Prior to this week’s announcement at the Geneva Motor Show, it was no secret that McLaren had decided to move forward with the design study we declared Best Concept at the Paris show in November. Fans and drivers have been impatiently awaiting a successor to the legendary F1 supercar. Boy, it was worth the wait.
The awe-inspiring 903-horsepower P1 is fueled by a gas-electric powertrain consisting of a 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 (727 hp) paired with a single electric motor (176 hp) to provide an instant torque boost right out of the gate, making the P1 incredibly responsive on the throttle. This is controlled by the dual-clutch seven-speed rocker paddles, with automatic mode standard for city driving. This combination gives the supercar the ability to hit zero to 60 in less than three seconds, but we’re obviously not done there. By seven seconds into your joyride the P1 has hit the 124 mph mark, finally passing 186 mph in just under 17 seconds—a whole five seconds faster than the F1.
The electronically limited top speed on the P1 is somewhere around 217 mph—which makes this demon absolutely perfect for a day out on the track…or the autobahn. Or if you’re playing it safe—or distracted by a Bunny—you can kick the car into E-mode and rely on battery power for a few quiet klicks.
In any high-speed scenario, the advanced technology developed for this vehicle—specifically the adjustable suspension and active aerodynamics—optimizes the P1’s downforce levels (an incredible 1322 lb at 161 mph) to give it the maximum performance advantage. Considering this tech is now banned in Formula 1 racing, we’re extremely glad it hasn’t gone to waste with a track-ready production vehicle such as this. The adjustable rear wing extends between 120 and 300 mm for road or track, respectively, and is inspired by the 2008 MP4-23 champion car.
The kevlar-infused carbon fiber MonoCage chassis—portions of which are five times stronger than premium titanium—can be raised or lowered 50 mm in Race Mode (one of four) as part of the hydro-pneumatic suspension, producing ground effect aerodynamics and a plethora of additional customized adjustments including dampening, roll and pitch control. Even more exciting, adjustments allow the spring rates to stiffen by 300 percent, giving this beast the ability to go 2g around corners.
While the tunnel-tested aerodynamics and incredible technology are definitely impressive, the P1, of course, is a beautiful package design-wise as well. Almost sculpted by the natural flow of air over its body, the P1’s exterior persona is powerful, sleek and sexy. The flowing lines of the winged doors make a strong impression as they arch over the glass canopy of the fighter jet cockpit, but what really grabs our attention is the aggressive roof snorkel air intake, which defines the undertones of the P1’s fiery no-bullshit personality.
Production of this supercar begins later this year in the U.K.; act quick if you have $1.15 million saved up, as we hear only 375 lucky bastards will have the opportunity to permanently get behind the wheel of this gorgeous creature.
For more information, check out www.mclarenautomotive.com.