Explaining the technology behind the supercar, McLaren P1
The McLaren P1 is nothing less than a superhero among supercars. The exquisitely good-looking, brutally powerful, and astronomically expensive car is a marvel of cutting-edge technology, innovation, and design. From its 903hp petrol/electric hybrid powertrain to the light-weight carbon fiber body and finely honed aerodynamic features, there's nothing like a McLaren P1. Here, we explain the technology behind this aircraft-like complex road car.
The McLaren P1 is powered by a 3.8-liter 727hp V8 engine along with a mild-hybrid setup that churns out an extra 177hp power. The result is a massive 900Nm of peak torque and 916PS of maximum power, making P1 the first hybrid supercar in the world. And being true to the McLaren racing DNA, the P1 reaches a top speed of 350 km/hr.
With a 900Nm of power at its disposal, it's no surprise that McLaren P1 manages to reach near F1 level top speeds. The state-of-the-art powertrain also allows the supercar to sprint from 0-100 km/hr in just 2.8 seconds.
The McLaren P1 features Formula 1-adopted design with a carbon fiber MonoCage which serves as the passenger compartment, the safety cell and the major structural chassis. The company says that use of carbon fiber gives the chassis "more than five times the strength of top-grade titanium and twice the stiffness of steel." And to top it all, the entire MonoCage weighs just 90kg.
The bodywork on the P1 is "shrink-wrapped" as tightly as possible over the MonoCage, and allows for reduced frontal surface area and better airflow from over the surface of the body to the active aero components. And with enhanced airflow, the moveable front-and-rear wings can produce a peak downforce of up to 600kg while the rear Drag Reduction System can reduce drag by 23%.
Inside the cabin, McLaren has fitted ultra-thin carbon fiber seats to keep the weight in check. In fact, the finished seats weigh just 10.5kg each. In the cabin, there are also three TFT screens with four switchable modes that make up for all the instrumentation.