British supercar specialist McLaren won’t be teaming up with Honda on its next road car project, despite rumours earlier this year saying the two companies could combine their talents on McLaren’s next road car project, codenamed P15.
The rumours stem from Honda’s selection as McLaren Racing’s engine supplier for the 2015 Formula One season, where the Japanese automaker’s motorsport arm will supply McLaren with its new 1.5 litre turbocharged V6 engine.
However, speaking to TMR at the launch of Melbourne’s new McLaren showroom space in Southbank, McLaren Automotive’s Executive Director of Global Sales and Marketing Jolyon Nash said that McLaren and Honda’s collaboration will strictly be limited to Formula One.
“The partnership with Honda is very much Formula One,” Nash said.
“McLaren Automotive will be independent of that and there’s no partnership or relationship between us and Honda.”
But while Honda’s expertise won’t be called upon for its next road car, McLaren is still keeping an open mind about introducing engines smaller than its current 3.8 litre V8 powerplant, which powers the 12C, 650S and P1.
“If you look at the trends in the motoring industry, over the long-term there is a trend of downsizing, from getting more power from smaller engines,” Nash said.
“So it’s foreseeable that some time in the future we will have a different engine setup to what we have today, But I think we’re looking at the very long term.
“However our engineers are working on an on-going basis on what our products are going to look like in the long-term, where is engine technology going, where is powertrain technology going.
“So in the long-term there’s the potential for that to happen.”
However, in the meantime the 3.8 turbo V8 is expected to soldier on in varying states of tune.
“Our current powertrains perform extremely well in the segments that we’re operating in and the segments that we intend to operate in,” said Nash.
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