Despite Formula 1 partnership, McLaren says ‘no’ to Honda-powered road cars

McLaren P1
The crown jewel of Britain’s supercar brigade, McLaren, is committed to keeping its bloodline pure.

The emblematic P1 automaker will use Honda powerplants for the 2015 Formula 1 season, but the manufacturer says the collaboration will begin and end at the track.

Jolyon Nash, McLaren’s Global Sales and Marketing Director, recently told Drive, “It won’t happen,” in reference to a Honda-powered road car. “I mean that in the nicest way, as we are an independent company. We produce pure McLarens.”

“There is no need for us to go into partnership with another manufacturer,” he continued, debunking previous rumors.

McLaren’s F1 cars have equipped Mercedes-Benz powertrains since 1995, when the ‘needle-nose’ MP4/10 garnered 4th place with a 3.0-liter Daimler V10. Before that, however, the brand sourced Honda engines from 1988 to 1992, earning the rank of Champion in four of those years.

Clearly, these two groups have some competitive chemistry, and that’s something Nash is very excited about.

“There’s a high level of confidence about our potential in the sport next year,” he said. “After all, it’s a renewing of one of the most successful partnerships in F1.”

In keeping with the automaker’s singular focus, Nash also emphasized that McLaren is a sports car company first, and will likely never build an SUV. So despite the success of the Porsche Cayenne, don’t expect to see an M838T–powered family-hauler any time soon.

“I just can’t conceive an SUV,” Nash explained. “I don’t imagine that McLaren would produce such a car, or a four-door car or even a three-door car.”

Driving the point home, McLaren recently confirmed a new sports car appropriately dubbed the Sport Series. It will sit below the 650S is the brand’s lineup, feature a detuned version of the P1’s twin-turbo 3.8-liter V8, and debut sometime in 2015.

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