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
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.