McLaren Starts a Partnership With BMW to Create a New Engine


McLaren F1 Nineties 1990 supercar hypercar

If you can recall it, BMW is the one who built and designed the 627-hp V12 engine for the McLaren F1. Fastforward to today, McLaren and BMW are said to collaborate again for the development of a new engine.

Ricardo has a pretty good track record when it comes to designing high-output engines and beefy gearboxes. Not only does it supply Bugatti with a DCT that can handle the Chiron’s 1180 ft.-lb. of torque, it also makes the McLaren’s one and only 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8–an engine that revs to 8500rpm and produces over 750 horsepower if they dial up the boost a bit.

Starting out as a Nissan motorsport engine developed by Tom Walkinshaw Racing, McLaren’s V8 was completely redesigned and turned into a multi award-winning success story by Ricardo. Now as McLaren prepares to launch the 650S’s successor, codenamed P14, at Geneva, we also get a glimpse at what’s going to power its future products.

McLaren and Ricardo are teaming up with the BMW Group, casting technology expert Grainger and Worrall, Lentus Composites and the University of Bath to get the most power out of its engine while cutting emissions. The university will bring their advanced research and development capabilities in internal combustion engine systems efficiency to the table with the project being supported and part-funded by the UK Government through the Advanced Propulsion Centre.

Needless to say, the last time BMW helped McLaren out with an engine, things worked out rather well for both parties. And while this time around, Ricardo will continue to design and build unique engines for McLaren, these partners’ know-how can bring Woking’s powertrain technology to a whole new level.