MCLAREN P1 Models/Series Timeline, Specifications & Photos

Generations: 1
First production year: 2013
Engines: Hybrid
Body style: Coupé (two-door)
MCLAREN P1 photo gallery

When launched, the 2013 McLaren P1 instantly became the number 1 hypercar in the world thanks to its on-track performance, heritage, and performance.

McLaren was a well-known and respected brand on the market thanks to the legendary McLaren F1 from the ‘90s and the Formula 1 titles. But the British car manufacturer didn’t focus too much on producing its own supercars until 2011 when it unveiled the 12C. But that wasn’t all; McLaren secretly worked on an even higher-performance model: the P1, a vehicle that saw the broad of light in late 2012 at the Paris Motor Show in France.

While it was considered by many as the spiritual successor of the mighty McLaren F1, the P1 had little to none in common with that model. It still featured a similar architecture of a mid-engine supercar, but other than that, there were no connections. At the front, the P1 boasted its specific Z-shaped headlights extended downwards by scoops that grabbed the air and cooled the disc brakes. The lower bumper featured a splitter that increased downforce, and above it, in the middle, there was a simple, black mesh grille. Above these, McLaren installed a pair of exhaust vents on the hood that helped the aerodynamics, followed by a panoramic windshield. From its profile, the car’s aggressive stance was amplified by the large air intakes in front of the rear wheels, contributing to the engine cooling. Above the roof, the British car manufacturer installed an air intake that fed the engine, similar to what the McLaren F1 featured. Finally, at the back, the car featured a retractable wing that increased downforce and improved handling.

Inside, the high bolstered sports seats hugged their occupants and kept them in place during high-speed cornering maneuvers. In front of the driver, the automaker installed a digital instrument cluster with various functions and display modes. In addition, the center stack housed a touchscreen for the infotainment system and for the HVAC. The carbon fiber trims and the leather boasted a high level of luxury combined with a race-inspired ambiance, completely suitable for a hypercar.

But the most important details of the vehicle were under its skin. The P1 relied on a carbon fiber tub structure, which was the lightest on the market for such a vehicle. McLaren was the first race car manufacturer to create such a structure back in the ‘80s and used that technology ever since. Benefiting from the accumulated experience in Formula 1, McLaren made a hybrid drivetrain with a twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter behind the cabin and a 132 kW (177 hp) electric motor. The entire system sent its oomph to the rear wheels via a seven-speed automatic (dual-clutch) gearbox. Even though it was not the fastest car in the world, the P1 was a fierce track-ready hypercar that was also ready to ride comfortably on regular roads. Moreover, it even featured an EV mode, which was powered by a 4.7 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, which was enough for an electric-only range of 31 km (19 miles).

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