McLaren P1: Why it’s more than Just a Really Fast Car

The P1 is the latest offering by the English automotive manufacturer McLaren Automotive. It’s the long overdue successor of the McLaren F1.

Before we begin, a quick history lesson:

When the F1 was released in 1993, it set the record for being the fastest production car ever made. It reached a whopping top speed of 386km/h. It held this record for almost twelve years and still holds the record for being the fastest naturally aspirated production car in the world. The car is a milestone in automotive history.

Mclaren f1 front profile

Behold, The F1 In All Its Glory



No other car came close for more than a decade. Form followed function in its design. It was the first production car to use carbon fibre in the construction of the chassis and gold to improve heat conduction. It featured a central driving position and a naturally aspirated engine for increased reliability and driver control. Boasting a 0-100kmph time of 3.2 seconds, the F1 was every 90’s kid’s dream car. It was the car of choice in every racing game released back then. You could not and still cannot have a conversation about supercars without mentioning the McLaren F1. It was the perfect driver’s car. I for one truly believed that the F1 was the last of its kind, an omega of sorts.


Until now:


McLaren P1 three quarters

Can It Get Any Better Than This?


McLaren have finally released the P1. The next chapter in auto history.

It is a rear wheel drive, mid-engined hypercar. The P1 uses a 3.8L twin turbocharged V8 along with an electric motor to produce a colossal 903hp. The V8 engine is a tuned version borrowed from the MP4-12C that produces 727hp and the electric motor alone produces an additional 176hp. McLaren have used various Formula 1 features such as Instant Power Assist System that uses the electric motor to deliver an instant boost in acceleration, a Drag Reduction System that operates the rear wing and a KERS system that recovers the moving car’s kinetic energy during braking and stores it for later use. The electric motor is powered by 324 Li-ion cells that can be charged by the engine or through plug-in equipment. It weighs in at about 1395kgs giving it a power to weight ratio of 647bhp/tonne.


MP4-12C MSO McLaren Special Operations

The McLaren MP4-12C from which the engine is derived from



The P1 goes from 0 to 100 in 2.8 seconds and 0 to 300 in an astounding 16.5 seconds beating its predecessor by a full 5.5 seconds.

McLaren’s racing heritage has truly paid off.

And for all you Indian customers out there, it even gives 14.59km per litre, a real bang for your buck if you have 1,350,000 USD to spare. Unfortunately only 375 of these will be made and all of them have been sold.

The P1 doesn’t break any land speed records, and it’s not meant to. Its true appeal lies behind the wheel, the level of control it entrusts its driver. It is meant to be a driver’s car. Something that was lost in exchange for speed all these years. It’s the revival of what a car was meant to be. It is the spirit of Bruce McLaren invested in the roar of its engine. The personification of beauty in its design. It is the creation of over twenty years of automotive ingenuity and the reincarnation of a legacy.

This. Is. The. McLaren P1.


McLaren P1

The McLaren P1



McLaren P1 doors open

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Image Source: Top Gear UK

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