McLaren Know How to Make Cars
The McLaren P1 is a hybrid-monster that raised a few roofs when it debuted in 2013. With a limited production run of 375, it made them a little exclusive. The price tag started at £865k but it wasn't uncommon for customers to add so many extras that it broke the million-pound barrier. Speaking of breaking barriers...
So, Jenson Button who won the 2009 F1 Drivers Championship is selling his McLaren P1. This isn't just any McLaren P1, it's formerly owned by an F1 driver and it's barely legal. Aided by McLaren Special Operations, they devised a driving mode called "track mode 2". This bespoke upgrade enables the car to use a road legal version of the race mode.
With an asking price of £1.6m, it's higher than the LaFerrari and the Porsche 918 Spyder, its natural competition.
It also has 551 miles on the clock so you can argue it's like new. So, we know the McLaren P1 is good but how good?
The Legacy of the McLaren F1
It's no secret that McLaren pushed their own boundaries into making this car. How do we know? They called it the successor of the McLaren F1, the pinnacle of their superpowers.
Back in 1993 when it was released, it changed everything - a complete revolution. It was the fastest vehicle in the world with a record of 240.1mph but this is the thing, it was the technology that made it so remarkable. McLaren harnessed F1 technology in sculpting one of the most iconic cars of all time.
Trivia - The McLaren F1 won Le Mans in 1995.
The Ferrari F40 is highly regarded but these cars share a distinct difference. The Ferrari F40 was built for speed - that was its mission because its design will tell you that. The car helped to push car design.
The McLaren F1 is different because it redefined the idea of a supercar. It's like they took the F40, added some F1 tech, some audacity and came up with the McLaren F1.
The Design of the McLaren P1
The McLaren P1 is a phenomenal car. McLaren went to both extremes to test its abilities, one of the coldest places on earth and one of the hottest.
There's a certain allure a car gets when you hear the story behind its creation. Take the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ Unveiled at Pebble Beach. The engineers were instructed to take inspiration from jet engines and spacecraft! The desire to push through boundaries can only be explained by a man who did this often, Ayrton Senna.
You think you have a limit. As soon as you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further. With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high." - racing God, Ayrton Senna.
With boundaries comes challenges. This explains why McLaren went to the Arctic Circle, The Nürburgring and Death Valley! The aim was to ensure the car could offer performance across these different landscapes.
The Arctic Circle
It can be as low as -40 here and these conditions can strain the battery. In addition, the surface can prove to be a fantastic opportunity to test the stability systems of the car.
A place so hot that it can't support life. It's the complete opposite of the Arctic Circle because temperatures can reach 50°C! This causes heating problems for the car's heat management systems and the battery's ability to provide its boost.
Finally, the tack test and there's only one place where you can go - The Nürburgring.
The goal was a time less than 7 minutes. McLaren confirmed the car reached its goal but that would mean it needed to maintain an average speed of 111mph over the course of the 12.9 miles, 150 corner and 300 metres of elevation.
Trivia - James Hunt achieved a lap time of 7:06:05 in his McLaren M23 back in 1976.
So, it can do the Nürburgring in less than 7 minutes. How fast is it?
McLaren P1 Performance
For a hybrid car, the performance statistics of the McLaren P1 is quite remarkable. It must be noted that the top speed of the car is limited and the reason for this is to ensure the components can still work.
- 3.8L twin-turbo V8 Engine and Electric Motors.
- 0-62mph - 2.8s.
- 0-124mph 6.8secs.
- Top Speed - 217mph.
The scary thing is that McLaren has a track version of this called the GTR - so it's even better.
The McLaren P1 is a fun car.
Chassis control, active aerodynamics and the motors working with the engine all come together to create a car you don't feel worthy to drive.
There's a reason why McLaren placed it in their ultimate series because the car has become the peak of their superpowers. Every inch of the car has been designed to work for aerodynamic gains.
Jenson Button is giving away a fantastic car and even though £1.6m is a high asking price, what you get with that car is worth its weight in gold.
Before he put his car up for sale he gave it a final run on his way to Silverstone for its swan song!
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