McLaren and BMW when read together hold a special place in automotive history as it brings the epic McLaren F1 back to memories. Later, though, McLaren teamed up with Mercedes-Benz and went on to make more powerful engines but the legacy of the F1 could never be paralleled again. Now, though, the two companies have decided to once again co-develop engines and as expected, they plan to focus on increasing the power output. More specifically, the idea of the partnership is to make engines with a higher specific output. In simpler words, this means engines with higher power output from smaller or similar volumes. This approach can also be partially referred to as downsizing, which not only improves fuel-efficiency but also lowers emissions.
McLaren and BMW intend to have engines with higher specific output and lower emissions to ensure that forthcoming emission regulations can be met without sacrificing power and performance. The engines developed under this collaboration though are presently earmarked for use in forthcoming McLaren cars.
A total of six partners are involved in the project that will be headed by McLaren. Ricardo and BMW Group will play the role of manufacturing partners, while Grainger and Worrall will work on lightweight casting technology. The fifth partner is Lentus Composites, who'll be a knowledge partner for specialist composite structures. 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.
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.”
There is still no word on the specific technology for the new engines or the cars that'll be powered by it. However, the idea will be to increase the thermal efficiency of the engine as that translates into an engine with a more homogenous combustion inside the cylinder. As a result, more of fuel is burned efficiently and lesser of energy is wasted in the form of heat. Emissions too are lowered significantly due to cleaner burning of fuel.