McLaren And BMW Join Forces, But Not To Build A Supercar


McLaren wants to build more powerful engines that pollute less and has enlisted BMW's help.

McLaren has announced a partnership with five companies, and one UK university, “to design and develop technology for the next generation of powertrains.” One of the companies working on the project is none other than the BMW Group. For the past few years rumors about a new BMW-McLaren supercar have been swirling. The English supercar company put the kibosh on such talk last fall, and it’s easy to see why. The company is doing just fine on its own, selling 3,286 cars in 2016, a 99.3% increase in sales from 2015.

The goal of McLaren’s new project is to increase the output per capacity of its engines while reducing emissions. More powerful engines that pollute less sounds like an oxymoron but with all the engine tech being developed nowadays such a goal isn’t impossible to achieve. In a statement attached to the announcement, McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt described how the partnership fits into the automaker’s ambitious Track22 plan. “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,” Flewitt said.

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What remains unknown is what BMW will get out of this whole thing. It probably won’t be anything tangible, like a new engine or engine technology. The Bavarians are likely just along for the chance to split costs on research. (Sweet, sweet cost savings.) The wait for McLaren’s new powertrain tech shouldn’t be long. Track22, as the name suggests, is to be fully implemented by 2022.