McLaren P1: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know

Written by Kenny Hoeschen | February 28, 2014

Chris Harris of /DRIVE had the chance to visit with McLaren’s Chief Test Driver, Chris Goodwin to discuss anything and everything about the new McLaren P1, the unofficial successor to the incredible supercar the McLaren F1. The P1 is a 903hp plug-in hybrid that sells for $1.15 million.

The pair cover all the details of the P1’s engine and hybrid drive system. Although it still has a 3.8 liter twin-turbo eight-cylinder engine, the engine block differs quite a lot from that in the McLaren 12C. The P1’s torque is far greater because of McLaren’s addition of the electric motor, which is used to “torque fill” and address any turbo lag that may otherwise occur. The additional power is also necessary with the hybrid system due to the cost of additional weight, largely in the batteries. With the addition of the electric motor, McLaren says that the term “turbo lag” simply doesn’t apply to the P1.

The pair also discusses several other aspects of the car, including the P1’s adjustable suspension, with selective ride height and stiffness. Goodwin explains that the real “game changer” is the race mode, which transforms the car — lowering the car, stiffening the springs, extending the rear wing significantly, resulting in about 600kg in downforce.

The interview is very informative and it’s interesting to hear all the innovations that McLaren put into the P1, including all the differences from the 12C. If you’d like to see Chris Harris’s review of the P1, you can watch it here:

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