Are McLaren and BMW Working On A Joint Supercar? Don't Hold Your Breath
McLaren and BMW have a history—a rather grand history at that. In 1992 at the Monaco Gran Prix, McLaren introduced the world to the now iconic F1 supercar with a mid-mounted BMW V12. But that was 17 years ago, and since then, we haven't seen the two marques working together on much. That could change according to a new rumor. According to Car Magazine, BMW is currently “developing a mid-engined supercar with a V8 engine, and is in talks with McLaren to put the car into production.” With the rather stunning renewal of the company’s top brass—Harald Krüger as chairman, Frank van Meel as M boss, and BMW’s new R&D Chief Klaus Fröhlich—Car says that BMW sees this as the perfect time for a new supercar. RELATED: See More of the Stunning BMW i8 Hybrid Supercar They go further, stating BMW is looking for the hybrid i8’s polar opposite. A car that would attract attention not only to the M brand, but also attract a higher clientele as well. Supposedly, BMW began talks with McLaren around January, and if all goes to plan, the company will show off a concept in two years time at the Frankfurt Auto Show. With all the information above, it seems very likely that McLaren and BMW are indeed working on a plan to build a supercar. And the article itself goes into further detail how this relationship could work out. However, some of these things just don’t add up. RELATED: BMW’s Newest i8 Concept is Powered by Water At the moment, BMW is working with Toyota on what the company has been calling a 'halo car;' a twin-turbo, possibly hybrid, rear-wheel-drive platform that could also become the next Toyota Supra. Plans for the sportscar are said to be progressing quite well with the two marques almost ready to show off a finished product. With the new McLaren rumor, it seems that the halo nature we’ve come to believe isn’t actually the case. Additionally, McLaren’s Formula 1 partner is Honda. Honda and Toyota are rivals in almost every market. We sincerely doubt that McLaren would do anything to endanger that relationship, especially since it is so new to the Formula 1 team. Nevertheless, the idea of BMW working on a supercar is an intriguing rumor. RELATED: The BMW i8 is Actually a Real Sportscar Our question though becomes, why not just modify the i8’s platform? Right now, BMW has a phenomenal platform under the i8. It’s a carbon fiber monocoque, and is as rigid as any other supercar. Moreover, if you look at the i8’s engine bay, it looks large enough to fit one of the company’s new twin-turbocharged inline-six cylinders from the M3/M4. Why not go that route? All the R&D is done, all the tooling is complete, and the brand already has a following. Not to mention the i8 is a stunning car. None of this makes sense in terms of either business or common sense. Of course, BMW would be smart to rely on McLaren for the supercar manufacturer’s technical know-how, but to build a car with the company, that seems out there to say the least. According to our McLaren rep though, all of the statements made by Car are pure speculation.