McLaren P1: Designed to be the best driver's car in the world
5th March 2013
The astonishing new McLaren P1™, which debuts 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 a car that has 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.
‘McLaren introduced the carbon fibre chassis to the world of Formula 1 in 1981 with the MP4/1, and we had the first carbon-bodied road car,’ says McLaren Automotive Executive Chairman Ron Dennis. ‘We have always been at the cutting edge of vehicle aerodynamics, and all of this experience has gone into the new McLaren P1™. Twenty years ago, with the McLaren F1, we raised the supercar performance bar. With the McLaren P1™, we have redefined it once more.’
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.
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. Carbon dioxide emissions are less than 200g/km, and it can cover more than 10 km in electric-only mode.
Top speed is electronically limited to 350 km/h (217 mph), with the 0-100 km/h standing start acceleration taking less than three seconds .The McLaren P1™ will power from rest to 200 km/h in less than seven seconds, and on to 300 km/h in less than 17 seconds – a full five seconds quicker than the McLaren F1.
Production of the McLaren P1™ will be limited to 375 examples, and is to commence in the new £40 million McLaren Production Centre (MPC) facility in Woking, Surrey, UK, later this year. Production will be alongside the production lines of the 12C and 12C Spider.