The relationship between the British sports car manufacturer and Japanese automotive giant looks set to go much deeper than a Formula 1 engine deal
29 July 2013

McLaren and Honda are considering ways to extend their Formula 1 tie-up into road cars, McLaren Group CEO Martin Whitmarsh has confirmed.

Earlier this year, Honda announced that it would return to F1 as an engine supplier to McLaren Racing in 2015. The two companies enjoyed a fruitful partnership in F1 between 1988 and the end of 1992, winning four drivers’ championships and four constructors’ crowns during that spell.

Whitmarsh described the new deal as a “multi-year” one, and his comments suggest that there is scope for a much deeper co-operation that could spread into McLaren’s automotive division.

“It’s a pure Formula 1 contract, but we’ve already been looking at automotive technology and we’re sharing that very openly,” said Whitmarsh at last weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix. “Our road car strategy at the moment has no other automotive partner and 
Honda would be a good place 
to collaborate.”

Whitmarsh said the results of any Honda involvement in future McLaren road cars wouldn’t be seen for some years. The company is currently working on the third model in its contemporary range, the Porsche 911-
rivalling P13, but Honda hasn’t had any input into that car.

“If you look at our product range, 12C is running and will run for a few more years. P1 has just been launched and P13, which is the follow-up car, is relatively developed, so actually it is something that you would see in quite a few years to come,” he said.

A deeper relationship between McLaren and Honda would most likely be a bilateral technical arrangement, with both sides reaping the benefits for their road car projects.  

“Nothing’s fixed, but we’re open to that and so are they,” said Whitmarsh.

It has also been reported that a McLaren 12C is being used in Acura's benchmarking tests for the new NSX in America.

A subsequent statement issued jointly by Honda and McLaren stressed that the immediate focus was on Formula 1: “On 16 May 2013, Honda announced its decision to participate in Formula 1 from the 2015 season, under a joint project with McLaren. This has led to a full, open and productive working relationship with McLaren. As Martin Whitmarsh has stated, many ideas have been discussed between McLaren and Honda colleagues.

"However, we both know how challenging it is to win in Formula 1, and we need to be 100 per cent committed to that task. Therefore, at this stage, all our focus is towards the development of the 2015 Formula 1 car and powertrain, and there are no plans for collaboration on other projects at this moment.”

Additional reporting by Dieter Rencken

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The McLaren 12C has extraordinary pace and handling, but is a touch clinical

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Comments
16

30 July 2013

What possibly could Honda contribute to McLaren roadcars? They're already state of the art without any input from the Japanese company. Honda on the other hand could benefit greatly from McLaren - especially in the sports-car department.

Cyborg

30 July 2013

Cyborg wrote:

What possibly could Honda contribute to McLaren roadcars? They're already state of the art without any input from the Japanese company. Honda on the other hand could benefit greatly from McLaren - especially in the sports-car department.

Well, apart from engines found in low volume cars, such as the world of supercars and hypercars for example, Honda is probably 'the' engine maker, with a history of producing superb and high tech engines. Remember that Honda was one of McLaren's prime candidates for supplying the engine for the F1.

And if Honda wanted to, they could quite easily build a state of the car too, while the NSX in its day was cutting edge, making the Ferrari 458 and Porsche 911 appear old fashioned. And I wouldn't say the engine in the NSX, or even the S2000, were lacking.

30 July 2013

Lanehogger]</p><p>[quote=Cyborg wrote:

What possibly could Honda contribute to McLaren roadcars? They're already state of the art without any input from the Japanese company. Honda on the other hand could benefit greatly from McLaren - especially in the sports-car department.

 

Well, there was talk a few years ago of Honda going more 'premium' with sports cars and saloons.  A medium size platform spinning off Honda and McLaren saloon cars (and roadsters/cabriolets) would make sense.  A £35k V6/Hybrid McLaren Saloon car?, built in England?, this would be way more credible than a Porsche or Maserati pitched at this price point.  For Honda, how about a new Prelude and driver-focused Accord for Europe?  Exciting possibilities. 

haz

30 July 2013

JIMBOB wrote:

Well, there was talk a few years ago of Honda going more 'premium' with sports cars and saloons.  A medium size platform spinning off Honda and McLaren saloon cars (and roadsters/cabriolets) would make sense.  A £35k V6/Hybrid McLaren Saloon car?, built in England?, this would be way more credible than a Porsche or Maserati pitched at this price point.  For Honda, how about a new Prelude and driver-focused Accord for Europe?  Exciting possibilities. 

Strongly disagree with the platform sharing idea, unless it's Honda using Mclaren's platforms. A saloon car co-designed by Honda would be a massive step backward for modern mclaren automotive. They need to keep their 'formula 1 pinnacle of technology' image, so the slowest and cheapest car on offer with a Mclaren badge on it should be the upcoming 'P13' 911 rival in my opinion.

30 July 2013

Lanehogger wrote:

Cyborg wrote:

What possibly could Honda contribute to McLaren roadcars? They're already state of the art without any input from the Japanese company. Honda on the other hand could benefit greatly from McLaren - especially in the sports-car department.

Well, apart from engines found in low volume cars, such as the world of supercars and hypercars for example, Honda is probably 'the' engine maker, with a history of producing superb and high tech engines. Remember that Honda was one of McLaren's prime candidates for supplying the engine for the F1.

And if Honda wanted to, they could quite easily build a state of the car too, while the NSX in its day was cutting edge, making the Ferrari 458 and Porsche 911 appear old fashioned. And I wouldn't say the engine in the NSX, or even the S2000, were lacking.

I was meant to say Ferrari 348, not 458. Schoolboy error!

30 July 2013

So will the next NSX be made at Woking?

30 July 2013

stagata1 wrote:

So will the next NSX be made at Woking?

Currently slated to be produced at Honda's Performance Manufacturing Centre in Ohio. 

30 July 2013

Honda is possibly the world's leading developer of engines - large and small, utilitarian and performance.

The McLaren - Honda collaboration will bring significant benefits to both parties.  McLaren's F1 cars will be using Honda's 1.6 Turbocharged engines in 2015.

I suggest that those without knowledge of Honda should research the companys contribtion to Formula One over the history of the sport.

 

Malo Mori Quam Foedari

30 July 2013

If you visit Autoblog.com they have a couple of very short videos of a prototype of the new NSX running, it sounds rather nice.

30 July 2013

Oh dear, isn't this the same road Aston was forced down by the manufacturers average CO2 targets that gave birth to the Cygnet - in  cynical move to get their average down..

Wait for it, the McLaren MPC-1.2 Jazz abhorrance is nearly upon us!!

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