The race-inspired Instant Power Assist System (IPAS) gives the McLaren P1 astonishing performance. Zero to 100km/h (62 mph) will take less than 3 seconds, zero to 200 km/h (124 mph) in under 7 seconds, and zero to 300 km/h (186 mph) will be achieved in no more than 17 seconds. This is 11 seconds faster than the legendary McLaren F1 road car. Top speed is electronically limited to 350 km/h (218 mph).
“It is the most technologically advanced and fastest series production car ever to come from the UK,” a spokesman for the company said.
The McLaren P1 has translated to production form with very little changed from the prototype shown at the 2012 Paris Auto Show. In fact just one change-the addition of LTR ducts ahead of each of the front wheels to further aid cooling and optimise downforce.
McLaren has announced a global production number of just 375 units – a figure that will ensure the McLaren P1 will remain a rarity. McLaren has also announced that the car will have a base price of $1,150,000 in the US and have a specification that fully equips the car for both road and track use.
The company prides itself on designing performance cars that their owners can use regularly so the McLaren P1 comes standard with a comprehensive specification list. The options list is limited to only bespoke content that a customer might wish to add through McLaren Special Operations, and fitted luggage.
As already announced, the McLaren P1 will have the combined force of two highly-efficient powerplants, offering the optimum mix of superb throttle response, day-to-day drivability and top speed.
A mid-mounted 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 petrol engine is substantially enhanced featuring, for example, larger turbochargers and a highly effective electric motor, to give a combined output of 916PS (903 bhp) and a maximum torque figure of 900Nm.
This ensures instantaneous throttle response through the rev range, more akin to a naturally aspirated engine. Emissions of less than 200g/km on the EU combined cycle are reduced to zero in full electric drive mode, while the Formula 1-derived DRS and IPAS technologies offer an increase in straight-line speed and an instant boost of power.
As have already said, the McLaren P1 emits an average of 200g/km of CO2 – about the same as a Honda Accord 2.4 litre family saloon. The rival Bugatti Veyron emits 559g/km of carbon dioxide while the Ferrari 458 averages 307g/km.
The tires fitted to the McLaren P1 are specially developed P Zero Corsas, which have been developed with McLaren’s technology partner, Pirelli. The team at Pirelli has been involved throughout the entire development program, and this has seen the tire testing phase integrated into the schedule, as a key performance component.
The final compound and construction has been developed and optimised during testing, and the end result is a tire that is finely tuned specifically to the performance and handling characteristics.
To rein in the power produced by the twin powerplants, the McLaren P1 is designed to offer braking performance more associated with a GT3 or sports racing car.
Developed by McLaren’s Formula 1 partner Akebono, the system features a new type of carbon ceramic disc, which has previously seen service in space, but never before used on a road car.
Stronger than conventional carbon ceramic, the material dissipates heat more effectively, giving the highly efficient braking system exceptional stopping and cooling capability. The system also boasts significantly reduced weight, and a bespoke ceramic layer coats both friction surfaces to give an attractive mirrored finish.
The car can also be driven solely in electric mode. In city driving, with an average speed of 30 mph, this could mean up to a 20km range. More than enough for an owner to enter, for example, a city center Zero Emissions Zone, have dinner and return home.