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McLaren And Honda Open To Road Car Collaboration

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Acura NSX II concept - 2013 Detroit Auto Show

Acura NSX II concept - 2013 Detroit Auto Show

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Following the announcement last May that Honda was making a return to Formula One as an engine supplier, initially to the McLaren team for the 2015 season, news immediately broke that the two might partner on development of one of McLaren’s future road cars.

This was shot down only days later, when an insider revealed that Honda’s renewed alliance with McLaren in F1 was not expected to have any impact on McLaren’s road car business.

That may be true for McLaren’s current crop of road cars, which includes the 12C, P1 and upcoming P13 (name still pending) but that doesn’t mean we won’t see any collaboration between the two in the future.  

“Our road car strategy at the moment has no other automotive partner and Honda would be a good place to collaborate,” McLaren’s F1 team principal Martin Whitmarsh said to Autocar. “Nothing’s fixed, but we’re open to that and so are they.”

Given McLaren’s size, it’s logical for the company to continue to outsource components such as engines and transmissions from outside suppliers. The current crop of McLaren cars, for instance, all get their engines from Ricardo while their transmissions are sourced from Graziano.

Perhaps for the next generation of McLaren cars, we may see engines and other hardware sourced from Honda. If the two companies are successful in F1, we’re sure both will be eager to capitalize on that success in the world of road cars.

Importantly, any deal is likely to work both ways, so we may see some of the McLaren-shared hardware featured in future Hondas like the upcoming NSX (to be sold in the U.S. as an Acura).

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