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Geneva 2013: McLaren P1

McLaren P1

916 hp, 900 Nm, 350 km/h, CHF 1’216’000. Dizzying numbers for the new McLaren hypercar, presented for the first time in its final form at the Geneva 2013 autoshow.

After its unveiling in concept form at the 2012 Paris autoshow, McLaren presents the P1 in production form and discloses technical details of the heir of the 1992 McLaren F1. McLaren has come up with a boosted version of the twin turbo 3.8 liter V8 that puts out 737hp at 7500 rpm and peak torque of 720 Nm from 4000 rpm. McLaren then attaches to the side of this engine an electric motor (called IPAS, standing for Instant Power Assist System) adding 260 Nm of torque from standstill, bringing the total tally to 900 Nm. Combined power is rated at 916 hp, sent to the rear wheels through a 7 gear twin clutch gearbox. The electric engine is not only used to sharpen throttle response, but also to make upshifts even faster by slowing down the crankshaft to the optimal revs for the next ratio. The P1 is also equiped with a DRS (Drag Reduction System), similar in spirit to the systems used in Formula 1, which reduces drag by 23%.

Claimed figures are daunting, with a 0-100 km/h in less than 3 seconds, 0-200 in less than 7 seconds and 0-300 km/h in less than 17 seconds, or a full 5 seconds less than the legendary McLaren F1 road car. Top speed is limited electronically  at 350 km/h.

The P1 can be operated in electric mode only, but range is limited to 10km (versus 25 on the Porsche 918 Spyder). The battery pack is located behind the carbon tub and weighs 96kg. It can be charged by plugging the car to the power grid.

With the McLaren P1, Pagani Huayra, Porsche 918 Spyder, Bugatti Veyron, the replacement of the Ferrari Enzo and the developments of Koenigsegg, we are living through an era of excellence and abundance in the hypercar segment.

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