McLaren and BMW to collaborate on new engines once again

We're hoping for another engine as spectacular as the McLaren F1's 627bhp V12

McLaren will once again work with BMW to develop petrol engines. A project supported by the UK government to increase the efficiency of the internal combustion engine has bought the two companies together for the first time since the original F1 supercar. 

The venture is led by McLaren but involves a total six different organisations, including Ricardo (which makes engines for McLaren’s current road cars), the University of Bath and Lentus Composites. Casting and foundry experts Grainger and Worrall, which casts the engine blocks for most F1 teams, the Bugatti Chiron and the cylinder heads for Porsche’s GT3 and GT3 RS engines, will contribute to the project too.

> Read our review of the Porsche 911 GT3 RS 

But it’s the reunion of McLaren and BMW that is most exciting, and brings us hope that there’s something very special on the horizon. The last time the two companies collaborated was in the 1990s when McLaren commissioned BMW to create an engine for the F1 hypercar.

Lead by engineer Paul Rosche, BMW’s Motorsport division created a naturally-aspirated, dry-sumped 6-litre V12 with variable valve timing on all four cams, and 12 individual throttle bodies. Called the S70/2, the F1’s engine produced 627bhp and revved to 7500rpm. This incredible engine helped the F1 accelerate from 0-62mph in 3.2sec and onto a record breaking top speed (at the time) of 240mph.

> Watch the McLaren F1 reach its record breaking top speed

But it wasn’t its associated figures that made it so special. The V12’s combination of ferocity and accuracy, as well as one of the most glorious noises known to man, has helped cement it as one of the greatest engines ever created. evo’s contributing editor Richard Meaden drove one in issue 205 and said ‘No other road-car engine combines its immediacy, reach or big-cube bombast. A Carrera GT’s V10 feels thin by comparison, a Zonda’s V12 a bit flabby.’ 

For those of us not lucky enough to get to drive a McLaren F1, we have to make do with watching videos of the car. Watch some of evo’s own videos and revel in the noise from that spectacular engine.

Recommended

Lamborghini Aventador Ultimae sold out – V12 supercar calls it a day, for now
Lamborghini Aventador LP780-4 Ultimae
Lamborghini Aventador

Lamborghini Aventador Ultimae sold out – V12 supercar calls it a day, for now

The final Aventador Ultimae and next year’s Countach are now spoken for, calling the end of fresh orders for Lambo’s V12 models
21 Oct 2021
McLaren Group announces new board appointments including ex-Porsche CEO
Elva
McLaren

McLaren Group announces new board appointments including ex-Porsche CEO

British supercar maker’s new investment comes with new board appointments in tow
11 Oct 2021
​Ford GT review – a genuine racer on the road, for better and worse
Ford GT header
Ford GT coupe

​Ford GT review – a genuine racer on the road, for better and worse

New GT is epic to drive on a track, but comes with some compromises on road
8 Oct 2021
New McLaren Artura revealed – all-new hybrid supercar to rival Ferrari F8 Tributo
McLaren Artura front
McLaren Artura coupe

New McLaren Artura revealed – all-new hybrid supercar to rival Ferrari F8 Tributo

McLaren’s next generation has arrived with a fresh powertrain, chassis and tech
7 Oct 2021

Most Popular

Lamborghini Aventador Ultimae sold out – V12 supercar calls it a day, for now
Lamborghini Aventador LP780-4 Ultimae
Lamborghini Aventador

Lamborghini Aventador Ultimae sold out – V12 supercar calls it a day, for now

The final Aventador Ultimae and next year’s Countach are now spoken for, calling the end of fresh orders for Lambo’s V12 models
21 Oct 2021
2022 Range Rover previewed before reveal next week
Range Rover teaser
Land Rover Range Rover

2022 Range Rover previewed before reveal next week

A new era for the Range Rover is about to be revealed, with new engines, tech and styling
20 Oct 2021
Used car deals of the week
Used car deals Oct 20 21
Features

Used car deals of the week

Here's what caught evo’s fancy this week on the second hand car market
20 Oct 2021