Currently reading: Updated: McLaren and Honda discuss road car collaboration
The relationship between the British sports car manufacturer and Japanese automotive giant looks set to go much deeper than a Formula 1 engine deal
Matt Burt
News
2 mins read
30 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

Advertisement
Advertisement

Find an Autocar review

Read our review

Car review

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

Join the debate

Comments
16
Add a comment…
RPrior 31 July 2013

McLaren History with Honda extends beyond F1 Engines

 Why Honda make a good match for McLaren.  

NSX

Famously reported by Gordon Murray, chief McLaren F1 Supercar designer, as one of his original inspirations for the McLaren F1 Supercar concept, Murray ran an NSX for seven years and in that time claimed he had never adjusted the climate control setting once. 

After driving an NSX prototype with Ron Dennis at the Tochigi Research Center test course Murray recalled being moved to thinking "It is remarkable how our vision comes through in this car."

+

List of Famous NSX Owners

Honda Production cars

Integra Type R 

(My Brother ran one as a runabout with a Tuscan in his garage)

It has been acclaimed by motoring journalists world-wide, including Evo magazine, who named the Type R 'the greatest front-wheel-drive performance car ever.

and TheAutoChannel.com who also named it 'the best handling front-wheel drive car ever.

 

Prelude 4WS (1987) - For innovation

Honda introduced 4 wheel steering in a production car.  A world 1st & one of the world's greatest motoring journalists of all time (LJK Setright - Car Magazine) rated the Prelude 4WS most highly.

 

S2000

The S2000 has received much praise from critics and motoring journalists and has received favourable reviews from such publications as Car and Driver. Highlighted are the high output of the engine, the high redline, the balanced handling, and the smooth gearbox. User surveys have named the S2000 as a favorite for overall customer satisfaction.

 

Racing

Formula 1 

Honda participated in Formula One, as an entrant, constructor and engine supplier between 1964 and 2008.

 

BTCC

Four times winners of the British Touring Car Championship since 2005

Chris C 31 July 2013

Honda & McLaren

Both companies are engineering-led perfection obsessives - whatever they come up with may lack Italian soul but it will be  really good and give Mercedes/VAG something to worry about...

Bobstardeluxe 31 July 2013

Some how Mclaren and Honda

Some how Mclaren and Honda seem to go together...maybe it just nostalgia and images of Senna driving around in the Malbro Mclaren Honda's.

Honda do some amazing things with their high reving engines..definitely one of the better Japnaese smaller capacity engine manufactures...with most car companies downsizing their engines yet eeking out big performance ..this could be a good move for mclaren.  some how never really liked the Ricardo developed engine in the current range, plus it sounds a little anemic..I am sure nothing wrong with it, but it doesn't appear to be world class..like a Ferrari, AMG or BMW M-tec powerplant.

Find an Autocar car review