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Although we have yet to drive the Artura, the hybrid concept may actually not be green enough to take the brand into a CO2-neutral future. This is why a modular all-electric sports car/supercar/hypercar DNA looks now like the most pragmatic option for McLaren and its partner.
There are many puzzling elements clouding this complex master plan, but most mysterious is the role of Audi –which suggested, off the record, that a deal with the McLaren Group was as good as done. Except it obviously isn't.
Intelligence gathered in Germany, the UK and Bahrain leaves little doubt that the owners of McLaren have rejected both takeover bids as inadequate. It transpired that Audi has, in a parallel move, also contacted Sauber which is currently racing with Alfa, but suddenly looks like the future front-runner ally of the Germans.

Sauber is currently unable to beat McLaren to the chequered flag, but then the Swiss are not saddled by an ailing car division that needs sorting. Another uncertainty factor is the F1 rulebook for 2026 and beyond, which won't be complete before the end of June. It remains to be seen whether Ferrari and Mercedes will, as previously indicated, support the regulatory changes demanded by the Volkswagen satellites.

While Red Bull has already expressed its willingness to team up with Porsche, no such statement was, to our knowledge, issued by any team with regard to Audi.
Imagine for a moment you are in charge of the McLaren Group where the F1 division is a solid money maker whereas McLaren Cars is strapped for cash. Would you sell racing to save automotive and risk to walk away empty-handed? Not when an old friend like BMW is offering support with no apparent strings attached.

Between now and 2030, the McLaren product portfolio is unlikely to change dramatically. But the company does need a new V8 which meets EU7 and is strong enough to power future super and ultimate series hybrid models, and it must make sure the Artura can brave the F296 and the next Huracan. The team from Woking can't walk down electric avenue all by itself. Instead it needs a strong ally to develop cells, e-motors, inverters, electric and electronic architectures, cooling concepts, charging and discharging cycles – as well as high-performance operating algorithms.

BMW is in the position to assist, and in return would benefit from McLaren's strengths like high-end carbon-fibre applications, lightweight design and outstanding vehicle dynamics all the way up to the Senna/P1/Speedtail/Elva segment.
Since BMW is not interested in returning to F1, the collaboration would be primarily project- and tech-related, not marketing-driven. Co-funding a new high-performance E/E matrix is small fry for a heavyweight OEM which may, in a second step, give McLaren access to potential extensions of the model range like the meanest ever SUV derived from the MkII XM, a version of the pending one megawatt four-motor e-crackerjack, or the recently completed state-of-the-art 4.4-litre V8.
If this arrangement does materialise, the day-to-day work will almost certainly be masterminded by the M division. Keep thinking along these lines, and the joint powers in charge may, in the not too distant future, surprise us with a zero-emission M1 Hommage coupé – which may be even more retro in character, but positively even more advanced in concept and content.
 

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So, Audi’s offer was so low I could eyeball it months ago as inadequate. That’s not merely inadequate as unserious. I don’t know if Audi is just being ridiculously cheap or if they intentionally wanted to try to underbid as some plan to coerce McLaren, but it’s not even remotely in the right ballpark for a serious offer.

A lot can happen between now and 2035. Hybrid tech will carry them that far. I agree this is a serious risk for McLaren long term, but it’s not a 5 year problem. And a lot of folks have been selling their EV tech including Rimac. In theory, McLaren could buy top tier motors from specialty suppliers and batteries from Asia. They aren’t making even 5,000 cars a year. They don’t need quite the same infrastructure that VW does to selling 2 million. GM and Ford have both expressed a willingness to sell their tech openly.

Not saying this is the best plan, but rather observing there are a wide range of possible business solutions when you don’t have to manufacture a hundred thousand SUVs a year.
 

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TL;DR I think folks are underestimating how widespread tier one suppliers of BEV tech will be by 2035, and also how difficult it’d be for McLaren to take many hundreds of millions without selling out. What does BMW get out of this without ruining McLaren?

I’d agree this is the most significant hurdle for McLarens continued existence, though. I don’t see any evidence they can afford to invest in their own bespoke BEV architecture like Porsche.

Aston is fucked.
 

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Well, to be fair, the brand itself does have value, just maybe not in the driver's car market.
It is exactly what I think, but either selling clothes or high end furniture, “racing pedigree” will always be part of the marketing bs, and I think we can agree that that as to end in fairness for the companies with real racing heritage.
 

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It is exactly what I think, but either selling clothes or high end furniture, “racing pedigree” will always be part of the marketing bs, and I think we can agree that that as to end in fairness for the companies with real racing heritage.
There aren't many of them left! McLaren and Ferrari are about it. It'd be nice to see Lotus back in the racing game.
 
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