• McLaren P1 steering wheel

  • McLaren P1 front 3/4

  • McLaren P1 rear 3/4

  • McLaren P1 hybrid drivetrain

  • McLaren P1 3.8-liter, twin-turbo V8

McLaren P1 - running with camouflage - front three-quarter viewMcLaren has dropped official power figures for the company's upcoming P1. The new hypercar will come packing 903 horsepower and 663 pound-feet of torque from the combination of a 3.8-liter, twin-turbocharged V8 engine and an electric motor. That's right: this sucker is a hybrid. The internal combustion engine features a few tweaks to improve cooling, and McLaren says the block uses a special casting to incorporate the motor. As a result, the P1 features a boost system that can serve up an instantaneous 176.5 horsepower dumped straight to the seven-speed dual clutch transmission. The driver can summon up that grunt on command by pressing the steering-wheel-mounted Instant Power Assist System button.

What's more, McLaren has figured out a way to use the electric motor to improve shift times. The P1 applies instant negative torque with each shift, dropping engine speed quickly and precisely for the upshift. Engineers have also incorporated additional technology from the company's Formula One efforts, including a Drag Reduction System. Push a button on the steering wheel and the rear wing shifts to reduce drag by 23 percent, providing the sensation of a boost in power. Check out the full press release below for more information on what is shaping up to be an incredible piece of technology.
Show full PR text
Feb 20, 2013

IPAS (Instant Power Assist System) and DRS (Drag Reduction System) offer instant boost of power and straight-line speed

916PS (903 bhp) and 900Nm, with emissions of less than 200g/km

Substantially revised 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 petrol engine coupled to low-weight, highly efficient electric motor ensures instant torque for optimised throttle response

Full E-mode offers in excess of 10km emission-free driving

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 and a highly effective electric motor give a combined output of 916PS (903 bhp) and a maximum torque figure of 900Nm, ensuring instantaneous throttle response through the rev range, more akin to a naturally aspirated engine. Emissions of less than 200g/km on the 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.

The 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 petrol engine in the McLaren P1™ is a new version of the familiar M838T unit, that has been significantly upgraded to optimise cooling and durability under the higher loads. The engine block has a unique casting to incorporate the electric motor. The petrol engine produces 737PS (727 bhp) at 7,500rpm, and 720Nm of torque from 4,000rpm. To optimise efficiency of the petrol engine, extensive testing and development work has always been carried out with McLaren Automotive technology partner Mobil 1 on lubrication and hydraulic fluids.

The lightweight electric motor, developed by the McLaren Electronics arm of the Group, produces 179PS (176 bhp), and is unique to the McLaren P1™. The motor produces maximum torque of 260Nm instantly from a standstill, greatly increasing the throttle response of the McLaren P1™, and peak combined torque of 900Nm is delivered from just 4,000 rpm. In addition to this, the McLaren-developed 'boost' system, IPAS, provides up to 179PS instantly. The instant response of the electric motor provides a sharper throttle response more associated with a normally aspirated engine, and the significantly enhanced air-charging system enables the McLaren P1™ to have more top-end power – the perfect combination for high performance.

The electric motor is mounted directly onto the engine, and all drive is channelled through the dual-clutch seven-speed gearbox to drive the rear wheels. Thus, the electric motor and 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 petrol engine work seamlessly together, providing more than just added ultimate power and torque.

A further benefit is that the e-motor can provide faster upshifts. This is achieved through the application of instant negative torque at the point of shift, making the engine revs drop as quickly and efficiently as possible to the required engine speed for the upshift.

In addition to the obsessive weight-saving measures demonstrated throughout the McLaren P1™, so too is the optimisation of usable energy. When off-throttle the electric motor provides additional drag torque, recovering energy to the battery that would otherwise be lost to the brakes.


The McLaren P1™can be driven in a variety of modes, powered by the engine and electric motor together, or solely by the electric motor. This ensures versatility and ease of transportation, allows use in low emission zones and residential driving is optimised with near-silent running.

Maximum power comes when using both powerplants together, but even in E-mode the performance is strong. E-mode is the most economical mode available with zero tailpipe emissions. In E-mode, the McLaren P1™ can travel more than 10km with electric-only power – enough for most city journeys. When the battery is empty, the petrol engine will automatically start to maintain drive and charge the battery.

IPAS and DRS optimise performance and throttle response

The power available via the petrol engine and electric motor is further enhanced on the McLaren P1™ through two steering wheel-mounted buttons which activate the DRS (Drag Reduction System) and IPAS (Instant Power Assist System).

The Drag Reduction System used on the McLaren P1™ is a technology similar to that employed on Formula 1 cars. Speed is increased by reducing the amount of drag on the rear wing and, where the MP4-28 has a moveable flap on the rear wing, the McLaren P1™ has a wing that reduces in angle to lower drag by 23%. The system immediately deactivates when the button is released, or if the driver touches the brake pedal.

IPAS is designed to deliver power rapidly for high performance acceleration, and provides 179PS of instant additional power. In developing the IPAS technology for the McLaren P1™, power delivery was prioritised over energy storage. This is achieved through a groundbreaking, lightweight battery pack, which offers greater power density than any other automotive battery pack on sale today.


The high power density has been achieved through a combination of high power cells, low pack weight and an innovative cooling system. The battery weighs just 96kg, and is mounted onto the underbody of the high-strength Formula 1-grade carbon fibre MonoCage chassis, which seals the unit in the vehicle, thus avoiding the added weight of any unnecessary battery packaging.

Due to the amount of power being supplied by the battery, complex cooling is required to guarantee cell performance and reliability. The coolant flow is balanced so each cell is cooled to the same temperature across the entire pack.

In addition to the battery being charged via the engine, the McLaren P1™ is also equipped with a plug-in charger which can recharge the battery, from empty, in only two hours. The plug-in charger can be stored in the luggage compartment, although the customer may choose to store it off-board – in a garage or the pits – to save weight.

Further details of the McLaren P1™ will be released in the coming weeks, before the production-ready car makes its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      This, the upcoming Ferrari and the Porsche 918: The New Breed of Hypercars.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Geneva smackdown, this, vs. the Enzo successor vs. whatever Lamborghini is cooking up for its 50th anniversary... Oh god this is going to be good.
      • 2 Years Ago
      This car is beastin'. More performance car makers should look at hybrids not for fuel economy, but for straight-up performance.
        • 2 Years Ago
        They are, but the problem becomes handling. With forced air; generating more power doesn't seem to be that difficult.
          • 2 Years Ago
          It's not about the power, but how the electric motor's torque behaves.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 2 Years Ago
        What handling problem? The battery is in the middle of the car and weighs less than half of what the gasoline engine weighs. Weight in the middle is neutral and does not affect handling.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          What does it weighing less than half the engine matter??? Does weighing less than half the engine mean that the laws of momentum don\'t apply to it??? It still weighs something, which typically has an effect on handling. You can mitigate the performance effects of the weight, but usuaully the more weight the more difficult it becomes. I\'m not saying that McLaren is making a mistake; I\'m just saying there are performance trade offs for adding additional batteries and motors.
      Cory Stansbury
      • 2 Years Ago
      They say 10 km in electric only mode. My guess would be a ~3 kWh pack to achieve that with some extra margin for degradation. Assuming something like an Altair Nano battery, that would be 60-70 pounds plus cooling. So I bet the battery system, power controller, and motor come in around 200 pounds.
      • 2 Years Ago
      This like when the Carrera GT, Enzo, SLR, and Ford GT came. It's gonna be another great hyper car battle between this, the new Ferrari F150, and Porche 918.
      John Ralphio
      • 2 Years Ago
      At first glance, it didn't do anything for me (just like the MP4-12c). The more I look at it, the more it grows on me. Looks like a very modern, compact design.
      • 2 Years Ago
      LOL I want a IPAS button!!
      • 2 Years Ago
      DRS and Push to Pass on a road car seems crazy, but it would be one crazy ride.
        • 2 Years Ago
        But what exactly would you be passing that couldnt be passed by a P1 without Push To Pass? As in what is the chance of being stuck behind someone fast enough that a 727hp P1 couldnt squeeze by but a suddenly 903hp one could?
          • 2 Years Ago
          police helicopter?
          • 2 Years Ago
          Other supercars that the P1 will meet on the track.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Sweet. This vs the Porsche 918 please!
      • 2 Years Ago
      I can't wait to see a shootout between this and the Porsche 918.
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is innovation. awesome!!!
      Mike Fernandez
      • 2 Years Ago
      So while using the boost button, it's going to be putting down 1079 hp? That's nuts! I can't wait to watch reviews of this monster. McLaren is so impressive. My money is that this thing will take down the upcoming Ferrari rival.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Mike Fernandez
        Nope, it puts down 903hp. What they mean is that when using the gas engine only, you could manually activate the electric motor when you want, with peak power jumping from 727 to 903. Still freaking amazing.
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