Login | Register
SearchMy Stuff
My ProfileMy PreferencesMy Mates RSS Feed
Friday 28th September 2012

Paris 2012: McLaren P1

So, McLaren has finally built a true successor to the F1 - just don't ask how fast it'll go, right?



It's taken McLaren 20 years to come up with a worthy successor to the F1 and the covers have finally come off the P1 at what's claimed as the brand's first international motor show appearance. Quite an entrance.

The F1, of course, introduced the idea of all-carbon construction, actual 200mph-plus (quite a bit plus) performance and was the very embodiment of McLaren's fastidious, OCD approach to supercar construction. The 12C that's followed is a mainstream product in comparison but the P1 is the spirit of the F1, moved on two decades.

Function before style, aero over top speed
Function before style, aero over top speed
And what's not being discussed? Top speed, acceleration times or power outputs. Indeed, there's a deliberate avoidance of spec sheet willy waggling from McLaren in all the official material on the P1. They don't say it in so many words but for all those who've criticised the pointless pursuit of ever more impressive numbers - a movement championed by the Bugatti Veyron of course - the P1 is the polar opposite in mindset. Since when, for instance, did you last hear the boss of a supercar company launch a new car with the words "Our aim is not necessarily to be the fastest in absolute top speed" as McLaren Automotive MD Anthony Sheriff has with the P1. Or for the chief design engineer - in this case Dan Parry-Williams - to say "maximum speed was never a priority."

So it weighs as much as a Caterham and is powered by a 1.6-litre direct injection turbo like every hot hatch here at the show then? Um, probably not. The one figure they do let slip is a target power to weight ratio of over 600hp per tonne. For the record a Veyron Supersport is 666hp per tonne (someone had some fun there), a Pagani Huayra 540hp per tonne.

This is where they try stuff too hot for F1
This is where they try stuff too hot for F1
As befits a firm wearing its F1 heritage on its sleeve more prominently than even Ferrari, aero is the main focus. And the P1 will have lots of it. Five times more downforce than a 12C for instance, with more than ever available at more realistic speeds where mere mortals will be able to enjoy and exploit it. There's stuff here the boffins would probably love to fit to Lewis and Jenson's F1 cars, were the rules to allow it. This includes a rear wing that can move back by as much as 300mm on track (120mm on the road) and increase in pitch by 29 degrees and act as an airbrake too. More active flaps under the front wings in front of the wheels can move by as much as 60 degrees.

The idea for the P1 is that owners will be able to drive to the track in relative comfort, put a helmet on and then enjoy aero-enhanced performance equivalent to a 12C GT3 car. A pretty wide performance envelope but the kind of engineering challenge McLaren enjoys. They don't really do nostalgia at Woking but there are a couple of emotional nods to the F1 too, gold-plated heat shielding and the roof vent among them.

And the looks? Function first, says McLaren. Attack is the best form of defence, eh?

We'll have to wait until early next year before we'll get some numbers and further details about the powertrain, sales starting not long after and first deliveries by the end of the year. And with this, art deco Rollers, the return of the Bentley Boysto the racetrack, the new F-Type and the Range Rover it's been a pretty good show for the Brits!

Dan Trent
2 3 ... 8 9
Reply to Topic
Author Discussion

kingb

Original Poster:

950 posts

113 months

[news] 
Thursday 27th September 2012 quote quote all
3 seater??

M666 EVO

888 posts

49 months

[news] 
Thursday 27th September 2012 quote quote all
How fast???

Johnny

6,770 posts

171 months

[news] 
Thursday 27th September 2012 quote quote all
M666 EVO said:
How fast???
Don't ask...

f1ten

1,005 posts

40 months

[news] 
Thursday 27th September 2012 quote quote all
Side on it bears a fair resemblance to the F1, its not broken so dont fix it approach .

redlinecal

26 posts

58 months

[news] 
Thursday 27th September 2012 quote quote all
I think it just looks beyond amazing. All these tech bits, that aren't allowed on F1 cars sound fun too.

Hoping people ignore the lack of specs etc, and are just proud it is British ! smile
Advertisement

caine100

321 posts

77 months

[news] 
Thursday 27th September 2012 quote quote all
kingb said:
3 seater??
No, LHD only.

Jayfish

3,268 posts

90 months

[news] 
Thursday 27th September 2012 quote quote all
5 times more downforce than a 12C? Surely that is a vmax derived figure which is ironic considering the vmax isn't important...
The missing rear addenda appears and yup makes it look complete, still not convinced by McLarens chosen paint scheme, but hell who buys this sort of car for the paint of the launch car.

CHIEF

2,265 posts

169 months

[news] 
Thursday 27th September 2012 quote quote all
Wonder who will be the first Pistonheader to buy one?

Gorgeous looking car.

Speed_Demon

2,076 posts

75 months

[news] 
Thursday 27th September 2012 quote quote all
Lors of active aero? I'm sold already TBH. Can't wait to see how fast this is round a track.

philmots

3,264 posts

147 months

[news] 
Thursday 27th September 2012 quote quote all
Lovely. Higher power:weight than the new Pagani, won't be a slouch!

suffolk009

1,525 posts

52 months

[news] 
Thursday 27th September 2012 quote quote all
Quite right not to worry about the top speed. In a car that fast that actual number is an irrelevance.

Mini1275

10,626 posts

69 months

[news] 
Thursday 27th September 2012 quote quote all
I can't wait to see the P1 in the flesh.

I'm also looking forward to hearing more about the aerodynamics on it, they sound pretty impressive

tommy vercetti

8,224 posts

50 months

[news] 
Thursday 27th September 2012 quote quote all
Pretty impressive, still not too keen on the looks.

andy355

1,097 posts

125 months

[news] 
Thursday 27th September 2012 quote quote all
it looks like an orange zonda to me - not a bad look tho

suffolk009

1,525 posts

52 months

[news] 
Thursday 27th September 2012 quote quote all
Am following Monkey's twitter pics. Lovely.

Spiritual_Beggar

4,689 posts

81 months

[news] 
Thursday 27th September 2012 quote quote all
Looks great now.

Rear Wing makes all the difference.

Can't wait to see it in the metal/ cf.

Given the tech in the 12C, I'm sure this will be one of the best handling cars ever made. Whether that comes at the expense of a genuinely 'thrilling' driving experience or not will be the deciding factor in determining if this car will reach the praise and admiration of it's predecessor.

samoht

245 posts

33 months

[news] 
Thursday 27th September 2012 quote quote all
Wonder how the suspension will cope with that much downforce? Trick active suspension?

C7 JFW

216 posts

106 months

[news] 
Thursday 27th September 2012 quote quote all
I've got to be honest, the MP4-12C is an un-inspiring car visually. It looks tame, which is seriously embarassing considering they have such a great brand name.

This however looks much, much more becoming and the active aero sounds enticing.

I really hope this doesn't suffer the same fate as the 12C, it sure looks the part. Please McLaren, just get your figures right and if you're not chasing top figures, make sure it embarasses a GT-R at speeds under 150mph - it's not like you don't have the brains to pull it off.

Mini1275

10,626 posts

69 months

[news] 
Thursday 27th September 2012 quote quote all


Crazy considering it's on a road car.

will261058

1,106 posts

79 months

[news] 
Thursday 27th September 2012 quote quote all
Fantastic looking machine, waiting to see more!
2 3 ... 8 9
Reply to Topic