McLaren Automotive have revealed in Paris its next generation ultimate supercar – the McLaren P1 – which takes much of its technological and spiritual inspiration from the company’s Racing division. The McLaren P1 has one simple goal: to be the best driver’s car in the world on road and track and to follow on from the cult McLaren F1.
Designed from the outset to gain aerodynamic superiority and spent many hours in a wind tunnel and using CFD (computational fluid dynamics) aerodynamic modelling – just like a Formula One car, something McLaren are market leaders in.
The McLaren P1 has gained higher levels of downforce than any current road car – 600kg is achieved well below maximum speed. That is approximately five times as much downforce as a McLaren 12C. Its margin over most other high performance supercars is even greater. The McLaren P1’s downforce is similar to current sports racing cars, including the 12C GT3 racer. This is achieved by a large adjustable ‘active’ rear wing adjusts automatically to boost downforce and optimise aerodynamics along with the teardrop cabin shape also means that a lot of the air travels along the cabin to the rear wing .
The large rear wing adjusts automatically to boost downforce and optimise aerodynamics. It can extend rearwards by up to 300mm on a racetrack, and by up to 120mm on the road. The pitch of the rear wing can increase by up to 29 degrees. The double element rear wing profile has been developed using exactly the same methods and software as the current McLaren Formula 1 car.
The McLaren P1 also has a DRS (drag reduction system) function, like a Grand Prix car, to reduce downforce and increase straight line speed. But while a Formula 1 car has a moveable flap in the rear wing, the McLaren P1’s rear wing’s pitch is adjusted.
Pirelli has designed a unique tyre specifically for the McLaren P1 design study on display in Paris. The one off, high technology tyres feature the McLaren name and ‘Speed Marque’ logo in the tyre tread and are designed to accentuate the performance and driving pleasure of this inspirational car. Pirelli tyres set the benchmark for performance, meeting the increasing demands of ever more powerful sports cars.
Like the 12C official release there is no talk of what’s powering the McLaren P1, due to the development and power tuning is yet to be fully realised. But rumour has it we are looking at power to weight ratio if 600hp per tonne and a total output of around 750bhp.