Mercedes-Benz has confirmed that its partnership with British sports car manufacturer McLaren will come to an end when the current agreement to build the SLR supercar expires next year. As the two carmakers head their separate ways and announce plans for separate, and this time competing, supercar models, a rivalry is beginning to emerge between the two.

In a few years McLaren will launch a successor to its original F1 supercar from the 1990s, which according to Auto Motor und Sport will feature a mid-engine layout and a V10 powerplant. While the F1 featured a V12 engine and at its height was the fastest production car on the planet, its successor, currently dubbed the P11, will be a smaller and lighter car designed to rival the likes of the Ferrari F430 Scuderia and Porsche 911 GT2.

Backing the car is McLaren’s Ron Dennis and Mansour Ojjeh, as well as the Bahrain royal family, who together own 60% of the Woking-based firm. Opposed to it is Mercedes, which still commands a 40% share in the company.

This is because Mercedes is developing its own rival supercar, the front-engined SLC, which has also been spotted testing at the Nurburgring. According to an inside source, Mercedes has refused to supply McLaren with engines for its future supercar and is even threatening to stop its financial backing of McLaren. This has also led to speculation that Mercedes could even buyout McLaren, however both firms have since denied the rumors.

Mercedes-Benz SLC renderings