McLaren and BMW have worked together before on the co-development of a product, most famously the McLaren F1 of the early ’90s which was powered by a 6.1 litre, naturally-aspirated BMW V12 engine, the S70/2. Starting with the 627 hp road car engine which later racked up numerous race wins, most notably at Le Mans, the two companies are now working together again to improve the internal combustion engine.
The new collaborative venture between BMW and McLaren is supported and partly funded by the government of the United Kingdom, through the Advanced Propulsion Centre, which will also help improve the UK’s abiility to develop and produce low-CO2 internal combustion engine techonology.
Led by McLaren Automotive, the project involves a total of six partners, including McLaren’s existing engine manufacturing partner, Ricardo, alongside the BMW Group. Grainger and Worrall will develop “complex, lightweight casting technology,” doubtlessly drawing from their experience in manufacturing engine block for Formula 1 teams.
Lentus Composites will contribute their knowhow in composite structures, while the University of Bath lends their research and development capabilities in internal combustion systems efficiency.
“This is an exciting project that plays to the strengths of all partners. McLaren Automotive has an exceptional reputation for building the world’s finest engines, as showcased by our M838T and its previous category wins in the International Engine of the Year awards,” said Mike Flewitt, chief executive officer of McLaren Automotive.
“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,” he said.