THE MCLAREN P1

Published on December 16th, 2013

I remembered during my early years when I started to like these super cars with the existence of the Italian supremacy in all things fast, sleek and sexy. Then came in the Germans with brute force and power. The Brits followed suit with their exquisite marque and the rest moved with history. And all that is super cars as we know it. Then, a new term came about which is the hyper car. Just as we thought the term super car is already up there, this hyper car terminology just took a shot straight up above it.

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Basically a hypercar is a design concept car developed by energy analyst Amory Lovins at the Rocky Mountain Institute. This vehicle would have ultra-light construction with an aerodynamic body using advanced composite materials, low-drag design, and hybrid drive. Designers of the Hypercar claim that it would achieve a three-to five-fold improvement in fuel economy, equal or better performance, safety, amenity, and affordability, compared with today’s cars. Although it sounds and performs almost the same like any other super car, it is usually preferred by their makers to be much more superior due to the mix of newer technology in it. One good example would be the one from McLaren. Surprisingly, Malaysians has been growing wealthy and the market for such cars are in. We never had Aston Martins, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Lexus showrooms before and now you can see them running around glamorously in the streets. And rumour has it that Naza will bring in the Koenigsegg soon. And there are a few Bugatti Veyrons around too. Malaysians are indeed brilliantly spending their money to just more than the Mercedes, and BMWs.

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Now back to the recently launched McLaren. The McLaren P1 is a plug-in hybrid super car by English automotive manufacturer McLaren Automotive. The concept car debuted at the 2012 Paris Motor Show. Deliveries to retail customers began in the UK in October 2013.

It is considered to be the long-awaited McLaren F1 successor utilizing hybrid power and Formula 1 technology. It does not have the same three seat layout as its predecessor, the McLaren F1. The design of the headlights is also very similar to the shape of the McLaren logo. Just like the McLaren F1 road car of 1992, the McLaren P1 is a rear-wheel drive, mid-engine design that uses a carbon fibre monocoque and roof structure safety cage concept called MonoCage, which is a development of the MonoCell used in the current MP4-12C and MP4-12C Spider upgrade that came out in early 2012.

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The P1 features a 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V8 petrol engine similar to the engine found in the MP4-12C, but tuned to deliver 727 bhp and 719 Nm at 7500 rpm. Combined with an in-house developed electric motor, which produces 176 bhp and 260 Nm, the P1 will have a total power and torque output of 903 bhp and 978 Nm respectively. Power is sent to the rear wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

Power for the electric motor is stored in a 324-cell lithium-ion high density battery pack located behind the cabin. The battery can be charged by the engine or through plug in-equipment and can be fully charged in two hours. The car can be operated using either the petrol engine, the electric motor, or with a combination of the two, and has an all-electric range of at least 10 kilometres on the combined European drive cycle with a max speed of 160 km/h.

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The P1 comes with Formula 1 derived features such as the Instant Power Assist System (IPAS), which will give an instant boost in acceleration via the electric motor, a Drag Reduction System (DRS) which operates the car’s rear wing, thereby increasing straight line speed, and a KERS. Both of these features (IPAS, DRS) are operated via two buttons on the steering wheel.

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The P1 will go from 0 to 100 km/h in 2.8 seconds, 0 to 200 km/h in 6.8 seconds, and 0 to 300 km/h in 16.5 seconds, making it a full 5.5 seconds faster than the McLaren F1.It completes a standing quarter mile in 9.8 seconds at 245 km/h. Top speed is electronically limited to 350 km/h. The P1 weighs 1,395 kg, giving it a power-to-weight ratio of 647bhp per tonne. The P1 also features the bespoke Pirelli P-Zero Corsa tyres and specially developed carbon-ceramic brakes from Akebono.It takes 6.2 seconds to brake from 299 km/h to standstill, during which it’ll cover 246 metres. From 97 km/h, it will cover 30.2 metres.

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The production version of the McLaren P1 was unveiled at this year’s Geneva Motor Show. Production will be strictly limited to 375 units to maintain exclusivity.The production rate is one per day, as it is basically hand-built by a team of 61 individuals. McLaren expected to build 50 P1s by the end of this year where the first delivery to a retail customer took place at the company’s headquarters in Woking, England, in October 2013. While there are many MP4-12c running around Kuala Lumpur, we have to wait a little longer to see this P1 prowling in the streets.

THE McLaren P1 ™

ENGINE:

McLaren M838T twin-turbo 3.8 L V8 hybrid mid-engined tuned to deliver 727 bhp and 719 Nm (531 lb ft) at 7500 rpm. Combined with an in-house developed electric motor, which produces 176 bhp and 260 Nm (192 lb ft), the P1 will have a total power and torque output of 916 PS (903 bhp) and 978 Nm (722 lb ft) respectively

TRANSMISSION:

Seven-speed SSG dual-clutch

SUSPENSIONS:

Independent, double wishbones front and rear

BRAKES:

Akebono mirror finish carbon ceramic brakes (390mm front; 380mm rear) comprised of specially formulated carbon ceramic discs that allow it to stop from 62mph in a distance of 99 feet

ROLLING STOCK:

Pirelli P-Zero Corsa: 245/35 ZR19 front; 315/30 ZR20 rear wrapped around lightweight 19-inch front and 20-inch wheels forged from a military-grade aluminum alloy

EXTERIOR:

Feeling of agility and ‘lightweight.’ The McLarenP1 ™ is a road car with racing DNA. Every curve, swoop and contour of its endlessly flowing body is shooed to precisely manage the air flowing over it. The most aerodynamically advanced supercar in the world, its streamlined body, sculpted air intakes and active aero combine to maximize cooling and boost performance

INTERIOR:

A ‘minimalist’ design that is meant to feel like the ‘cockpit of a fighter jet’. Much of the interior is made from carbon-fibre and the ‘glass canopy’ overhead. P1 ™ has full climate control, sat-nav and a bespoke Meridian sound system, special lightweight carpet will be an option. The seats are built around ‘ultra-thin’ carbon shells with the ‘minimum of foam’ padding and weigh just 10.5kg. The seat backs are fixed at 28 degrees from the vertical but ‘can be set to 32 degrees to give the track driver more helmet room’.

words: Jeo  pix: Hazwan Najims

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