Has it lived up to expectations?
Exactly five years ago, the McLaren P1 was previewed as a design study at the 2012 Paris Motor Show. The following March, a mere 12 months later, it premiered in production form at Geneva, and the motoring world has never been the same since. McLaren rightly feels it necessary to mark the P1’s fifth anniversary, which also marks the UK carmaker’s first Ultimate Series model. McLaren had a singular goal for the P1 from the get-go: to be the best driver’s car in the world on both road and track.
Being the spiritual successor to the iconic F1 was not an easy task, but time has shown the P1 has lived up to expectations. All 375 examples were sold even before the first car was delivered, so McLaren immediately understood at the time it was about to construct a new legend. Not only did the P1 represent a massive leap forward in aerodynamic technologies, but also in weight reduction techniques, such as its lightweight carbon fiber structure and having all five main body panels made from carbon fiber as well. Along with outstanding rigidity and safety, its roof "snorkel" and air intake ducts are engineering works of art.
Originally as it turns out, McLaren was obsessed with shaving weight that it considered not having sound-deadening materials or even carpet in the cabin. And then there was, of course, its performance capabilities. Thanks to a modified version of McLaren’s potent twin-turbo 3.8-liter V8 with 727 hp, McLaren managed to suck out a combined total of 903 hp with the added boost from a lightweight electric motor with 176 hp. Mind you, this was all F1-derived technology. This extreme power output allowed for a 0-62 mph time of 2.8 seconds. From its rigorous cold and hot weather testing program, to the track-only P1 GTR, the McLaren P1 has rightfully earned its place in history. A new legend has been born.