLaren Automotive, the collaboration involves McLaren’s existing engine manufacturing partner Ricardo, BMW Group and Grainger and Worrall, which will deliver lightweight casting technology, as well as the University of Bath, which has “advanced research and development capabilities in internal combustion engine systems efficiency”, said McLaren.

The total cost of the project sits around R480m, including a R240m contribution by the British Government. The remaining R240m is split between the project collaborators in undisclosed portions.

”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.” said McLaren Automotive boss, Mike Flewitt.

He continued to say: “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.”

A BMW spokesman added: “We are pleased to be part of this project, which plays to the strengths of all partners. McLaren Automotive and BMW Group have exceptional reputations for building the world’s finest engines. The further development of low CO2 combustion technology is important for the BMW Group as part of our Efficient Dynamics Strategy.”

The next chapter in McLaren’s Track 22 plan is the arrival of their new 650S replacement, the McLaren P14, which will make its debut at the Geneva motor show next month.

Industry News

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