McLaren P1: The Ultimate Drivers Car

McLaren knew that the public couldn’t wait until the Geneva Motor Show in March to get the low down on their new hypercar so have spent the first 2 weeks of February releasing images of the interior and exterior of their new car along with some specifications that should wet most driver’s appetite.

As you would expect from a supercar and Formula One car maker, the cabin is driver focused so a digital instrument panel presents the revs clearly even at speeds in excess of 220mph. Selecting Race Mode activates the F1 style gear shift indicator on the dash that changes from green to red to blue as the revs rise. Race Mode also controls the McLaren’s active rear wing, which extends at high speed to help the hypercar gain the “optimal aerodynamic position”.

The new technologies add weight to the car so the F1 constructor has used carbon fibre extensively throughout the cabin to counteract this. It’s been used on the flooring, the headlining and the centre console. The doors are made of the material and the carbon weave is exposed which saves 1.5kg over the material covered with lacquer. A lack of sound deadening also saves weight and allows the noise of the twin-turbo mid-mounted engine to enter the cabin.

The carbon seats that weigh just 10.5 kg, have to be custom set for the driver’s and the passenger’s height and have minimal padding. A six-point harness and retractable seat belts are fitted so the hypercar’s good to go on the road and the track.

The exterior’s just as impressive as the interior. Extensive windtunnel testing has resulted in a car that produces 600kg of downforce and yet doesn’t compromise on styling as Simon Lacey, head of vehicle technology for McLaren’s road car division said, “Every body panel, air intake, and air exhaust was designed to guide in air from the most efficient places and to maximise cooling.” As you would expect from McLaren, no detail has been missed in an effort to make the ultimate driver's car.

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