McLaren to team up with Lockheed Martin Skunk Works

14th December 2022
James Brodie

The automotive world is far from alien when it comes to unusual collaborations. Think Toyota and Aston Martin when they came up with the badge-engineered Cygnet, Kia’s very own version of the Lotus Elan, or that time AMG made a hot Mitsubishi Galant. 


And sometimes, companies not traditionally associated with the car world get their hands on a product with four wheels. Usually, these slightly lop-sided agreements extend to little more than a naff special edition or trim level - think your Fiat 500 Riva, for instance.

But while the dinky Italian city car sees its off-tarmac soul-mate moored in an Amalfi Coast harbour, McLaren sees potential in taking things to the skies, Top Gun style.

It’s just announced a collaboration with Lockheed Martin Skunk Works, maker of some of the most iconic defence aircraft to ever patrol the skies - the U-2, SR-71 Blackbird, F-117 Nighthawk, plus, fictional stars of the big screen: the ‘Darkstar’ plane flown by Tom Cruise in the new Top Gun: Maverick blockbuster. 

Exactly what the collaboration will produce has not been fully disclosed, and the partnership seems to be in its most embryonic stages. But McLaren has said that it is working with Skunk Works to “assess a futuristic design methodology.” 


The aim is to bring the cutting-edge design methods employed by the biggest and brightest minds in defence and aerospace to the world of supercars, and McLaren scientists and engineers will work with Skunk Works boffins to develop ways of using these technologies in production vehicles. 

“McLaren is a pioneering company that has always pushed boundaries and sought out new innovative and disruptive solutions to making the ultimate supercars,” said Darren Goddard, Chief Technical Officer, McLaren Automotive.

“Working alongside an iconic company such as Lockheed Martin Skunk Works, renowned for its visionary focus on the future, is a natural fit. We hope this is the start of a longer and deeper collaboration that will benefit our customers in the long term.”

  • McLaren

  • bruce_mclaren_memorial_02062017_09.jpg


    Gallery: Race aces honour Bruce McLaren in 1992 Memorial Garden opening

  • mclaren-mp4-13-f1-1998-monaco-mika-hakkinen-mi-goodwood-10072020.jpg

    Formula 1

    Gallery: The incredible McLaren MP4/13

  • 77mm-mclaren-senna-gtr-pete-summers-10041913.jpg

    Formula 1

    Gallery: 77MM – Mega McLaren parade led by Senna GTR world debut