It's been a tumultuous year for the British automaker.
The surprising report from a few days ago that Audi had acquired McLaren was hastily denied by the British automaker in an official statement, confirming that there was "no change in the ownership structure of the McLaren Group." It was also reported that BMW was interested in buying McLaren, which the German automaker denied. Based on the latest reports from the last two days, the story isn't over yet and something is certainly brewing.
According to Reuters, two separate sources confirmed that a partnership between Volkswagen's Audi and McLaren was discussed at an Audi supervisory board meeting on Wednesday.
The partnership, although discussed, will likely take until next year to be decided upon. VW allegedly spoke of plans to make inroads into Formula 1, something that McLaren could certainly help with. Over at Autocar, another source contradicted Reuters, saying that BMW is a potential bidder after all.
The maker of the 3 Series continues to deny that this is true, but it could simply be that discussions haven't evolved to the point of BMW wanting to acknowledge any of it officially. In all cases, it seems as though these discussions with McLaren are F1-related, but it's said that the talks have progressed to include road cars too.
Audi has been more open to a McLaren partnership than BMW, saying that it was "consistently exploring different cooperation ideas." While the speculation continues to run rampant, another shake-up at McLaren wouldn't come as a huge surprise at this point. The company suffered severe financial losses and had to cut jobs as a result of the pandemic, and in April, it sold its headquarters in Woking, England. Then, in October, Mike Flewitt stepped down as the company's CEO. With new supercars on the way and a potential partnership looming with one or more of the German juggernauts, the future of this iconic brand will be interesting to watch in the months ahead.