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The 2014 McLaren P1 is simply a work of art. Planned to be the successor of the famed McLaren F1, the P1 is McLaren Automotive’s contribution to a quickly evolving class of supercars that combine cutting-edge electric components to increase power and performance while decreasing carbon emissions. These hybrid supercars are known as “hypercars,” and McLaren Automotive, without a doubt, has made a mark with the P1.

McLaren-P1-Front

Cutting Edge Aerodynamics

The P1 builds upon the design of its little brother, the McLaren MP4-12C, adding body panels that give the car an ultra-aggressive look while providing less resistance. Every panel on the P1 was rigorously tested and designed for aerodynamic functionality and the result is nothing short of phenomenal. McLaren claims the maximum amount of down-force is over 1300 lbs. and is achieved at 160 mph.

McLaren-P1-OpenDoor

Exterior

The redesigned body panels have much larger air ducts than the MP4-12C, redirecting airflow to cool the engine. The body panels are predominantly carbon fiber, and are attached to a redesigned version of the MP4-12C MonoCell frame, now called the MonoCage, which weighs in at a little under 200 lbs. In addition, every panel, from the front to back, is designed to direct airflow over the rear wing.

McLaren-P1-Side

The rear wing automatically adjusts to the best setting according to speed, however, this can be overridden by activating the P1’s DRS (drag reduction system) via a button located on the steering wheel. This locks the rear wing in place to minimize speed loss due to drag.

McLaren-P1-Rear

Interior

At first glance, the interior of the P1 doesn’t appear to be too fancy. However, the designers at McLaren did a wonderful job of packing a plethora of features into minimal space. The dash is an extension of the carbon fiber skeleton and flows into the redesigned console, which splits the two minimally-foamed racing seats (as opposed to the F1, which had a 3 seat design). Extensive measures were taken to ensure a balance between weight reduction and comfort on the inside.

McLaren-P1-Interior

Performance and Specs

Now to the meat and potatoes: the P1’s 3.8 liter twin turbo V8. By itself, this motor is no slouch, producing 727 hp and 531 lbs-ft torque. However, coupled with its state of the art kinetic energy recovery system (KERS), the P1 claims a total of 903 hp and 663 lbs-ft. torque. This system can be recharged either by the motor or with the standard wall plugin, and allows the P1 to travel about 12 miles at 50mph on electric power only.  The P1 is rear wheel drive, and all that power is routed from the mid-mounted motor through a 7 speed dual-clutch transmission. Additionally, a feature known as IPAS (instant power assist system), allows for super-fast delivery of all electrical power to the motor, via a button on the steering wheel. These systems work together to allow the P1 to achieve some great numbers: 0-62mph in just under 3 seconds, 0-120mph in under 7 seconds, and 0-186mph in under 17 seconds (5 seconds faster than the F1, which most commonly sported a BMW V12 motor). MacLaren claims the P1 tops out at 239mph, however an electronic limiter engages at 217mph.

Final Impression

Due to start production in June 2013, the McLaren P1 already has the attention of automobile enthusiasts around the world. With a price tag around $1.1 million and a strict production limit of 375, the P1 may prove attainable by only a small percent of serious collectors. Regardless, tedious research and design have led to a superb finished product, and as technology continues to develop and car manufacturers push the limits, the P1 ensures that McLaren has secured its spot amongst the elite hypercar manufacturers.

McLaren-P1-Top


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