The McLaren P1, hailed by many as the successor to the legendary McLaren F1, will star for the brand at Paris motor show.
McLaren has released few firm details so far, but some have emerged reportedly based on discussions McLaren had with prospective buyers during the recent Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.
If true, those reports stack up to the P1's modified version of the MP4-12C's 3.8-litre V8 delivering 599kW, but lifting it to 718kW with help from a high-tech Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) that captures brake energy to feed two F1-style 80,000rpm flywheels to generate an extra 119kW.
On a recent visit to Sydney, McLaren’s Asia-Pacific regional director Ian Gorsuch was reluctant to talk about the P1’s outputs, but said the brand didn’t play a numbers game. “We don’t get into the game of highest power figures,” Gorsuch said. “At McLaren we don’t believe that if a competitor has 1000 (horsepower) we have to have 2000.
“You can do that with a muscle car. Throw lots of bits in there, bolt four engines together. But there is no real technology in that. “The P1 is about how it delivers power, how it handles. Technology is delivering performance with finesse.” Keys to that delivery will include next-gen aerodynamics and boosting the power-to-weight ratio by lightening the car as much as possible.
The P1 is said to tip the scales at 1225kg, with McLaren's Monocell body – lightweight, but so robust they used the same car for three crash tests -- joined by innovative kilo-cutting technology. Some of the reports suggest heavy glass has been ditched in favour of the vacuum-formed acrylic used for fighter jet canopies – a non-stick surface that also means no need for windscreen wipers.
That wouldn’t be surprising, since McLaren has already said the car will represent the height of their technology. A report on the Inside McLaren website suggests the P1 will have active aerodynamics to add to the enviable power-to-weight ratio, and that the result has helped it get around the UK’s Silverstone circuit an astonishing 24 seconds faster than any road-legal car before it.
Acceleration figures being discussed are 0-100km/h in 2.8 seconds, then to 200km/h in just 6.9. The standing quarter-mile (400m) is said to take 9.1, and top speed of 385km/h. Gorsuch confirmed that P1 production would be limited to 500 cars. And the price? Anywhere up to $1.4 million.