Thanks to the partnership between McLaren and Honda for Formula 1 and the success of McLaren’s road car division, there are rumors that the next McLaren road car set to be slotted below the 12C to fight the Porsche 911 will be powered by a Honda-developed engine.
This speculation isn’t that far off the mark, when past experience comes into play. Mercedes-Benz and McLaren made the SLR McLaren when Mercedes-Benz had a majority stake in McLaren. It was a 617-horsepower, 5.4-liter supercharged V-8 developed by AMG. Before that, McLaren was planning on using a Honda-sourced engine when it was in cahoots with the Japanese automaker in the early 1990s for an upcoming supercar. The car that came to be, the 240-mph McLaren F1, ended up using a 627-horsepower, BMW-sourced V-12 engine after Honda backed out of the project.
Honda has claimed that the partnership is not all about Formula 1, but that it couldn’t pass up the opportunity to develop the new generation of turbocharged V-6 engines. In 2014, Formula 1 teams will switch from their current 2.4-liter V-8 engines to 1.6-liter turbocharged V-6s.
Some might say that McLaren’s upcoming entry-level care is still likely to get a less powerful version of the 12C’s 3.8-liter V-8 engine, but the idea of a Honda racing engine making its way into a McLaren chassis becomes more than just the latest rumor. The turbocharged 3.8-liter engine is bespoke for the $230,000 12C and part of the hybrid system that will power the ultra-exclusive McLaren P1 supercar. Something more pedestrian might be needed for a car expected to come in around $100,000.
Source: Motor Trend