Floor the throttle in a McLaren P1, and if you are graced with enough traction to grip the road, you will be propelled from 0 to 60 in 3 seconds or less. The designers of the McLaren P1, Frank Stephenson, and Dan Parry Williams, claim “it is the most adaptive, responsive, and stimulating road car the world has ever seen.” This car is important to race car enthusiasts, as well as overall transportation in general, due to the revolutionary technology that McLaren has been developing. The following information will be explaining key features of the McLaren P1 and why they are crucial to the over performance of this amazing hyper-car.
Some may ask, what is a hyper-car? A hyper-car gains its spot in the category when it has certain features and the technology that makes its performance highly efficient. The heart of the car is usually a hybrid-electric power supply apparatus, which is a big part of the performance. These cars always have an ultralight chassis and the creators use meticulous attention to detail in the body work and interior. The McLaren P1 is outstanding in all these areas, earning itself a price tag that is over $1.4 million. The creators used the finest materials to make the car and took their time with the technology involved, so that without the electronic limiter on, the McLaren P1 is capable of going 249 miles per hour, making it the fastest hybrid car in the world.
But what is a hybrid vehicle? A hybrid vehicle uses a gasoline fueled engine, and well as an electric engine to drive it. As the gasoline fuel engine is in operation, it drives a generator that charges the battery for the electric motor, so that energy can be used later when it would optimize performance. The engine can be operated on just the gasoline motor, just the electric motor, or they can work together at the same time. Hybrid vehicles are important because this power supply apparatus helps conserve gasoline and makes a vehicle more environmental friendly. On the performance side of things, the electric motor can always supply power where the gasoline motor is lacking.
Bruce McLaren Motor Racing was founded in Britain by Bruce McLaren in 1963. They worked along side Mercedes-Benz until Bruce McLaren died in a car accident in 1970. The team still kept the company going and McLaren became a standalone car company in 2010. McLaren produces outstanding sports and luxury cars. They became well known after the McLaren F1 won several grand prix races. Now they are well known and have several cars that “incorporate race bred technology, pioneering innovation and their celebrated obsession with detail.” (Dennis, Ron)
The McLaren P1 was a huge leap for the company. It was the company’s first hybrid and it was the quickest and most powerful vehicle they had developed. Every single McLaren P1 was hand built, and Driving this beast is a 3.8-liter twin turbo V8 gasoline engine, teamed up with an in-house developed electric motor. This devastating duo produces a total power output of 903 base horse power, and 723 pounds per foot or torque respectively which is all supplied to a 7 speed dual clutch transmission. With a limited top speed of 218 miles per hour, the McLaren P1 can go from rest to 60 miles per hour in 2.8 seconds, and from rest to 186 miles per hour in 16.5 seconds, making it the 10th quickest production car in the world. All that power is useless without the proper supporting technology.
With an ultralight carbon fiber body weighing only 3,411 pounds, and minimal wind resistance, The McLaren P1 needed more support for downforce and tire traction. In an interview on EVO TV with Paul Mackenzie, a program director for McLaren, he explains some of these supporting features. He explained how the car has extra vents all over the body and a large rear diffuser to help utilize air as much as possible. He also explained how the huge hydraulic rear spoiler rises and lowers automatically as needed to maximize downforce. The rear spoiler can also be used manually by the driver as an airbrake. The “race mode” button in the car lowers it by 50 millimeters, which increases the downforce even more on the front splitter and the rear hydraulic spoiler.
Other features included in this car are derived from other Formula 1 McLarens. The first one is the Instant Power Assist System or IPAS, which uses the electric motor to give an instant boost in acceleration. The second one is a Drag Deduction System or DRS, increases the straight line speeds by reducing drag with the rear hydraulic spoiler. These two features can be operated by the driver with their own buttons on the steering wheel. The last feature is the Kinetic Energy Recovery System or KERS, which stores kinetic energy released when braking, and uses the energy to help boost the car out of the corner it was slowing down for.
McLaren has been great at breaking records since day one. With the development of the F1, the company began to soar. After the development of the P1, the most recent record that the McLaren P1 just set was on May 26, 2017. The fastest production car lap time at the Nurburgring Nordschleife track was being held by the NIO EP9, with a time of 06:45.9. The McLaren P1 shaved off a few seconds and came in at 06:43.2. The McLaren P1 is usually in great competition with the Ferrari LaFerrari and the Porsche 918 Spyder, but they were not able to compete on this track.
The McLaren P1 was a great project and accomplishment. All 375 cars that were built between 2013 and 2015 were sold before they hit the dealerships. This car is important because it was the first hybrid supercar ever built. The car has outstanding performance, and the designs are breath taking. It opened the eyes of the competitors as well, and has help bring forth many other amazing creations. As technology continues to progress and the brilliant technicians learn and develop more features, hyper cars like the McLaren P1 will continue to amaze those who organize and sponsor the races they take place in, as well as all the other car enthusiasts that understand that life is too short for boring cars.
Dennis, Ron, “Our DNA” cars.mclaren.com, Accessed July 4th, 2017.
Dennis, Ron, “Road Car McLaren P1 2013” cars.mclaren.com, Accessed July 4th, 2017.
“McLaren Team”, “P1 Performance” cars.mclaren.com, Accessed July 4th, 2017.
“McLaren Team”, “Form Equals Function” cars. Mclaren.com, Accessed July 4th, 2017.
Mackenzie, Paul, McLaren Program Director, Interview on EVO TV, Accessed July 4th, 2017
SANYO ELECTIC CO. “Hybrid Car Power Supply Apparatus” scholar.google.com, Accessed July 6th, 2017
IEEE, “Hyper-cars: The Next Industrial Revolution” scholar.google.com, Accessed July 6th, 2017
Photos from Images.google.com/mclarenp1, Accessed July 6th, 2017
Burnout GIF from images.google.com/mclarenp1burnoutgif, Accessed July 6Th, 2017