|Rev To The Limit|
"The P1 is a car that runs silently when you're in town and then rips your face off when you aren't" - Clarkson
THE MCLAREN P1
The McLaren P1 occupies a rarified niche of hypercar craziness. It is the special, only a few will ever own level. These cars typically challenge the accepted definition of what it means to be a hypercar by being so much more than just a devastating set of numbers. Every single atom has been been honed, measured, optimized for delivering the ultimate driving experience.
ABOUT THE MCLAREN P1
According to McLaren, the P1 is the ultimate expression of McLaren's engineering expertise. Intelligent, adaptive and blisteringly quick. If McLaren says one of their cars is going to be quick, you can be pretty sure they're not sugar-coating it. No doubt about it, McLaren wants the P1 to go down in the history books like the legendary McLaren F1.
Just to give you a sense of what they've done, we'll let the guys at GT Spirit summarize the experience of launching the McLaren P1: "Hit the Launch button, left foot on the brake, right foot on the throttle… release the brake and… Moses! By the time I manage to counter the G-forces and move my head to look at the speedometer it already reads 60mph, by the time we reach the end of the pit building it says 90 mph – it took around 4.5 seconds to go from standstill to 90 mph – only 2.8 seconds to cross the 100 km/h mark."
WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY
MCLAREN P1 ENGINE & SPECS
The McLaren P1 is part of the new breed of hybrid supercars like the Porsche 918 Spyder and Ferrari LaFerrari. It features the same 3.8 liter V8 engine as the 12C. Heavily revised, the McLaren P1 features a completely re-engineered twin-turbo variant of the V8 powerplant that drastically different.
The hybrid drive comes via a single electric motor mounted behind the cockpit and it produces 176 bhp and 130Nm of torque. The additional power from the electric motor can be deployed through a special button on the steering wheel or can power the car on electric only for a period of time.
Electric Motor and 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 petrol engine are both driven via a dual-clutch seven-speed gearbox. The gearbox unit is similar to the 12C but uses greater cooling to cope with the increase in power.
The electronic engine helps towards plugging traditional deficiencies in the turbochargers, compensating for any lag. The electric motor is also able to provide negative torque which makes the engine revs drop as quickly and efficiently as possible to the required engine speed for the upshift allowing for seamless downshifts.
MCLAREN P1 PERFORMANCE
Obviously McLaren want the P1 to be quick which is why it should come as no surprise that the McLaren P1 is ridiculously fast. Acceleration feels astonishingly quick, each shift pins you to your seat as you hurtle towards the horizon. 0-60mph comes in 2.8 seconds but more impressively 0-124mph is only 6.8 seconds on its way towards an electronically limited top speed of 217mph.
WHAT IS IT LIKE TO DRIVE
It's weird just moseying along silently in such an expensive car. A 903 hp rear-drive supercar shouldn't sound well silent. Press the accelerator a little harder though and things get interesting. First is the KERS-like boost at the top part of the throttle, then the winding of the turbos to potency around 4,000 rpm and then there is the slap in the face, neck bracing slingshot into the horizon. God this this in fast. Assuming you can manage the wheel spin in the first four gears, it really makes progress.
The P1s steering is tight, which is nice when making corrections at these speeds.
It is comfortable and ergonomic and uncluttered, a nice place to be. Visibility is great and there is plenty of room. The gear changes are smith and feels seamless, just like the baby McLaren. It doesn't feel big, or heavy or cumbersome.
When pottering about, just select EV mode and the silence transportation mode whisks you along. Want to move a little faster, just fire up the modified 3.8 liter twin turbo V8 and make progress like any other really, stupid fast car.
Engaging race mode in the P1 is like poking a vicious animal with a sharp stick. It snarls and flexes, it's suspension dropping 50mm, rear wing rising up in anticipation of attack mode. It is ready. Launching (with launch control on) is awesome. No wheel spin, no theatrics, just a combined electric and twin turbo V8 power hurtling you down the road at alarming speeds. It hurts your neck and throws you back into the seat, keeping you there with seamless forward motion.
MCLAREN P1 PHOTO GALLERY
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