Designed, engineered and built to be the best driver’s car in the world.
Building a car that pushes as many boundaries as the McLaren P1™ requires a test and validation process like no other.
The best-looking cars are the ones with real substance as well as style. The McLaren P1™ is a stunning piece of automotive design, but you won’t find any needless ornaments or frivolous styling features on it. Every surface has been designed to work, every part given the same aerodynamic consideration as if it was part of an aircraft or a Formula 1™ car.
The bodywork is ‘shrink-wrapped’ as tightly as possible over the mechanical hard points of the car and the cockpit sits right at the centre. This approach helps to reduce frontal surface area, but also makes it easier to manage airflow over the surface of the bodywork and into the engine’s roof snorkel intake and to the active aero components. It looks awesome, and it works very efficiently.
Despite its strictly limited production, the McLaren P1™ underwent a comprehensive test programme, designed to ensure that the car and its state-of-the-art powertrain could deliver its extraordinary breadth of capability anywhere an owner might choose to take it. Prototypes, and the engineering team, travelled the world to ensure the car could function in the hottest and coldest climates. And, of course, the toughest environment of all – Germany’s Nürburgring Nordschleife, and the need to meet the project target of a sub-seven-minute lap.
The mid-mounted twin-turbo V8 engine is derived from the one fitted to the 12C, but with numerous and significant differences. A unique block casting is used to incorporate the IPAS electric motor, and the use of new larger high-pressure turbochargers. By itself, the V8 produces an already astonishing 737PS, but it has been designed to work in conjunction with the electric motor, which gives seamless performance and takes the powertrain’s combined output to a dizzying 916PS.
Good wasn’t good enough for the McLaren P1™, which is why we produced special lightweight seats with ultra-thin carbon fibre shells. Despite their low-mass construction, they are supremely strong, yet comfortable for longer journeys. The seats are mounted on lightweight brackets and their backs are fixed at an optimum 28-degree angle (although 32 degrees can be specified to increase helmet space). The finished seats weigh just 10.5kg each.
Carbon fibre doesn’t just save weight, it can also be beautiful – a point proved by the immaculately trimmed interior. The carbon and Alcantara steering wheel has been ergonomically designed, with buttons for the DRS and IPAS systems positioned within easy reach. Instrumentation is displayed on three TFT screens with four switchable modes.