Tag Archive | "McLaren P1"

McLaren P1 – The Extreme Hybrid


When is enough power enough? Why, when it is 903 brake horse power, that’s when and especially when it is found in the superb new McLaren P1 that will greet the world at next month’s Geneva Motor Show. The price is still to be announced but you can probably think of a ball-park figure.

This is technology at the cutting edge. Beautiful design coupled with the latest advances in hybrid performance. The P1 has a mid-mounted (always the correct place for an engine) petrol V8 displacing 3.8 litres coupled with a lightweight electric motor that together generate a maximum torque figure of 900Nm. Performance facts will no doubt be revealed in due course. We can confidently predict that it will be quick.

The combination of the two power sources ensures an instant throttle response and huge performance but also helps to make the car perfectly usable as a daily driver. Emissions of the combined motors are, astonishingly, under 200g/km, owing to the options of hybrid motoring.

An electric only mode is available which will allow the car to travel around six miles on battery power alone. The battery is charged by the petrol engine but can also be plugged into a wall socket anywhere for a full charge-up in a couple of hours, thanks to an on-board charging lead stored in the boot. Maximum power comes when both motors are used simultaneously and when the battery is fully discharged the V8 will take over to maintain drive and commence the charging procedure.

An Instant Power Assist System button is deployed on the steering wheel which allows the 176bhp of electric power in an instant in the manner of a Formula 1 racing car. Also inspired by F1 is the Drag Reduction System. This is also activated from the steering wheel and it cleverly reduces the wing angle which lowers the drag by 23%, we are told.

It is impressive to see this sort of hybrid technology being applied to supercars. Those enthusiasts who believed that the end was in sight for cars like this can breathe a sigh of relief. The more advanced these hybrid systems become – be it via electric, compressed air or hydrogen power – the safer we can be in the knowledge that manufacturers will continue to build exciting cars and not just euro-boxes for the masses. Well done McLaren. If you need anyone for an extended P1 test at any time…

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