McLaren could make its own engine for F1

 

TopGear.com.ph Philippine Car News - McLaren could make its own engine for F1

With Mercedes's parent company, Daimler, slowly divesting its shares in motorsport team McLaren, could the British Formula 1 team be preparing to develop its own engine for the race series?

"We are ruling nothing out, because we are an ambitious team," said McLaren Formula 1 team principal Martin Whitmarsh in MotorSport.com.

McLaren is currently manufacturing its own 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 engine for the MP4-12C road car. With Formula 1 switching to turbocharged V8 engines from the 2013 season onwards, many are speculating the team may produce its own engine for its F1 car and finally terminate its arrangement with Mercedes which currently supplies the team with its V8 engines.

"Formula one is the third largest sporting event in the world and the best environment for brands to differentiate. But if I'm honest, we have no plans to build more than 4,500 (MP4-12C) units per year,” added Whitmarsh. "Comparing the cost (of producing a F1 engine) with the 4,500, then that's probably not the right business model."

Mercedes, through Daimler, acquired a 40-percent share in McLaren in 2000. The German carmaker kept its stake until 2009 when it bought out the Brawn GP team and sold its stake in McLaren back to the British team.

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  • gvm0116 Mar 13 2011 @ 02:10pm
    Building their own engine wouldn't be beneficial for them considering they aren't that big as a car manufacturer yet. Better keep the Merc engines as these engines are considered to be the best in F1 currently.
  • MerryWarner Mar 13 2011 @ 08:40pm
    I agree to the above mentioned. Eventually they'd have to but they better sell their cars first before venturing into F1 engines. Completely delving into the F1 game may be costly to team McLaren considering they they are still being outsold by rival supercars like Mercedes, and the Ferrari brands in terms of unit sales. But I bet it won't be for long till the Brits get their act together.
  • armoj777 Mar 13 2011 @ 11:43pm
    yup..it wont be long until the road car sells a lot!
    OT: guys dont you find the name MP4 12C too confusing? ferrari has 458 italia..lambo has gallardo..the old mclaren was F1...the MP412C is too hard say :)
  • MerryWarner Mar 14 2011 @ 06:01am
    At a staggering $260,000 price tag they can pretty much call it anything. It would have been great if they named it after their world F1 champions like Senna, Hamilton, Hakinnen, Prost or Lauda. Imagine describing your ride; "I drive a Mclaren Senna!"
  • robin_micmac Mar 14 2011 @ 07:37pm
    im not sure if i recall it correctly but i think maclaren's engine contract with mercedes is going to expire by the end of the 2013 season. they are capable of making their own engines but they have other options available. you dont need to be a large car manufacturer to build F1 engines as these are bespoke engines and built only to limited quantities. this is very costly for mclaren though if they choose this route.
  • MerryWarner Mar 17 2011 @ 06:57pm
    Yes and at the start of the 2013 season, F1 will be bringing back turbocharged power-plants packed into smaller 4-cylinder 1.6L engines which will raise a lot of eyebrows but is gaining praises from tree-huggers everywhere. It also means that as F1 engines become smaller, consequently so does research and development costs. It will be a monumental task to make these pocket-sized engines equally as good or even outperform the gas-guzzling engines of the current season. Mclaren can undoubtedly accomplish these feats and build a capable machine, but without much needed backing from a parent company like Fiat is to Ferrari, Daimler-Chrysler is to Mercedes, Proton is to Lotuses, It will be very costly to the team. Daimler-Chrysler is slowly letting go of its Mclaren investments to focus more on its more profitable brand the Mercedes-Benz. But the mp4-12c looks promising but for the time being I think sticking and tweaking outsourced engines is a wiser choice as proven by Red bull last season.
  • gvm0116 Mar 20 2011 @ 08:39pm
    Erm... Chrysler is no longer connected in any way with Daimler.
  • MerryWarner Mar 28 2011 @ 06:03pm
    Oh? onga no. Di kasi ako nagbabasa ng Dyaryo. Correction Chrysler is now owned by Fiat.
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