Phone manufacturer OnePlus has announced a partnership with F1 constructor and car manufacturer McLaren, which will be formally unveiled on 11 December according to a promotional website.
The site details the “Salute to Speed” event taking place at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, UK, as well as highlighting the companies’ mutual values of performance, craftsmanship and innovation.
There isn’t official word on what exactly the partnership will entail yet, but considering the URL for the promotional site ends with “mclaren-6t”, it’s quite safe to assume the eventual presence of another special edition phone, based on OnePlus’ existing OnePlus 6T handset, but likely with some unique design and engineering tweaks too.
The pages of the site also mention OnePlus' 'fast and smooth' design philosophy, its in-screen fingerprint unlocking (already present in the normal 6T), and its world first tweet sent using 5G. Combined with the reference to McLaren's use of carbon fibre in the building of its road car and F1 racer chassis, you have some tantalising clues as to what might feature on a crossover handset.
Other Chinese phone makers have teamed up with the automotive industry before. A Huawei/Porsche crossover has existed since 2016, most recently resulting in the Porsche Design Huawei Mate 20 RS, made by taking a Mate 20 Pro, and adding a new body, tweaking the UI and upgrading the hardware inside. OnePlus itself has entered into a more diverse range of partnerships in the past, such as the Star Wars and Avengers film franchises, and French fashion companies Castelbajac and Colette.
Pete Lau, OnePlus’ CEO said in a statement: “McLaren and OnePlus were born in a similar way - with a big dream to create something special. Starting from nothing, we challenged ourselves to never settle. Today we unveil a true testament to innovation, a salute to speed.”
Zak Brown, CEO of McLaren Racing, said, “Bringing together the inventive, pioneering spirit shared by both OnePlus and McLaren is a firm statement of intent to leverage our collective powers and break new ground for innovative ideas and technology.”