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

Porsche 911 GT3 review (991, 2013-2016): review, specs and buying guide
991 Porsche 911 GT3
Features

Porsche 911 GT3 review (991, 2013-2016): review, specs and buying guide

The 991-generation Porsche 911 GT3 remains one of the finest driver's cars money can buy. We look back at our first impressions and how to buy one tod…
21 Feb 2024
Audi R8 GT RWD v Lamborghini Huracán Tecnica – the last of the V10s
Audi R8 V10 GT RWD v Lamborghini Huracan Tecnica
Group tests

Audi R8 GT RWD v Lamborghini Huracán Tecnica – the last of the V10s

As Audi’s V10 R8 and Lamborghini’s Huracán near the end of their journey, it's time for a final blast
10 Feb 2024
McLaren 650S (2014 - 2017): review, specs and buying guide
McLaren 650S
Features

McLaren 650S (2014 - 2017): review, specs and buying guide

While it lacks the character of some rivals, stunning composure and pace make the McLaren 650S an excellent supercar offering. Here's how to buy one t…
6 Feb 2024
Ariel Atom 4R 2024 review – skeletal track special is more intense than ever
Ariel Atom 4R review
Reviews

Ariel Atom 4R 2024 review – skeletal track special is more intense than ever

The new R-spec Atom 4 adds muscle to the skeletal sports car. Does the sub-700kg Ariel really need another 80bhp? There’s only one way to find out
5 Feb 2024

Most Popular

Hyundai i30 N and i20 N axed
Hyundai i30 N and i20 N
News

Hyundai i30 N and i20 N axed

Production of petrol-powered Hyundai N hot hatches has come to an end in Europe, with electric N models picking up the baton
23 Feb 2024
Driving MST’s stunning Mk1 Ford Escort recreation – car pictures of the week
MST Mk1 Ford Escort – front
Features

Driving MST’s stunning Mk1 Ford Escort recreation – car pictures of the week

In the latest issue of evo, we get behind the wheel of the glorious MST Mk1 – here are some of our favourite shots…
18 Feb 2024
Toyota GR Yaris v Audi S1 – four-wheel-drive hatches go head-to-head
Toyota GR Yaris v Audi S1
Group tests

Toyota GR Yaris v Audi S1 – four-wheel-drive hatches go head-to-head

They’re two dinky performance cars with startlingly similar recipes, but how does the decade-old Audi S1 compare to today’s much-hyped Toyota GR Yaris…
17 Feb 2024