We’ve all heard the talk about BMW’s joint-venture with Toyota on the upcoming BMW Z4/Toyota Supra sports car. While this joint-venture should do good things for BMW, there are many fans who look down on their favorite Bavarian brand joining forces with the plebeian Toyota. However, a new joint-venture for BMW should make fans a bit happier as it’s with a far more prestigious automaker — McLaren.
The famous British supercar maker and BMW are again rumored to be teaming up to create their very own mid-engine supercar. While there is no exact information yet on what this car could be or any details on what it will have, there are some rumors, obviously. It’s said to be a two-seater mid-engine supercar with a V8 engine. Likely a twin turbo unit being that both companies already employ twin-turbo V8s.
Whether or not these rumors hold water (the courtroom scene from My Cousin Vinny immediately comes to mind), this tag-team does make sense. Both companies are both very experienced in the development of carbon fiber, something this alleged supercar will likely be made entirely of. McLaren has been using the stuff for longer, being it was highly successful in Formula 1 long before it developed road cars, and it’s probably better at using it. However, BMW has developed new ways to manufacture carbon fiber and can make it on a larger scale, thus making it more affordable. So both companies can help each other out in this area.
Plus, BMW and McLaren have worked together before and have a good relationship, as BMW developed possibly the greatest engine ever made for the McLaren F1, which is possibly the greatest supercar ever made. So when BMW and McLaren team up, great things happen.
In terms of chassis and powertrain technology, both cars have things to give that will match up nicely. McLaren has brilliant suspension technology and tuning capabilities, as its new supercars have the uncanny ability to both handle unbelievably well and ride like a Rolls Royce. Their independent wheel suspension, that sees the anti-roll bars replaced with computer controlled units, make them remarkably smooth as well as grippy and dynamic. Yet, BMW has better powertrain and drivetrain technology that it can help provide. For instance, the Bavarians have the brilliant seven-speed DCT gearbox which is slightly better than McLaren’s unit (though, I’m judging that by the McLaren 12C, maybe it’s gotten better). BMW also has a brilliant electronically-controlled limited-slip rear differential, something modern McLaren’s lack and are their biggest performance complaint.
So both companies have things to give each other if they do indeed develop a supercar together. Just the very idea of such a supercar gets us excited as both companies have proved to work very well together. While these are just rumors, they’re rumors that have come up before so maybe there’s some truth to them. We sure hope so.