The astonishing new McLaren P1™, which debuted in production form at the Geneva Motor Show, has a clear goal – to be the best driver’s car in the world on road and track. To achieve this objective, McLaren is using all of its 50 years of racing experience and success. Especially in the fields of aerodynamics and lightweight carbon fibre technology.
The result is ultimate racing cars that have an unprecedented amount of downforce for a road vehicle. Similar levels to a GT3 racing car and yet with even greater ground effect. This downforce not only boosts cornering and braking performance. It also helps balance, stability and driveability at all speeds.
The best driver’s car in the world must also have exceptional straight-line performance and instant throttle response. To deliver this, the McLaren P1™ uses an innovative IPAS petrol-electric powertrain comprising a substantially revised 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 petrol engine, coupled to a single electric motor, collectively known as M838TQ. Combined power output is 916 PS (903 hp). As important as absolute power is the electric motor’s ability to provide instant torque, making the powertrain superbly responsive. It is also amazingly efficient. The McLaren P1™ returns 34.0 mpg (8.3 l/100km) on the EU combined cycle, with CO2 emissions of 194 g/km. The electric motor offers a range of 11 km (6.8 miles) in full electric mode on the NEDC cycle, which sees emissions drop to zero.
Top speed is electronically limited to 350 km/h (217 mph), with the 0-100 km/h standing start acceleration taking just 2.8 seconds .The McLaren P1™ will power from rest to 200 km/h in 6.8 seconds, and on to 300 km/h in 16.5 seconds. A full 5.5 seconds quicker than the McLaren F1.
In addition, the McLaren P1™ also features adjustable ride height as part of the new hydro-pneumatic suspension. The revolutionary RaceActive Chassis Control (RCC) can lower the car by 50mm in Race mode, to produce ground effect aerodynamics. It also features adaptive spring rates, roll control, pitch control and damping, all providing a huge range of adjustment. This makes the McLaren P1™ perfect for either road or track. In Race mode, the spring rates stiffen by 300 per cent, allowing the McLaren P1™ to corner at more than 2g.
The McLaren P1™ name is also inspired by Formula 1. P1 refers to ‘first place’ or ‘position one.’ Particularly fitting as McLaren has 182 Grand Prix victories and 155 pole positions to-date, in its 47-year Formula 1 history. There is also heritage in that name: the McLaren F1 was initially known internally within McLaren as Project 1, or P1.
The McLaren P1 is evidence of automotive design genius. With an asking price of $1.4 Million, it’s clear these ultimate luxury dream cars are built to be worth every penny.
(Photos Courtesy of McLaren Automotive)