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McLaren P1
The astonishing new McLaren P1™, which debuts in production form at the Geneva Motor Show, has a clear goal – to be the best driver’s car in the world on road and track. To achieve this objective, McLaren is using all of its 50 years of racing experience and success, especially in the fields of aerodynamics and lightweight carbon fibre technology.

The result is a car that has an unprecedented amount of downforce for a road vehicle: similar levels to a GT3 racing car and yet with even greater ground effect. This downforce not only boosts cornering and braking performance. It also helps balance, stability and driveability at all speeds.

The best driver’s car in the world must also have exceptional straight-line performance and instant throttle response. To deliver this, the McLaren P1™ uses an innovative IPAS petrol-electric powertrain comprising a substantially revised 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 petrol engine, coupled to a single electric motor, collectively known as M838TQ. Combined power output is 916 PS (903 hp). As important as absolute power is the electric motor’s ability to provide instant torque, making the powertrain superbly responsive. It is also amazingly efficient. Carbon dioxide emissions are less than 200g/km, and it can cover more than 10 km in electric-only mode.

Top speed is electronically limited to 350 km/h (217 mph), with the 0-100 km/h standing start acceleration taking less than three seconds .The McLaren P1™ will power from rest to 200 km/h in less than seven seconds, and on to 300 km/h in less than 17 seconds – a full five seconds quicker than the McLaren F1.

The astonishing technology developed for the McLaren P1™ includes active aerodynamics and adjustable suspension – both now banned in Formula 1, due to being seen to give a performance advantage. Airflow is optimised around the body through the use of an active wing and underbody devices. The adjustable rear wing can extend from the bodywork by 120mm on road, up to 300mm on the race track, maximising the levels of downforce. The wing is directly inspired by Formula 1 design, with the intersection of the double element rear wing and design of the endplates being the same as that on the 2008 championship winning MP4-23.

In addition, the McLaren P1™ also features adjustable ride height as part of the new hydro-pneumatic suspension. The revolutionary RaceActive Chassis Control (RCC) can lower the car by 50mm in Race mode, to produce ground effect aerodynamics. It also features adaptive spring rates, roll control, pitch control and damping, all providing a huge range of adjustment, making the McLaren P1™ perfect for either road or track. In Race mode, the spring rates stiffen by 300 per cent, allowing the McLaren P1™ to corner at more than 2g.

Formula 1-inspired technology permeates the McLaren P1™. The revolutionary new carbon fibre MonoCage monocoque forms a complete structure incorporating the vehicle’s roof and its distinctive snorkel air intake - a styling feature inspired by the McLaren F1 road car.

McLaren is an acknowledged world leader in carbon technology. The material offers lightness, strength and rigidity – improving performance, safety, handling, agility, durability, efficiency and ride comfort. The body panels of the McLaren P1™ are also made from lightweight yet strong carbon composite, with their complex shapes tuned for optimal aerodynamics.

The McLaren P1™ was designed from the outset to prioritise aerodynamic performance – just like a Formula 1 car. As with a Formula 1 car, wind tunnel testing and CFD (computational fluid dynamics) aerodynamic modelling were used to optimise the aerodynamic flow, both to provide incredible levels of downforce and to cool the powertrain. The result is 600kg of downforce at well below maximum speed (257 km/h / 161 mph) in Race mode, which is considerably higher than most other high performance supercars, and more in line with the levels of downforce generated by a GT3 racing car. This downforce improves the car’s cornering ability, especially in high speed corners. Balance, agility and controllability are all outstanding.

Other areas of Formula 1 technology evident on the McLaren P1™ include the revolutionary layered carbon ceramic brakes, developed for the road by McLaren’s Formula 1 partners Akebono. The highly efficient IPAS (Instant Power Assist System) is a development of KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) used on Formula 1 cars, while DRS (Drag Reduction System) is also used on the McLaren P1™, giving extra power and straight-line speed both at the touch of a button. Brake Steer – an outlawed Formula 1 technology – is also used on the McLaren P1™. It improves cornering behaviour and cornering speed.
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