The astonishing new McLaren P1™, which debuted in production form at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, has a clear goal – to be the best driver’s car in the world on road and track. To achieve this objective, McLaren is using all of its 50 years of racing experience and success, especially in the fields of aerodynamics and lightweight carbon fibre technology.
The result is a car that has an unprecedented amount of downforce for a road vehicle: similar levels to a GT3 racing car and yet with even greater ground effect. This downforce not only boosts cornering and braking performance. It also helps balance, stability and driveability at all speeds.
Top speed is electronically limited to 350 km/h (217 mph), with the 0-100 km/h standing start acceleration taking less than three seconds .The McLaren P1™ will power from rest to 200 km/h in less than seven seconds, and on to 300 km/h in less than 17 seconds – a full five seconds quicker than the McLaren F1.
‘We believe the McLaren P1™ is the most exciting, capable, technologically advanced and most dynamically accomplished supercar ever made,’ says McLaren P1™ programme director, Paul Mackenzie. ‘It may not be the fastest car in the world in absolute top speed, but that was never our goal. Rather, we believe it is the fastest ever production car on a racing circuit, a much more important technical statement, and far more relevant for on-road driving. It is a true test of a supercar’s all-round ability. Plus many owners will use the car on the circuit, at special track and test days.’
The astonishing technology developed for the McLaren P1™ includes active aerodynamics and adjustable suspension – both now banned in Formula 1, due to being seen to give a performance advantage. Airflow is optimised around the body through the use of an active wing and underbody devices. The adjustable rear wing can extend from the bodywork by 120mm on road, up to 300mm on the race track, maximising the levels of downforce. The wing is directly inspired by Formula 1 design, with the intersection of the double element rear wing and design of the endplates being the same as that on the 2008 championship winning MP4-23.
Other areas of Formula 1 technology evident on the McLaren P1™ include the revolutionary layered carbon ceramic brakes, developed for the road by McLaren’s Formula 1 partners Akebono. The highly efficient IPAS (Instant Power Assist System) is a development of KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) used on Formula 1 cars, while DRS (Drag Reduction System) is also used on the McLaren P1™, giving extra power and straight-line speed both at the touch of a button. Brake Steer – an outlawed Formula 1 technology – is also used on the McLaren P1™. It improves cornering behaviour and cornering speed.
‘The carryover Formula 1 technology on the McLaren P1™ is palpable,’ notes Dick Glover, Research Director. ‘From the aero work, to the carbon fibre MonoCage monocoque and body, to the active suspension [now banned in Formula 1] to the Brake Steer [now banned in Formula 1], to the turbocharging [which comes back into Formula 1 in 2014], to many other engine examples including the low crankshaft and dry sump lubrication.’
The McLaren P1™ is very much an engineering-led design, as is the McLaren way. Form follows function. Nothing is superfluous. Everything is designed for a reason, as with a Formula 1 car.
The mid-engine two-seater design reflects the aerodynamic requirements needed to meet the ambitious downforce target. But there was also clearly a desire to make a very beautiful and striking ‘supersports’ car.
Production of the McLaren P1™ will be limited to 375 examples, and is to commence.
Source - McLaren Press
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