According to a report published by the German press, BMW and McLaren would be close to reaching an agreement for the joint development of a platform for electric sports cars. This would not be the first time that both brands have been associated since in the 90s the Bavarian firm provided the V12 engine that powered the legendary McLaren F1.
The memorandum of understanding would have been signed on March 24. This alliance should allow the Germans to take advantage of McLaren’s enormous experience in the development of supercars and hypercars, while the English would benefit from the synergies derived from collaborating with a large group such as BMW.
Taking into account the type of cars that McLaren develops, it seems clear that the platform resulting from this union will not be aimed at supporting grand touring cars like the 8 Series or roadsters like the Z4, but rather true supercars. Therefore, it is very likely that it will be used in the rumored i8 replacement.
The truth is that, in recent times, brands such as Aston Martin, Maserati, and Porsche have already confirmed the development of electric sports cars; and even Ferrari, McLaren’s eternal rival, is currently working on its first model of these characteristics. Therefore, this alliance should allow the British to accelerate the launch of their future electrical proposals, avoiding being left behind in the face of the competition.
The first electric McLaren will arrive after 2025
It is not yet clear if this platform will share components with the Neue Klasse architecture, which will debut in 2025 with the new generation BMW i3 and iX3 (remember that it will incorporate advances such as an 800-volt electrical system). It is also not known for sure if it will have solid electrolyte batteries, a technology that BMW has been working on for some time with partners such as Solid Power. Initially, the company estimates that its first models with this solution will be available by “the end of the decade”, so it would not be surprising if it is initially available in a low-run model such as a supercar.
Given that the launch of the first electric McLaren is scheduled for beyond 2025, everything seems to indicate that the project still has many years of development ahead of it. However, as we have pointed out before, the alliance with BMW may allow the initially estimated deadlines to be shortened.