McLaren pairs a more powerful version of the 12C's twin-turbo V8 with an electric motor to produce over 900 horsepower.
Some automakers reveal a new car in all its glory (or sometimes lack thereof), but some choose to meter things out piecemeal. When it's come to the new P1, McLaren Automotive has fallen deep into the latter category, teasing the design before unveiling the finished shape then keeping everyone guessing as to its details. But now McLaren has announced the technical details of what promises to be one of the most devastating performance machines ever devised.
At the heart of the new McLaren P1 is a hybrid powertrain (much as Ferrari is doing with its F150 and Porsche with the 918 Spyder), but don't lump this hypercar in with the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight just yet, because it has over 900 horsepower. 903, to be precise, coming from the combination of a modified version of the 12C's 3.9-liter twin-turbo V8 with an electric assist. The internal-combustion engine produces 727 horsepower and 531 lb-ft of torque (about a hundred more than the 12C in both columns), the electric motor kicking in 176 horsepower and 192 lb-ft.
Like an IndyCar, you can summon up the electric boost through the Instant Power Assist System with a steering-wheel button. The P1 will even travel for six miles on electric power alone, fueled by the dense power pack mounted at the bottom of the carbon-fiber chassis that can be charged in just two hours. Oh, and if you notice a second, blue button on the steering wheel labeled DRS, that's the Drag Reduction System that adjusts the rear wing angle at speed. In short, it's an F1 car for the road - just what you'd expect from McLaren.