RAC Cars News


McLaren P1 Production Underway

By raccars Published

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After plenty of hype and hyperbole, the McLaren P1 hypercar has graduated to the production line. The first P1 is currently being assembled at the company's Woking production plant, also the home of the 12C and 12C Spider.

There will be 375 production P1s built, starting at a wallet busting £866,000. McLaren claims that most of these have already found owners and the majority are expected to pass through the McLaren Special Operations department for some customisation. McLaren's marketing department is aiming at the LaFerrari and Porsche 918 Spyder end of the market, both of which have larger production runs. While the Porsche is a little cheaper than the McLaren, the Ferrari's £1 million plus price tag should work in the P1's favour.

A certain quantity of P1s were allocated for sale in the Americas, the Middle East and the Asia Pacific region and the quota was exhausted pretty quickly – US TV host and famous petrol head, Jay Leno, is confirmed as a buyer. The remainder of the production run was destined for sale in Europe and, in August, still had a few models available. However McLaren was planning to preserve its pre-allocated international roster rather than re-assign available models to other regions, focusing on maintaining exclusivity in any particular area.

The P1's awesome performance is courtesy of a twin turbocharged 3.8 litre V8 with 272bhp, assisted by an electric motor for an extra 176bhp. The sub-three second 0-62mph time and a limited top speed of 217mph are achieved with a relatively impressive 30+mpg and 199g/km in CO2 emissions – while the performance is certainly hypercar compatible, the efficiency figures are pleasantly pedestrian. A seven speed dual clutch automatic transmission is standard for the sector. While McLaren has foregone KERS braking, it has installed some very sophisticated, F1 derived carbon ceramic units, that achieve a funky, mirrored surface with use and allegedly produce 2g of stopping power.

The four driving modes – normal, sports, track and race – activate the adjustable pitch rear wing to provide the requisite amount of downforce. This system offers a safe but entertaining compromise between flat out power and stability and will operate automatically to cope with cornering loads. Equally, the P1 features a variable ride height to achieve that F1 feel in a road legal car.

The McLaren Production Centre is expected to be able to turn out one finished P1 per day, once full scale production is underway. Customers will be able to keep an eye on the process from a bespoke viewing booth on site.

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