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Why don't other companies use McLaren F1's BMW engine?

Discussion in 'General Automotive Discussion' started by ryalex, Mar 6, 2004.

  1. ryalex

    ryalex Two Time F1 World Champ
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    For those of you who understand something more about the auto industry, manufacture and licensing:

    Why hasn't any other company built a car around the McLaren F-1's BMW V-12 engine?

    Is it because they had an exclusive agreement with McLaren? What about MB and the V-12 in the Zonda?

    I have thought a lot about why a small company trying to break into the "supercar" market wouldn't go with an MB or BMW engine like these companies did. If they are touted as such miraculous engines, why not buy them?

    Saleen and Koenigsegg obviously like the simpler Ford V-8's, probably for affordable repair and familiar design for many technicians. But given the high ($400k+) price tags of both those cars, it doesn't make sense they couldn't plunk down some more cash for the BMW engine.

    One last engine question: how do you buy just the engines? Contact the company's corporate sales dept. and just say, I want 40 of X engine, in crates?
     
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  3. tvrfreak

    tvrfreak F1 Rookie
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    Complexity, and therefore, cost.
     
  4. judge4re

    judge4re F1 World Champ

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    Lots and lots of paperwork. Also depends what you want to do with them. Put them in a car of your own design, then you get in to licensing agreements, warranty agreements, marketing restrictions, etc... Enough to keep the corporate lawyers busy for a while.

    Now, if you are just say doing development work and have an agreement with an OEM for a component that will go on one of their vehicles in the future and have a really good relationship with them, you can get just about anything. Including a hand built prototype of an engine that is three generations from the street. Sometimes its even gratis.

    And people wonder why we have a corporate ban on cell phones with cameras...
     
  5. ryalex

    ryalex Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Thanks for the answers!
     
  6. Miltonian

    Miltonian F1 Veteran

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    There is an interesting article on the McLaren/BMW engine in the March 2004 issue of "Classic Cars" magazine. According to the article, McLaren built 100 of the F1's, and BMW built only 110 of the engines.
     
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  8. Senna1994

    Senna1994 F1 World Champ

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    That is a great article, and I think that BMW V-12 was a colloboration between Paul Rosche (who was head of the BMW F1 Turbo Engine) and Gordon Murray who worked with Rosche when Murray was the Technical Director of Brahbam when they won the F1 championship in 83. That engine was extremely expensive and I think even today it would have been an incredible motor.
     
  9. Ferrari_co_uk

    Ferrari_co_uk Karting

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    Yeah, but they had planned to build over 300. This, I believe, led to a few problems between BMW and Mclaren.

    Best
    Mark
     
  10. TimN88

    TimN88 F1 Veteran

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    Does anyone know how much money Mclaren actually made off each F1 they sold? EVen though they costed 1 million dollars, i would bet it was not much (percentage wise). The designing and tooling costs were probably so high, that its suprising that they made so few of them.
     
  11. Nuvolari

    Nuvolari F1 Veteran
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    I have it on good authority that the project did in fact loose money. Naurally this was not intended however soft sales caused the McLaren to be scrapped after 103 units (this includes race cars).

    As an interesting aside, I know some of the development team for the McLaren and the BMW engine came very very late. All the early development work was done in a hybrid car powered by a Chevy engine. Interesting how they don't tell you this in the slick sales brochures.
     
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  13. teak360

    teak360 F1 Veteran
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    They also used the Ultima as a test mule for drivetrain development.
    By the time the F1 was in production Mclaren were already into developing their relationship with Mercedes. This, of course, created conflict. I know one of the principals of Mclaren in a cursory way, having had dinner at his house and gone to a couple of grands prix as his guest. From what I gathered, the Mclaren F1 was a labor of love and unfortunately did not make a profit. It did, obviously, generate huge PR.
     
  14. ryalex

    ryalex Two Time F1 World Champ
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    I think long term it was a good move (as they have the good name and knowhow make these new high-end Mercedes, among their other racing projects)... it introduced the McLaren name to a whole new generation of car guys and lay people who otherwise wouldn't know McLaren from F-1 or other racing.
     
  15. Ferrari_co_uk

    Ferrari_co_uk Karting

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    Mclaren lost a serious amount of money on the F1. In fact, the only part of the operation that made any money was the racing division.

    Best
    Mark
     
  16. ryalex

    ryalex Two Time F1 World Champ
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    So, McLaren could barely sell 100 F1's in 1995, but Porsche and MB thought they could sell 100,000 $400k+ cars in 2005?
     
  17. tbakowsky

    tbakowsky F1 World Champ
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    There is a beautiful coffe table book called Driving Amibition. This book entirly about the F1, from the idea formed, to how it began, from the test mules on up to the finished product.

    I have the book and it cost be just short of 100 bucks..but the photography is wonderful and the technical info is fantastic. Seek out this book and read it..the talk about losing money with this car is vailid,but it was not built with profits in mind.
     
  18. Ryan S.

    Ryan S. Two Time F1 World Champ
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    100,000?
     
  19. Artherd

    Artherd F1 Veteran

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    Beats me, the engine is basically my M70 V-12 out of my 750iL, slightly longer bore & stroke, with 4-v heads (presumeably based off the S50 I belive, the E36 M3 motor.)

    It should be CHEAP! And it is not very complex, certinly no more complex than Mercedes S600 12-er.
     
  20. Mr Payne

    Mr Payne F1 Rookie

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    Carrera GT - the next Corvette.
     
  21. Dino Martini

    Dino Martini F1 Rookie

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    Are you saying this is bad? I think its good. If the Carrera GT ends up the next Corvette, there will be some many on the market that anyone with 100k will be able to snap one up. Maybe me even.
     
  22. GT Fan

    GT Fan Formula Junior

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    It is a totally different engine than that.
     
  23. nsxrebel

    nsxrebel Formula 3

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    I remember reading somewhere that McLaren went to Honda first to get an engine, but they turned them down, wonder why? then obviously they turned to BMW.
     
  24. BlueBiturbo

    BlueBiturbo F1 Rookie

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    I have to disagree with the word cheap. The Inconel Headers itself (a pair of two 6-cyl headers) are said to be more expensive than a complete 5.6l 850CSi motor(!)

    Here's a sample of an inconel header for the NSX (a pair o6 3-cyl headers):
    http://www.scienceofspeed.com/products/exhaust_airflow_products/NSX/Fujitsubo/headers/

    Scary price huh?
     
  25. ryalex

    ryalex Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Honda begins its McLaren partnership with Ayrton Senna as their driver. The combination is victorious in 15 of 16 events on the way to winning both the F1 Manufacturer's and Driver's Championships.

    McLaren Honda posts a record 11 consecutive Formula One race wins, takes both the F-1 Constructors' and Drivers' Championships. American Fred Merkel wins the inaugural World Superbike Championship for Honda.

    http://racing.honda.com/about/heritage.aspx?page=19

    Their relationship had probably ended; Honda might not have wanted to put resources into an engine like that.
     
  26. Mr Payne

    Mr Payne F1 Rookie

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    I was referencing the "100,000 units".....the actual production run was ~1500 (don't know if they've deviated).
     
  27. BMW.SauberF1Team

    BMW.SauberF1Team F1 World Champ

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    Ryalex, I don't think the Zonda/Benz thing is as close as the McLaren/BMW combination. I think Zonda bought regular V12s from the SL600s, S600s, etc and not something that was custom ordered like the S70/2 V12 of the McLaren.

    The 110 engines is what McLaren Cars told me, too.

    I don't think they're that similar. Even the S70 and S70/1 from the 850csi isn't that close to the S70/2 of the McLaren F1.
     
  28. teak360

    teak360 F1 Veteran
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    Excellent book, just got an extra copy on Ebay for under $40 (new). They're on there often.
     

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