Exotic McLaren P1 Borrows Heavily from F1 Racing

exotic mclaren p1 steering wheel drs ipas
Just look at the beautiful carbon fiber! Blue button or Red?  Or both?

The world of hyper exotic cars continues to grow.  This is a category where a $1 Million price tag is considered base and sub-3 second 0-60 mph acceleration is the norm.  Now McLaren once again joins the club with the upcoming P1 hyper car to be fully revealed next month at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show.

McLaren has offered us a peak at the mind boggling P1 statistics.  First, we know that it will use a version of the 3.8 liter twin-turbo V8, which is based on the M838T motor known from the MP4-12C.  It differs in that it has upgraded cooling and durability specifications, as well as the special casting to incorporate the electric motor.  On its own, the small turbo V8 produces near Formula 1 car levels of power with 727 horses at 7,500 rpm.  This is a specific engine output of 191 horsepower per liter!  Of course, McLaren could not stop there.  The P1 benefits from an additional 176 horsepower courtesy of in-house developed light weight electric motor.  So this combines for 903 bhp and instant torque delivery thanks to the sophisticated electric drive system.  A dual-clutch 7-speed gearbox does the shifting to deliver all the power to the rear wheels.

(Compare this to another hyper Hybrid unveiled in Geneva – the Ferrari LaFerrari).

exotic mclaren p1 hybrid battery
The light weight batteries are placed mid-ship right behind the driver

This exotic McLaren has more high tech Formula 1 like tricks up its sleeve.  First is the Drag Reduction System (DRS) which controls the angle of the rear wing much like current Formula 1 cars.  It reduces high speed drag by 23%.  To activate it you have to push and hold the blue DRS button on the steering wheel.  The wing returns to more downforce if you release the button or touch the brake pedal.

Second is the Instant Power Assist System (IPAS).  This has much the same effect as the “KERS” button in Formula 1 cars.  When pushed the IPAS instantly adds all 176 bhp from the electric motor to the driving wheels, assuming there is enough juice left in the batteries.  As a result, this gives you the same sensation as a Nitrous or turbo over-boost system.

exotic mclaren p1 turbo v8
Those turbos sit nice and low on this 3.8 liter V8

What would happen if you pushed the accelerator, the DRS, and the IPAS buttons all at the same time?  I think you better hold on to the steering wheel with both hands and you should have no problems passing somebody on the highway.  It’s good to know that the people building your street legal exotic McLaren are the same people building the F1 race cars for Jenson Button and Sergio Perez.

Here is TFLcar playing with the 2013 BMW M6

Andre Smirnov
Andre Smirnov

Andre Smirnov is a life-long automotive enthusiast, software engineer, writer, and reporter. He has been writing and reporting at TFLcar since 2011. When not working or spending time with the family – you can find him tinkering in the garage or scouring the internet and other media for various automotive, mechanical, and computer related information.