McLaren confirms BMW will help develop its next-gen engines

Posted February 02, 2017

The last time the two European automakers joined forces resulted in one of the most legendary supercars the world has seen, the McLaren F1-BMW supplied the engine that powered it, the S70/2. The British company announced the strategic project today, with the top feature of the new technology being higher output per engine capacity than is now possible. Working with a number of partners including BMW Group, the project will develop new combustion technology that will deliver a higher output per capacity than now possible.

Yes, burning fuel remains at the heart of McLaren's short- to medium-term plans, as outlined in its Track22 business plan. Completing the partnership is the University of Bath, which will pitch in with their expertise in advanced research and development capabilities in improving the efficiency of internal combustion engines. The technology is projected to increase engine output, while simultaneously reducing Carbon dioxide emissions.

The engine, dubbed M838T, has been in service since the introduction of McLaren's first 21st century supercar, the MP4-12C in mid-2011, and also forms the combustion element of its cutting-edge P1 hybrid powertrain.

In order to make this powertrain project a reality, McLaren is not only teaming up with BMW, but with several other partners in the industry as well. Lentus Composites will contribute knowledge in specialist composite structures.

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McLaren has announced plans to collaborate with the BMW Group over a new project to design and develop the technology underpinning "the next generation of powertrains", destined for use in future McLaren engines. McLaren told Autocar it expects the technology to be implemented in a McLaren engine by 2020.

Commenting on the collaboration, Chief Executive Officer of McLaren Automotive, Mike Flewitt, said: 'This is an exciting project that plays to the strengths of all partners.

After development, the new technology will be used in future McLaren engines and also further the UK's development and production capabilities of low-CO2 internal combution technology. It might be a lot to hope for a screaming motorsports-derived V12, but we can dream.