The McLaren P1 Hypercar – 5 years old

The McLaren P1 was conceived with one simple but extremely demanding aim: to be the best driver’s car in the world on road and track. As the spiritual successor to the McLaren F1 road car of the 1990s – still widely considered to be one of the greatest supercars of all time – the McLaren P1 had to redefine not only what McLaren was capable of, but also raise the bar for the supercar world.

Five years ago, at 1745hrs BST on Thursday September 27, the car built to achieve this ambition was unveiled as a design study at the 2012 ‘Mondial de l’Automobile’ in Paris. Five months later, the production version debuted at the 2013 Geneva International Motor Show.

Leveraging five decades of McLaren motorsport experience and its deep knowledge of road car engineering, the McLaren P1 represented both the birth of the McLaren Ultimate Series and a quantum leap in technology that delivered previously unknown levels of performance in a road car.

“The McLaren P1™ is the most exciting, capable and dynamically accomplished supercar ever and a showcase for McLaren’s innovation and technology. Absolute top speed was never the priority; we set out to develop a car that could be driven to a racing circuit and at the press of a button be the fastest-ever series production car on the track, which is a much more important technical statement and of far greater relevance to on-road driving.”  Mike Flewitt, Chief Executive Officer, McLaren Automotive

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Sell-out success

The full production run of 375 cars was sold and allocated before the first was even delivered, such was the insatiable demand for the McLaren P1. No two examples of the McLaren P1 were the same; each was custom-built to owner-specification in consultation with McLaren Special Operations (MSO). The cost of MSO features was additional to the £866,000 price of the car.

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McLaren P1 facts at a glance

  • The McLaren P1 accelerates from standstill to 300km/h (186mph) in 16.5 seconds – a full 5.5 seconds quicker than the legendary McLaren F1
  • The adjustable rear wing of the McLaren P1™ extends from the bodywork by up to 120mm on the road and up to 300mm on a track
  • Carbon ceramic discs coated in silicon carbide bring the McLaren P1™ to standstill from 100km/h (62mph) in just 30.2 metres
  • The McLaren P1 zero-emissions range in full electric mode is more than 10km (6.8 miles)
  • In Race mode, the McLaren P1 lowers by 50mm and the spring rates stiffen by 300 per cent, allowing the car to corner at more than 2g
  • The Formula 1-style Inconel exhaust follows the most direct route from the engine to the back of the McLaren P1™ and weighs just 17kg
  • The steering wheel diameter of a McLaren P1 is as technically precise as a wheel used by McLaren racing drivers: the hand grips of McLaren Formula 1 World Champions were modelled on a CAD system during development and scanned to produce an exact replica
  • Each McLaren P1 was custom-built by a team of 82 technicians in a four-stage assembly process. From start to finish, the build of each car took 17 days

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