Apple Car Rumors: Supercar Firm McLaren Shoots Down Buyout Speculations

Sep 22, 2016 04:16 AM EDT | Sovan Mandal


SINGAPORE - SEPTEMBER 17: Fernando Alonso of Spain driving the (14) McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team McLaren MP4-31 Honda RA616H Hybrid turbo on track during qualifying for the Formula One Grand Prix of Singapore at Marina Bay Street Circuit on September 17, 2016 in Singapore.
(Photo : Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

McLaren has denied recent media reports claiming it is being taken over by Apple but refused to confirm if it had been approached by the California tech giant, BBC reported.

McLaren spokesman Mr. Bruce, however, did mention they hold regular discussions with all parties but are generally kept confidential owing to the very nature of such discussions.

Apple is already known to be neck deep in its own secretive autonomous car project though analysts aren't sure how a company that specializes in formula one racing can fit into the former's long terms business plans.

Apart from a racing team, McLaren is also into luxury sports car manufacturing, both of which seemingly do not make a nice fit to Apple's business scheme of things. That said, McLaren's patent portfolio could be interest for Apple given the extensive knowledge-base that the British marque has developed over the years, which includes knowhow about carbon composite materials or lightweight but high-strength alloys.

Those apart, McLaren is also known to have extensive expertise in the development of simulators and data analytics. With the latter, McLaren is able to predict or deal with any conceivable scenario during Formula One races.

The same can also find application in real world scenarios where it can predict the flow of traffic or how a particular traffic situation is going to affect in another region and so on. Such might also be of use to Apple's autonomous car project. 

The lossmaking McLaren is estimated to be valued at around £1bn to £1.5bn, the Financial Times said.

Apple, meanwhile, is reported to have approached a San Francisco start-up Lit Motors, which developed a self-balancing electric motorcycle with potential buyout plans.

As for its own ambitious car project codenamed Titan, it has been through its own controversies. There has been over a dozen layoffs recently as Apple struggles to get into the nitty-gritties of car manufacturing and is reported to have hired the services of Australia based contract car manufacturer, Magna Steyr to help build its own autonomous car, Motor1 reported.

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