• Rumors of BMW and McLaren Partnership Are Intensifying

Looking towards an electrified future, McLaren could be looking to an old friend for help

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Looking back at the 90’s and the McLaren F1, powered by a BMW M sourced V12 engine, is one of the finest, and the quickest cars on the road. Today, the two brands are doing their own thing. Though the incoming wave of electrification may reunite a once legendary duo.

How credible are these rumors?

Rumors of BMW and McLaren Partnership Are Intensifying
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McLaren F1.

It’s no secret McLaren has been struggling lately with cash, a recent change in executive leadership, and swirling rumors about a potential acquisition by Audi. Though Georg Kacher from CarMagazine appears to have an inside scoop on the talk, hinting that a partnership between British McLaren and German BMW M may be in the works behind closed doors.

McLaren already is working on an EV according to their product plans, set to be introduced by 2026. But the brand needs to speed up its efforts as competitors, such as Ferrari, already have the hybrid SF90 Stradale on the roads, an upcoming sports utility vehicle with various powertrains planned, and further electrified plans set for the future. It is also key to note McLaren lacks any sort of 2+2 GT car or utility vehicle, something brands like Porsche, Aston Martin, and Lotus are using to increase sales and profits. Could the expertise from BMW be their saving grace?

How would McLaren Benefit from this partnership with BMW?

Rumors of BMW and McLaren Partnership Are Intensifying
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BMW i4 M50 electric sedan.

The most expensive part of building an EV is the research and development of the electric components as well as securing battery production. This is where McLaren can have BMW lend their helping hand as the manufacturer is already on their fifth generation of electric drive train technology with improvements coming in rapidly. BMW also would be a supplier of the software required to run these electric drivetrain components.

While CAR Magazine did not explicitly mention any confirmation of a utility vehicle project, a new change in leadership at McLaren may recognize the benefits of having one in their lineup. Who better to turn to than BMW with their advanced iX electric SUV and upcoming XM electrified performance vehicle. And hey, the iX already makes use of a partial carbon fiber composite chassis, something McLaren could help take even further.

What could this collaboration produce?

Rumors of BMW and McLaren Partnership Are Intensifying
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McLaren’s headquarters in Woking, England.

McLaren would not be the only beneficiary of this partnership. BMW M has expressed their concerns with weight regarding the electric future, and the advanced carbon fiber technology and obsession with reducing mass at McLaren would be a fantastic asset to apply to the latest M products.

Though what exactly could this new project turn out to be? Well CAR states it would be a sort of electric super sports car with a target weight of around or under 1,500kg (3,306lbs), constructed around a carbon fiber monocoque chassis, utilizing a quad motor setup, and producing around 1,100 horsepower. Subtle right? And while both brands would use this setup, the cars would be totally unique from each other; something the automotive community has criticized the BMW-Toyota partnership with the Z4 and Supra.

Rumors of BMW and McLaren Partnership Are Intensifying
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McLaren Artura Plug-In hybrid super car.

As these rumors are focused around a materialization date of 2026-2028, a lot can change between today in 2022 and then. And for now, if you’re lookg for an electrified McLaren, you can turn to the all new Artura. It features a twin-Turbo V-6 Plug-in hybrid powertrain that produces 671 horsepower - enough to propel the 3,075-pound car to 60 mph in around three seconds. One can only imagine what over 1,000hp could do in a vehicle around the same weight.

Source: Car Magazine

Justin Ortiz
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