Engines are headed to shed cylinders in all areas of the automotive future. Don’t believe it? Try asking McLaren executive Antony Sheriff.
“The V12 engine is a thing of the past. The engine belongs in a museum,” he said to Dutch website Autovisie.
It’s a philosophy the company already adopted with its MP4-12C with its 3.8-liter twin turbo V8 making 617 hp, only a single horse shorter than the famed F1’s naturally aspirated V12 made. His, and McLaren’s, philosophy is that smaller turbocharged engines are more efficient, can be used to make similar power with less weight and displacement, and have fewer moving parts than a comparably performing V12.
That’s not a view shared by competing Italian companies like Ferrari and Pagani which both used V12 powerplants in current production cars. Despite big name industry stoicism, Sheriff said a V6 might even be in the future for McLaren, though the brand will never stray from its mid-engine setup.
While it might seem like a shock to think of the iconic F1’s manufacturer thinking of going to a V6, one thing Sheriff made clear stands out from the rest: weight. While other brands are still relying on larger engines which will eventually go the way of the dodo bird, McLaren is playing a quiet and sly gambit.
After all, horsepower isn’t everything. The F1 proved that in its staying power against hulking brutes like the Bugatti Veyron. Even with a V6, it’s completely conceivable that it could build an impressive supercar – just look back on (or forward to) the Acura NSX.
While it’s expected that the new F1 will be present this September at the Paris Motor Show, there have also been rumblings that the car will appear at Pebble Beach next week. If that’s the case then definitive information should be just around the corner.