Honda to build engine for McLaren’s Porsche 911 competitor…or so we’d like to think

1990 Honda Accord engine

Looking at the neighbor kid’s mistreated Civic or your grandpa’s Accord, you might not guess that Honda is one of the world’s foremost engine manufacturers. But it is.

Aside from its car engine division, Honda produces all kinds of small displacement engines powering anything from its motorcycles to its power generators – and beyond.

In fact, if you think far enough back to what now seems like ancient history, the 1980s and ‘90s, Honda used to be apart of one of the winningest Formula 1 teams of its time: McLaren-Honda. With drivers like Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost at the wheel, Honda’s engines propelled the team’s cars to 44 Gran Prix wins from 1988 to 1991.

Recently, Honda announced it would again team with McLaren for the 2015 season producing the new turbocharged 1.6-liter V6 engines required by Formula 1 for 2014.

Additionally, McLaren has said it’ll be producing an entry-level Porsche 911 competitor beneath he MP4-12C. Could this mean that McLaren will soon have a Honda-powered road-going sports car? Motor Trend seems to think so.

The idea doesn’t seem too far-fetched. Sure, we’re not millionaires in the market for a McLaren but taking our present budget-minded selves into consideration, we’re a bit concerned with a McLaren sports car’s potential reliability – especially compared to the meticulously-built 911.

Not to say that McLaren designers don’t put the time in, but as a small, independent brand, it’s R&D isn’t on the same level as Porsche’s. Add a Honda motor under the hood, however, and you’ve got our penny-pinching attention.

There’s some credence to the theory from a financial standpoint, too. Formula 1 changed the engine requirements so that the innovation going into Formula 1 cars could trickle down into the consumer market. The money spent on R&D on a new-fangled motor could greatly be offset if it were to hit a production car, albeit de-tuned.

Would you buy a Honda-powered McLaren over a Porsche 911? Tell us in the comments.

Emerging Tech

Here’s how Facebook taught its Portal A.I. to think like a Hollywood filmmaker

When Facebook introduced its Portal screen-enhanced smart speakers, it wanted to find a way to make video chat as intimate as sitting down for a conversation with a friend. Here's how it did it.

Alfa Romeo’s latest Ferrari-powered F1 race car is ready to hit the track

Alfa Romeo is doubling down on Formula One racing after a decades-long hiatus. Now essentially a support team for Ferrari, its 2019 driver lineup includes a former world champion and a potential future star.

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.

The Polestar 2, Sweden’s answer to the Tesla Model 3, begins taking shape

Volvo sister company Polestar has released a teaser image to give us our first look at the 2, its second model. Polestar tells us the 2 will arrive as a four-door fastback with a 400-hp electric powertrain and about 300 miles of range.

Nissan is using old Leaf batteries to power and connect off-the-grid campers

Nissan has teamed up with trailer manufacturer Opus to design a mobile, weatherproof power pack built with battery cells sourced from the first-generation Leaf. Called Roam, the pack stores enough electricity to power a camper for up to a…

Researchers teach self-driving cars to predict pedestrians’ next moves

University of Michigan researchers are developing a system that teaches self-driving cars to predict pedestrian movement. Humans don't always act in their own best self-interest, so autonomous cars will need to practice protective driving.

Subaru’s latest VIZIV concept car is pumped full of adrenaline

The Subaru VIZIV Adrenaline is the seventh member of the Japanese automaker's family of VIZIV concept cars. It debuts at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, but for now, all we're getting is a shadowy teaser image.

Audi is advancing the tech that teaches cars to talk to traffic lights

Audi is teaching its cars the language of traffic lights. The company developed technology that tells motorists what speed they should drive at in order to catch as many green lights as possible.

Waymo rules and Apple trails in California self-driving car benchmarks

California's DMV releases annual reports of self-driving car disengagements on public roads. In the most recent reports. Waymo had the best performance, GM Cruise came in second, and Apple's self-driving program was in last place.

Watch a modified Audi e-tron electric SUV drive straight up a ski slope

A modified Audi e-tron climbed up an 85-percent gradient on an Austrian ski slope in a tribute to a classic Audi commercial. The vehicle used for the stunt sported an extra electric motor and spiked tires.

Mamma mia! Alfa Romeo will unveil a new model at the Geneva Auto Show

Alfa Romeo told Digital Trends it will unveil a new model at the 2019 Geneva Auto Show. It stopped short of revealing what it has in store, but rumors claim it will be a crossover positioned below the Stelvio.

Citroën says you could drive its tiny Ami One electric car without a license

Citroën's Ami One concept car is an electric vehicle that's as cute as it is compact. The miniature motor only has a top speed of 28 mph, so the French automaker imagines it as a shareable runaround for short drives.

Arizona city slammed with $10M lawsuit over fatal Uber autonomous car accident

The family of Elaine Herzberg, the woman struck and killed by one of Uber's self-driving prototypes, has filed a $10 million lawsuit against the city of Tempe, Arizona. They claim Herzberg jaywalked because she was confused by a brick…

Mercedes lets the sun shine in one last time with SLC Final Edition convertible

The Mercedes-Benz SLC convertible sports car is going out of production. Launched in 1996 as the SLK, the model has been a fixture in the Mercedes-Benz lineup across three generations.