7 years after the hypercar went out of production, McLaren has improved the P1 hypercar's performance again.
In an era where multiple new hypercars are pushing over 1,500 horsepower thanks to various states of hybridization and electrification, it's extremely telling of a car's impact when we can still call the McLaren P1 relevant, despite outputs of just 903 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque. The P1 wrote the rulebook for hybrid hypercars as the first of its kind, and sparked an incredible war that brought out the best both Ferrari and Porsche had to offer in the LaFerrari and 918 Spyder, respectively. Despite going out of production in 2015 after 375 P1s and 58 P1 GTRs were produced, the P1 is still making headlines in 2022. McLaren has let slip that owners of the exclusive hypercar will be eligible for a new battery pack this year that will enhance the already incredible performance of the P1 further.
Thanks to developments in battery technology, particularly lessons learned from the McLaren Speedtail, McLaren has been able to enhance the energy density of the battery pack while reducing weight substantially.
The new battery weighs 56 kg (123.5 lbs) less than the original 106-kg unit (233.7 lbs), meaning it tips the scales at just 50 kg (110 lbs). This reduced weight has multiple performance benefits, improving handling and acceleration.
McLaren says the updated P1 battery pack enables the hypercar to hit 186 mph from a standstill 0.4 seconds quicker, reducing the sprint to just 16.1 seconds. Around the 7.8-mile-long high-speed Nardo Ring, the P1 is able to shave half a second off its previous best time with the new battery.
The new battery pack is compatible with both the P1 and track-focused P1 GTR and will be available to all owners from July 2022. McLaren says the battery pack is covered by a new 6-year warranty. It remains unclear whether McLaren will continue to upgrade the battery tech in the P1 going forward, but owners who use their P1s regularly will surely appreciate the continued development and the added performance benefits.
The original battery pack was groundbreaking at the time, able to discharge a 176 hp boost in performance with push-to-pass technology inherited from Formula 1 development. The battery featured a higher energy density than any other production hybrid of the era and was able to give the P1 an electric range of 6.8 miles - a range that has been more than doubled in the brand's latest hybrid, the McLaren Artura. It powered a 176-hp electric motor which supplemented the twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V8 engine (727 hp) for a final power output of 903 hp.