Frank van Meel, head of the BMW’s M division, recently denied that BMW and McLaren have been discussing how to build a high-performance BMW out of a carbon-fiber monocoque from McLaren (shown here in our renderings). Why? Because these talks were and are being held by top management, including BMW’s head of research and development, Klaus Frohlich, and van Meel was left in the dark. Why? Because he would oppose the deal. Why? Because he and his team would obviously pull out all stops to develop such a halo car in-house.
The proposed plan would put a BMW-developed 4.0-liter V-8 engine with four turbochargers — two exhaust-driven, two electrically operated — and about 750 hp into a carbon-fiber monocoque being developed for McLaren’s next 650S. The suspension, steering, and brakes would come from McLaren but be calibrated by BMW, and German design cues would be worked into the car’s exterior and interior. We hope to see a concept car at the 2017 Frankfurt Show and to have a production version in dealerships by 2019.
As news of the possible BMW-McLaren marriage came to light, a rumor concerning a supercar partnership between BMW and Lexus started to swirl. Yes, BMW’s partnership with Toyota will likely yield a successor to the celebrated Supra sports car as well as BMW’s Z5 sports car, but a Lexus supercar? No way, at least according to a board member who quipped, “Only over my dead body.”