Could Honda Power McLaren Sportscars?

Rumor / Comments

Following the announcement that Honda is returning to F1 with McLaren, speculation begins to mount of a potential road-car engine partnership as well.

With Honda confirmed to be rekindling its partnership with McLaren in returning to F1, it was only a matter of time before the speculation would erupt that the collaboration could extend to road cars as well. And now our friends at Jalopnik have done just that. The speculation surrounds McLaren's upcoming smaller sportscar with which it hopes to compete with the upper end of the Porsche 911 family - a model previously projected to use a detuned version of the V8 in the MP4-12C and P1.

The problem with that plan would be the cost of producing the high-revving 3.8-liter V8 for a less expensive car, not to mention the added weight it would carry. The solution, as Jalopnik suggests, would be to have Honda build McLaren a turbo V6 – like the one it's set to provide for grand prix racing, only for the road. The idea is not without merit, nor is it without precedent. The last time Honda powered McLaren, the former borrowed the latter's driver Ayrton Senna to help with the development of the NSX. And when McLaren was still tied to Mercedes, the two collaborated on the SLR in all its many iterations. Could the new McLaren-Honda partnership follow down a similar path?

Patrick Gosling
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