McLaren and BMW to jointly develop new powertrain tech

by Rachel Burgess, Autocar UK 31 Jan 2017

The technology will make it into future McLaren models by 2020, says the firm.

McLaren and BMW will develop new combustion technology together as part of a new collaboration announced today.

The technology is intended to deliver a higher output per capacity than currently possible, according to McLaren. It added that it aims to help reduce CO2 while increasing engine output.

Both the British car maker and BMW confirmed that the technology is “destined for application in future [McLaren and BMW] engines”. McLaren told Autocar UK it expects the technology to be implemented in a McLaren engine by 2020.

The project also includes a number of other partners and is part-funded by the UK Government through the Advanced Propulsion Centre.

To be led by McLaren Automotive, the project includes McLaren’s existing engine manufacturing partner Ricardo, BMW Group and Grainger and Worrall, which will deliver complex, lightweight casting technology. Other organisations involved include Lentus Composites which focus on specialist composite structures and the University of Bath which has “advanced research and development capabilities in internal combustion engine systems efficiency”, said McLaren.

The total cost of the project is £28 million (Rs 275 crore), including a £14m contribution by the UK Government. The remaining £14m is split among the project collaborators, however, McLaren would not comment on individual contributions from each partner.

McLaren Automotive boss Mike Flewitt said: “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.

He continued: “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.”

A BMW spokesman added: “We are pleased to be part of this project, which plays to the strengths of all partners. McLaren Automotive and BMW Group have exceptional reputations for building the world’s finest engines. In the project, the partners will develop together new combustion technology.

“The further development of low CO2 combustion technology is important for the BMW Group as part of our Efficient Dynamics Strategy. The low CO2 combustion technology which will result from this joint project is destined for application in BMW Group engines in the future.”

The next step in McLaren’s Track 22 plan is the arrival of its 650S replacement at the Geneva motor show in March. Codenamed P14, an image of the supercar was leaked online last week.


Tags: McLaren, BMW