BMW is re-shuffling its joint ventures.BMW won't build a McLaren-derived supercar after all, according to insiders who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The project was mothballed several months ago.The idea was to blend McLaren's Super Series chassis with a BMW-specific interior and a mild hybrid powertrain built around a V8 engine, according to Automobile Magazine. The model could have finally given the BMW portfolio a heir to the M1, and engineers from the two companies had already started working together at McLaren headquarters, but decision-makers decided not to move forward with the project after all.
"It's a great piece of kit. But we came to the conclusion that it is the wrong car for these fast-moving times," said a senior BMW manager. He added the company will develop its next halo car on its own.
BMW has canceled other projects, too, according to Automobile Magazine. Notably, it won't develop a small car architecture with Toyota, and it won't share its engine expertise with rival Mercedes-Benz.
Executives have other plans to save money. BMW recently confirmed it's in talks with China's Great Wall about producing the next generation of the MINI Hardtop locally. These models would be distributed on the Chinese market, but they could also reach Europe and the United States. And, the two partners could take the deal a step further by jointly developing a platform for small, front-wheel drive cars. It sounds like Great Wall could replace Toyota as BMW's go-to partner for cost-cutting.
Interestingly, BMW and Mercedes parent company Daimler could jointly develop a pair of modular platforms. Some sources report the partnership is on ice after the recent cartel allegations, but the potential savings ($9 to $12 billion per side, according to Automobile) are difficult to ignore.