We’ve been experiencing Christmas-style levels of excitement waiting for all the details of the McLaren P1. Now, after what feels like an absolute eternity, we have all the tasty facts at our disposal. We’ve digested them several times over and, being the lovely people that we are, we’ve decided to share them with you. So without further ado, here are 15 things you really need to know about the McLaren P1.
1. The McLaren P1 makes its grandfather, the McLaren F1, seem slow. The P1 takes less than three seconds to reach 62mph from a standstill, seven seconds to hit 124mph and just 17 seconds to reach 186mph. It achieves that last milestone a full five seconds quicker than the McLaren F1 could and seven seconds quicker than the current McLaren 12C. Take a few seconds to think about that. Now consider where the P1 would have gone in that time.
2. At the McLaren P1’s electronically limited speed of 217mph, it travels nearly 100 metres every second – the length of track Usain Bolt runs in a world record 9.58 seconds.
3. Two engines are usually better than one, which is why McLaren has married a twin-turbo 3.8-litre V8 petrol lump to an electric motor capable of providing an instant power hike of 173bhp and 260Nm of torque – on top of the usual 727bhp and 720Nm – at the press of a steering wheel-mounted button.
4. Thanks to liberal use of carbon fibre and clever weight-saving methods, the McLaren P1 weighs 1,400kg. Its battery weights just 75kg.
5. The McLaren P1 has a better power to weight ratio than a Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse — 645bhp per ton compared to the Veyron’s ‘paltry’ 594bhp per tonne.
6. To save weight, carpet in the footwell is an optional extra.
7. The McLaren P1 can generate 1,320lbs (599kg) of downforce ‘well below’ its top speed, five times more than a 12C.To put that into perspective, the race-built 2000 Panoz LMP1 Le Mans car in its low downforce configuration produced 2000lbs (907kg) at 150mph.
8. Formula 1 tyre provider, Pirelli, used its expertise to create tyres unique to the McLaren P1. The P Zero Corsa rubber has a unique compound and construction to maximise handling and performance.
9. The McLaren P1 can be driven solely using its electric motor. If you maintain an average speed of 30mph, a maximum range of 20km (12 miles) is achievable, making it perfect for quick trips into town. Once out of juice, charging is done either by the petrol engine or by plugging the car into the mains for two hours.
10. 500 McLaren P1 supercars were originally going to be built but McLaren later changed that to 375 because certain customers feared it wouldn’t be eclusive enough.
11. £866,000. That’s how much you will need to part with for the privilege of owning the McLaren P1 when it goes on sale in March 2013, assuming you can even get onto the buyers list.
12. Even though the McLaren can produce a total of 903bhp and 900Nm of torque, it costs less to tax than a BMW 5 Series. The BMW’s CO2 emissions are 314g/km, putting it in the top Band M tax bracket with an annual cost of £950 for the first year and £405 per year thereafter. With CO2 emissions of 200g/km, the McLaren P1 enjoys a more palatable first year charge of £425 and £215 thereafter – around £1 for every mile per hour possible.
13. McLaren Formula 1 partner Akebono developed the P1’s brakes. Rather than standard metal discs, a carbon ceramic usually only used in space travel has been implemented to help dissipate heat more efficiently, save weight and improve stopping power.
14. Automobile designer Frank Stephenson was responsible for designing the McLaren P1’s outlandish looks. His previous work includes the McLaren 12C and the German remake of the Mini Cooper.
15. You’ll never drive one 🙁