And eschews increased electric range for all-out performance.
A successor to the McLaren P1 is in the works; that much we know is true. But McLaren hasn't given up on the P1 itself, despite production ending some seven years ago. Instead of letting sleeping hypercar legends lie, the British supercar manufacturer has given the mighty P1 and P1 GTR a new battery upgrade "taking on new technologies including the key learnings from the battery technology of the Speedtail, meaning it is lighter and more power-dense," McLaren tells CarBuzz. The new battery weighs less than half of what the original did, and improves not only acceleration but handling ability too. We've now learned a little more about the battery and discovered that McLaren has prioritized performance over eco-friendliness.
Speaking exclusively to CarBuzz, a McLaren representative answered our questions about the upgrade. The first thing we wanted to know was why the automaker leveraged the Speedtail rather than the plug-in hybrid Artura for the new tech. As it turns out, the Artura's battery pack is built around range-focused cells, while the Speedtail uses power-dense cell technology that favors performance over range. When asked whether the electric range of the P1 had been altered by the new pack, we were surprised to hear that the electric range has dropped from 7.5 miles down to just 1.9 miles - a quarter of the original figure. The reason for this is simple: "The new technology prioritizes reduced weight and increased vehicle performance, with [the] rate of regenerative recharge also improved."
The new lithium iron phosphate battery cell reduces the weight from 233.7 pounds to just 110 lbs, shaving four-tenths of a second off the 0-186-mph dash.
This isn't as a result of retuned motor outputs, however, which remain at 903 horsepower and 664 lb-ft of torque. McLaren tells us that the increased performance is purely due to weight. But due to the improved regenerative ability of the battery, nothing is lost from a power deployment perspective, so you won't run out of juice and be stuck with combustion power only.
The battery itself is plug and play, requiring only a vehicle-level software update. All in, the replacement takes only 14 hours at a McLaren dealer and is covered by a new 6-year warranty. It comes at a price, however, and P1 owners who wish to secure the upgrade will have to cough up $156,700 including the supply and fitment of the cell, just a few grand shy of the price of a Porsche 911 GT3. The upgrades will be available to owners from July 2022.