We know the McLaren P1 is pretty much ready to fly into lucky US owners' underground bunkers by the latter part of fall 2013. We should get a go at an early production version by late June, we are told, and as you would imagine, we can't wait. The running number on the price for the United States remains pegged at $1.15 million.

The main facts remain the same: The P1 runs off a twin-power hybrid powerplant good for a combined 903 horsepower and 663 pound-feet of torque. Thrusting thrills are provided by both the push-button operated Drag Reduction System (or DRS), chopping drag by 23 percent by flattening the rear wing, and by the push-button operated Instant Power Assist System (IPAS) feeding instantaneous added electric-motor oomph through the gearbox straight to the drivetrain. The slingshot from 0 to 186 miles per hour (i.e. 300 kilometers per hour) happens in less than 17 seconds.

Shivers. While at the Geneva Motor Show where the P1 showed itself in full production trim and in screaming picture-hogging yellow, we chatted about further details with the P1's chief of engineering design, Dan Parry-Williams. To all the specification fodder we already have on the P1, Parry-Williams added some chum.
  • Not to worry, exhaust-sound fans! Parry-Williams assures us that the exhaust was a matter of great concern on the P1. He reports, "This has been extensively worked on versus the 12C. It is very different and, oh, you'll hear it."
  • Despite having the smallest frontal area in the hypercar segment, all the aerodynamics serve the function of directing major amounts of the rapidly passing air to the enormous active rear spoiler. Downforce at 160 mph (i.e. 257 km/h) therefore is 1,322 pounds force, and it stays at that level through to the top speed of 217 mph.
  • Whereas the ProActive Chassis for the MP4-12C has to deal with chassis heave (fore/aft), warp (diagonally left-to-right/front-to-rear twisting), and roll (side-to-side), the same technology on the P1, according to Parry-Williams, has no warp/twisting action happening at all. This we gotta drive."
  • "Race" mode on the newer ProActive Chassis is – get this – 350-percent stiffer than the default normal setting.
  • There is separate throttle mapping for each of the seven gears of the Seamless Shift Gearbox, yet each gear has the same pedal feel while engaged. This progressive pedal action can manifest itself nicely also during the programmed "negative" torque generated during each shift upward in order to lower revs, creating a wider, more dramatic torque band from each gear, and one hell of a sound.
  • A typical F1 racecar is two inches off the ground (50 millimeters). The P1 in front descends to just 2.56 inches off the ground (65 mm), while in back it rests at 3.54 inches from the pavement (90 mm).
  • As with the individual throttle mapping for each gear, the braking is calibrated to require minimal pedal effort for maximum effect. Parry-Williams tells us that it is very "light touch." Will this end up a small thorn in the side of owners as was the original (and then abandoned) Pre-Cog race-inspired shifting for the 12C? We shall see.
First deliveries of the McLaren P1 will happen at the start of summer this year in a few foreign markets and to those ultra-crazy-rich willing to pay for the privilege. For all others only willing to foot the $1.15 mil, probably October. In its 2013 launch year, production will be upped ahead of time to assure more customers get their P1s as soon as possible. By the start of 2014, the rhythm should be at something around 375 units per annum.


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  • 26 Comments
      John Ralphio
      • 2 Years Ago
      I can't get over how compact it is. The rear is exquisite. I hope Top Gear manages to test one this year.
      vassyg16
      • 2 Years Ago
      It's been 4 hours since I've seen this...I may need to call a doctor...
      Smeet Gajjar
      • 2 Years Ago
      Love how they focused on acceleration and handling which would come to good use on a track...While the Veyron's top speed will still be quite accessible on a track.
      k_m94
      • 2 Years Ago
      Not too sure about the brake pedal being "light touch". Dont most people prefer a firmer brake pedal in a performance car? And the ones in race cars (which the P1 is trying to emulate) are rock hard. A really light effort pedal with the monstrous brakes the P1 undoubtedly has would be too sensitive and you could over brake too easily. As for the individual throttle maps, I dont really understand what they are doing but if it makes the power delivery and engine response better then it's a good thing. Interesting thing regarding downforce, although its quoted figure of max. 1300lb at 160mph is pretty amazing and is highly touted by Mclaren officials, the 10 year old Enzo absolutely creams it with 1700lb at 186mph. Now, I know that the Mclaren's downforce peak arrives at a more usable speed, but it's safe to say the Enzo would be producing equal or more downforce than the new Mclaren at 160 as well. Of course, the Enzo could produce all the downforce it wants and it'd still be majorly outgunned on a racetrack by the P1 thanks to 10 years of improvement in tire, brake, suspension, carbon fiber construction, and propulsion technology, but the fact is Ferrari would be damned if they couldnt surpass the LaFerrari's predecessor when it comes to all aspects, including downforce. How they can make so much downforce without a proper rear wing I dont know.
        MickL
        • 2 Years Ago
        @k_m94
        The Enzo produces about 200-300kg at the same speed, not above 700kg. Where did you get your facts? The local boozer?
          Mark Antar
          • 2 Years Ago
          @MickL
          ^ Correct! And LaF generates 600kg of downforce at 303 kph.
      protovici
      • 2 Years Ago
      A race car with a race "mode" option. Sweet! Im ready to see a hybrid race off.
      anon
      • 2 Years Ago
      Yeah but it\'s still no Jetson\'s flying car. I\'ll pass.
      ShutoSteve
      • 2 Years Ago
      They call this a successor to the F1. I like the P1, but let's be honest, it's not successor to the F1. For one, it's not designed for daily drivability like the F1 was. Nor is it a center-seater like the F1 is (I realize that safety regs plays a massive role as to why it isn't, but I suspect with such limited production, it would still be possible). It is not built to be reliable like the F1 was (The F1 used a BMW engine that was technically not that far off from the 8-Series engine of the time. Although the 8-Series was certainly not reliable, in terms of parts, it was far less expensive to repair than a similar Ferrari V12 of the era). The F1 was centered around being able to be driven everyday, and then be taken to the track. It's entire purpose was to be the most usable, capable, everyday supercar in the world, to which it succeeded. The P1 is made to showboat McLaren's technical prowess ONLY. Unlike the F1, I can guarantee there will not be any drivers daily driving this new model. Also, the man in the photo above has a Six-head. Gordon Murray had a mustache. Which is way cooler. (Not at all applicable, but I'm just getting that out of the way).
        Matthew Davis
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ShutoSteve
        So.....the F1 was built expressly to be an everyday driver.....Really? Really really?? No, it is decidedly not an everyday driver and noone on Earth ever expected it to be. The P1 - ground clearances aside, though it will undoubtedly be equipped with front risers - will be lightyears more everyday drivable versus the F1. This from the product planning people I speak with all the time at McLaren and the engineers. Your use of ALL CAPS is terrifically ineffective, too, though I completely agree with you on Gordon Murray. Way cooler.
          ShutoSteve
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Matthew Davis
          I too also write for a well known tech site (and I am currently an automotive editor) for a living. If I had the ability to "Bold" or "Italic" something in your comments section I would - but I can't, so my use of Caps for the word "only" only occurs once, for one word. The F1 was most certainly built to be an everyday driver, as a discussion I had myself with Mr. Murray himself a couple years back would not only have led me to believe. Also, if you pick up the book "Driving Ambition: The Official Inside Story of the McLaren F-1" available on Amazon, you can read that the sole purpose of its design was to be a car that was used everyday. And yes, in the UK, by some drivers (such as Mr. Rown Atkinson himself) it was used as a daily driver. You are speaking with engineers who have been in the McLaren automotive program since the late 1990's, when they began to collaborate with Mercedes on the SLR design. Their vision of "everyday drivable" is incredibly different than Mr. Murray's vision, that of which he had been seeing in his head and on napkins since he was a young boy. Although I respect the P1 for what it is, again, it is not built to be an everyday driver like the F1 was. If you don't believe me, then I suggest picking up the book I above mentioned, as it was written by Mr. Dennis and Mr. Murray themselves, and specifically categorizes the car as such.
          ShutoSteve
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Matthew Davis
          **Would led me to have believed. Your comments section could also use an Edit button, along with the aforementioned typefaces. It's 2013, after all.
          Brex
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Matthew Davis
          It's great to see an AB writer respond in the comments section. But to berate a reader for his use of all caps for emphasis is weak. And then you go on to repeat Really? three times? Was that effective? No. On second thought, if a writer can't have a civil conversation down here, just don't bother.
          Matthew Davis
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Matthew Davis
          Ohhh, Brex, c'mon. C'mon c'mon.
        badabingbadaboom
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ShutoSteve
        The F1 was a massive technical undertaking and a showcase for McLaren. The F1 didn't fall apart like a ferrari but it was not toyota.
      vroooomy
      • 2 Years Ago
      the real question is to purchase this or an F1. I know the F1 is ridiculously priced to maintain. Hopefully p1 is not as pricey. Now to locate an F1 for sale.
      nao enche
      • 1 Year Ago
      Mulher: estou bonita? Homem: não. Mulher: tu queres ficar comigo pra sempre? Homem: não. Mulher: tu chorarias se eu saí-se? Homem: não. Ela ouviu o suficiente, e foi embora com lagrimas que corriam pelo rosto. O homem segurou o braço dela. Rapaz: tu nãao estas bonita tu és bonita. Eu não quero ficar com você para sempre eu presiso ficar com você. Eu não choraria se você fosse embora eu morreria. (o rapaz sussurra para ela) fica comigo? (a mulher sussurra) eu vou. Hoje a meia noite seu verdadeiro amor percebera que te ama. Alguma coisa boa vai acontecer a você as 1-4 pm. Amanha pode ser em qualquer lugar. Prepare-se para o maior choque de sua vida! Se você não publicar isso em 5 outros eventos terá sérios problemas com relacionamento no próximos 10 ano
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