Check out this cryptic announcement from McLaren, involving a totally unexpected partnership with BMW.
In a press release the company has confirmed that it’s working on “new combustion technology that will deliver a higher output per capacity than currently possible.”
The message continues: “It also aims to further facilitate CO2 reductions while simultaneously increasing engine output.
“The technology is destined for future McLaren engines.”
The Woking-based supercar maker is leading a team containing the guys from Munich, engineering wizards Ricardo, casting specialists Grainger and Worrall, Lentus Composites and the University of Bath (obviously).
Speculation as to what the project could entail includes a variable-displacement engine, like those being developed by Infiniti and Honda. It could also feasibly be a camless system like the Koenigsegg Freevalve. Hell, it could be a 2,500bhp V20 that spits out jelly babies and Amazon vouchers, for all we know.
It steers clear of any mention of hybrid assistance, though, and it would have been natural to say so if it was going to feature it, so the smart early money is on the project being a next-generation turbocharged engine to replace the monumental 3.8-litre V8 in the current Sports and Super Series ranges.
This is clearly a big deal, with funding from the UK government and what seems to be a deal to make the technology available to other UK car makers in the future. The assumption has to be that BMW will benefit from the end results, too. We’ll be keeping a close eye on it.
Check out the full release text below, and let us know what you make of it.
McLaren Automotive has announced a strategic project to design and develop technology for the next generation of powertrains. 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 currently possible.
It also aims to further facilitate CO2 reductions while simultaneously increasing engine output. The technology is destined for application in future McLaren engines.
The project, supported and part-funded by UK Government through the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), will also improve the UK’s development and production capabilities of low-CO2 internal combustion engine technology. The project will be led by McLaren Automotive but involves a total of six partners.
McLaren Automotive will work with its existing engine manufacturing partner, Ricardo, and BMW Group while Grainger and Worrall will deliver complex, lightweight casting technology. Lentus Composites will contribute knowledge in specialist composite structures.
Completing the syndicate is the University of Bath who bring their advanced research and development capabilities in internal combustion engine systems efficiency.
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. 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.
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.’”