British supercar maker McLaren has had many successful collaborations over the years. Remember when Lewis Hamilton won his first Formula 1 world title through his partnership with Mercedes or the consecutive F1 wins he took with Honda? It sounds like McLaren is reviving its relationship with BMW in the name of electric supercars.
According to a report from Motor, woking-based McLaren is looking at a deal with BMW that could lead to the development of the British marque’s first all-electric supercars. If that partnership sounds familiar and exciting, it’s because BMW and McLaren have a history of working well together: In 1992, McLaren used a BMW-built V12 in the F1 supercar, which for nearly 15 years was the world’s fastest production car with a top speed from 386 km/h.
Now it looks like the two companies could come together again to develop electric powertrains and lightweight chassis that will be used to create EV supercars of the future. Motor suggests McLaren will work with BMW’s M division to create key components for “a modular all-electric sports car/supercar/hypercar.”
The site reports that a “memorandum of understanding” has been signed by the two companies. This would allow BMW to help McLaren develop an all-electric powertrain. At the same time, McLaren would share its “strengths such as high-performance carbon fiber applications, lightweight design, and excellent vehicle dynamics,” Motor reports.
It’s a tie that makes perfect sense when you think about it. BMW has made some pretty formidable engines over the years and continues to develop electric powertrains and adapt them to models like the new i4 and the all-new 7 Series.
McLaren, meanwhile, has made a name for itself with super-lightweight cars built around carbon fiber tubs. Fun fact, those fairings are now being built in Sheffield, 150 miles from the McLaren Technology Center and exactly where I grew up.
But this is not the first plague of an electric future at McLaren. Earlier this year, the company started its first season of the all-electric Extreme E racing series, and the company recently announced plans to buy the Mercedes Formula E team.
In addition to an all-electric McLaren of the future, Motor also suggests that the deal will allow BMW to supply engines for McLaren’s upcoming gas-powered models.
As Motor reports: “Between now and 2030, McLaren’s product portfolio is unlikely to change dramatically. But the company needs a new V8 that is EU7 compliant and strong enough to power future super and ultimate hybrid models, and it must ensure that Artura can defy the F286 and the next Huracan.”
Does this mean we’ll ever see a BMW M-powered successor to the McLaren Speedtail? That sounds very exciting.
There is one potential speed bump: the ever-threatening presence of the VW Group and its ambitions to enter Formula 1.
Through Audi, the VW group has often alluded to its goal of joining F1, reporting to Audi that it had bought McLaren’s F1 team. But that’s a claim the Woking-based company has always denied.
Via Motor Authority.