The McLaren P1 Supercar takes advantage of a range of in-house tech and aerodynamic traits used on McLaren’s F1 cars to surpass 322km/h (200mph).
Fresh from its international debut at the Geneva Motor Show, the McLaren P1 is considered the latest pioneer to the enhancement of motoring physics. Form is unquestionably sacrificed for function here: the P1 is certainly not a looker in comparison to other exotic cars, but its aerodynamic finesse helps to make it one of the quickest in the industry.
Body panels appear tightly moulded around its powerful internals in homage to a modern Formula One car.
The P1’s parallels with the premier motorsporting discipline don’t stop there either as McLaren has unleashed much of its in-house F1 tech on this road-going hypercar – particularly in terms of aerodynamics.
One such trait is the recycling of energy thanks to the Instant Power Assist System (IPAS), which catches kinetic energy when braking and converts it into electrical energy that can be used to add a burst of power.
The car also features highly adjustable active damping: indeed, in Race mode, the spring rates stiffen by 300 percent, so the McLaren P1 can corner at more than two g. Inside is as primitive as possible to shed weight, and extensive aerodynamic tweaks ensure almost unprecedented levels of downforce for a road car, so the P1 can both cut cleanly through the air and yet stay firmly on the ground.
Gearbox – A dual-clutch, seven-speed gearbox makes for a smooth transition from 0-350km/h (0-217mph).
Body vents – As well as generating downforce and reducing drag, vents in the body also aid the cooling of the powertrain – essential to keep the car performing under immense stress.
Rear diffuser – Large rear diffuser outlets at the back of the car accelerate airflow via the Venturi effect and produce downforce.
Engine – The petrol engine in the McLaren P1 is a monstrous 3.8l twin-turbo V8.
Electric motor – A 131kW (176bhp) electric motor is integrated into the engine via a specially cast, lightweight aluminium block.
Battery – A high power density battery pack supplies electricity to the P1’s electric motor.