McLaren drops power and performance details on P1 hypercar
By Mark Atkinson for MSN Autos
If you've been living under a rock for the last few months, you'd be forgiven for not knowing that British race- and road-car builder McLaren is building a successor to its legendary F1 supercar. It revealed the shape and a few details about P1 at the Paris Motor Show last fall, and now is following up before Geneva to fill in plenty of the blanks.
First, the P1 uses full carbonfibre construction to keep its weight down, along with active suspension and aerodynamics introduced on the 14C supercar. It just plain looks stunning with vents, curves and LED lights everywhere... the brake lights are perhaps the coolest ever, ringing the, ahem, cooling ducts for the mid-mounted engine. Like modern Formula 1 cars, the P1 also uses a drag-reduction system (DRS) that lets the car cut through the air up to 20-ish per cent better, meaning rediculously fast acceleration.
That engine is a serious evolution of the 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V8 found in the 14C, only here in the P1 it makes around 700 horsepower. However, the gas engine is supplemented by a powerful electric motor that's fed by a Formula 1-style kinetic-energy-recovery-system (KERS) that uses a big battery to store energy recaptured during braking. Total system power is 903 horsepower and 600-ish lb-ft of torque, and the driver can also call upon an instantaneous boost of 175 horsepower for short periods of time. As a bonus, the P1 can function as an electric car for up to about 20 km in city driving.
The transmission is a beefed-up seven-speed dual-clutch unit, while the brakes promise to deliver race-car levels of stopping force. McLaren tapped their Formula 1 team supplier Akebono to produce a system that's lighter than ever thanks to a new space-race-era ceramic compound.
Acceleration numbers are quoted as being head-bashingly fast: 0-300 km/h takes less than 17 seconds, which McLaren says is 23 per cent faster than the McLaren F1. Zero-100 is under three seconds while 0-200 km/h a measly seven seconds... Top speed is limited to 350 km/h as the company claims it has no interest in taking on the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport for those honours. We've also heard rumours that the P1 is currently smashing track records everywhere it goes so we'll be very interested once those details get clearer.
What is perfectly clear is that McLaren is banking on exclusivity again with the P1: only 375 will be built at a cost of over $1.5 million Canadian.