McLaren P1 on track

Start drawing parallels between Ferrari and McLaren and you're not likely to be left with much white space on the page when you're done. Both are Formula One racing teams first and foremost, and only started building cars for the road once they'd proven themselves on the racetrack. They both top the leaderboards for the most F1 championships, and have probably swapped more drivers (not to mention sponsors) than any other teams on the grid, but have both fallen behind in recent years and fired their team principals as a result. Their road-going supercars compete for largely the same customers, from the ~$250k, mid-engined V8s of the 458 and 650S all the way up to the latest million-dollar, 900-plus-horsepower hybrid hypercars. But Ferrari is a bigger company and has been in the game much longer, and as a result offers its customers two things that McLaren does not. One is front-engined GTs like the F12 Berlinetta, FF and California. The other is the exclusive XX track program. While McLaren may be showing no intention of taking on the former, the latter could be in the cards.

In correspondence with Autoblog, McLaren spokesman Wayne Bruce confirmed a report from Autocar stating that, following requests from a number of P1 owners, the company has contacted all 375 buyers to gauge interest in a dedicated track-only version of the P1.

Similar to the Ferrari FXX or the upcoming LaFerrari XX, the P1 Track would be set up specifically for the circuit. According to Bruce, "the P1 'Track' will have (even) more power and (even) torque than the road legal P1. It will also have (even) more extreme, aero tuned styling and an (even) more minimalist interior." All of which sounds pretty promising, considering the starting point is a hybrid hypercar with 903 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque on tap. But that's not all: "McLaren will organise a series of track events dedicated to the P1 'Track' and its owners. There will be one-to-one driver training for this very exclusive group, too." In other words, a similar approach to what Ferrari takes with its top clients, only likely without the pretense of paying to serve as a factory test driver.

Production of the P1 Track would only start once all 375 road-going versions were completed, and though "the number to be produced has not been established yet... we envisage it being in the low double digits," with application open exclusively to existing P1 owners.