What's it like living with a million-dollar hybrid hypercar? Leave it to Chris Harris to find out, picking up a McLaren P1 at Anglesey in Wales and driving it out to Goodwood over the course of two days of hybrid hypercar action.
Looking at the McLaren P1 GTR sitting still on a show stand is all well and fine, but what we really want to know is what it's like to actually drive the thing like it's meant to be driven. Fortunately that's just what we're looking at in this latest video from Autocar.
McLaren is hitting the track, going up against the Ferrari FXX K and rounding out its Ultimate Series with the launch of the new P1 GTR at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, complete with more power, more downforce and less weight.
Top Gear magazine managed to get the Ferrari LaFerrari, McLaren P1 and Porsche 918 Spyder together on the same stretch of road, and released this video clip previously reserved for digital subscribers.
A new McLaren's teaser video for the track-only P1 GTR confirms that this even-more hardcore hypercar will debut at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show in March. In concept form, it benefited from a tuned version of the 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 with 986 horsepower and ton of other modifications to make it stick like glue to circuits all over the world.
There's one fewer McLaren P1 spitting fire on the world's roads after a 27-year-old driver wrecked his $1.15-million supercar in Dallas, TX, just a day after he picked it up from a local luxury car dealer. According to KHOU local news, police were responding to the crash site by 7:41 AM the next day. The 903-horsepower P1 allegedly hit a wet patch of road and spun, slamming the car into a guardrail.
Evo's side-by-side comparison of the McLaren P1 against the Porsche 918 Spyder isn't the first time we've seen England and Germany's ultimate automotive weapons sized up together; last month, Autocar tested them over the standing mile, with a Ducati 1199 Superleggera playing the joker. Evo throws a few curves at its test, though, taking the supercars to Anglesey Circuit in Wales to see which will lay down the fastest lap time with scribe Jethro Bovington at the wheel.
Among the many things we were looking forward to seeing at Pebble Beach this year, the McLaren P1 GTR was near the top of our list. Invoking the spirit of the legendary McLaren F1 GTR that dominated sports car racing in the mid-1990s, the P1 GTR was unveiled in Monterey this past August in concept form, giving us an idea of what to expect. But now McLaren has given us a little more.
Design themes in the automotive industry tend to ebb and flow in trends: jelly bean styling, retro design, flame surfacing... we could go on (and probably would if we were better schooled in the language of design), but you get the point. So what's the next big thing in automotive design? Layers.
We live in a high-tech supercar renaissance, with the Porsche 918 Spyder, McLaren P1 and Ferrari LaFerrari all duking it out for performance supremacy. All three members of this power trio place the engine behind the driver and use some kind of hybrid assist. However, each one finds a slightly different way to make that setup work. While all of the tech is insanely cool, let's just admit that we are all really wondering which one is the quickest and which is the fastest. Autocar aims to find out
Could there be anything more infuriating than making a million-plus-dollar investment in a vehicle like the McLaren P1, only to take it to a track and find you're unable to outrun a car that costs, without options, about 96,000 pounds ($159,000 at today's rates)?
McLaren says the P1 GTR has one goal: "to be the best driver's car in the world on track." And with no intentions of making the thing road-legal, McLaren was able to freely put together this design concept, showing a car that, to our eyes, looks absolutely capable of delivering the best in track-focused dynamics.
If you've been looking at the seven-figure price tags (plus or minus) on the latest batch of hypercars, and wondering how their manufacturers could possibly charge that much, consider that their predecessors typically traded at well above their list price as it is. The Ferrari Enzo, for example, listed for "only" $650k, but with production limited to 349 units, demand far outstripped supply, driving the mark-up into seven-figures. In fact Enzos are still selling for a million or more at auction.
With only 375 examples to be made (170 of which have already been completed), you can bet that few of the McLaren P1s to leave the factory in Woking will be the same. But for those looking to further distinguish their supercar, McLaren Special Operations is glad to meet the customer's individual requests, and will be bringing two examples of its latest work to the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance this year, the same place where MSO was launched three years ago.
McLaren, Ferrari and Porsche have all come out with their hybrid-powered hypercars, vehicles that boast the bleeding edge of what is possible with today's road-car technology. The next step, at least in the case of McLaren and Ferrari, is to push that bleeding edge just a hair further, with even faster, more focused versions of the P1 and LaFerrari. At the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, McLaren will be the first to give us a glimpse of that boundary-pushing machine.
You'd think that the extreme performance, engineering and technology of hybrid hypercars like the McLaren P1, Ferrari LaFerrari and Porsche 918 Spyder would appeal to a guy like Gordon Murray. After all, the man behind the McLaren F1, the original hypercar, knows a thing or six about pushing the edge of the performance envelope with a new vehicle.