Rumors have been circling for years that Apple is working on an electric car, and has considered a partnership or outright acquiring an established player in the automotive industry. According to a new report from the Financial Times, that strategic partner could be none other than McLaren Technology Group, the supercar maker known for tis Formula 1 racing team.
Update: McLaren has officially denied any takeover claims or strategic partnerships. Tim Bradshaw, one of the reporters behind the FT’s initial story, says that the paper stands by the original report.
The talks are said to have been in progress for several months and could lead to an acquisition valued between $1.3 and $2 billion, although Apple is also considering the idea of a strategic investment as another option.
It's not certain what Apple's exact strategy would be with this deal. While McLaren is well-known in the world of supercars and Formula One, it’s not a mass market company -- it reported $617 million in revenue for the entire year of 2015. Its road cars division that started less than a decade ago, and an 'entry level' model like the 570S starts at just shy of $200,000.
Apple could be eyeing McLaren for its engineering talent, technology and patents.
Apple has hired several high-profile tech and auto industry veterans over the past months. It also brought back former executive Bob Mansfield to run the secretive car project, and recently reports emerged claiming the team’s focus had shifted from building an electric/autonomous car to developing the underlying technology for self-driving vehicles.