For the time being, McLaren and Honda will soon work together in F1, but will this relationship expand off the track as well?
Don’t get too excited just yet, but it’s possible that McLaren and Honda will extend their F1 collaboration off-track by joining forces in road car technologies. If anyone recalls, Honda will return to F1 in 2015 as an engine supplier to McLaren Racing. The two automakers have worked together in the past, notably from 1988 until 1992, and the relationship even back then was positive. Now there’s word that the two car makers may also begin to jointly develop road car technology together.
Don’t get your hopes up too high for any sort of Honda-McLaren road car in the near future. McLaren Group CEO Martin Whitmarsh stated that “Our road car strategy at the moment has no other automotive partner and Honda would be a good place to collaborate.” Does this mean that Honda will be involved in the upcoming Porsche 911-rivaling McLaren P13? No, but nothing is being ruled out for the future. For example, the MP4-12C, launched in 2011, will need to be replaced at some point, and Honda just so happens to be currently working on a supercar of its own, the new NSX.
The latter will feature a ton of new technologies that could be of some interest to McLaren. Honda could also benefit from McLaren due to the latter’s vast knowledge of lightweight carbon fiber construction. Nothing is set in stone just yet, but Whitmarsh did also mention that "We’re open to that (technology sharing) and so are they." This could be the beginning of something great.