The word ‘legendary’ is bandied about far too much days, but if there’s one car that deserves the title, it’s the McLaren F1. 20 years ago, it redefined what it meant to be a supercar, and in a week’s time at the 2012 Paris Motor Show, McLaren are set to do it all over again.

Details and pictures have been released of the British marque’s latest concept, the P1. It is a car that is likely to push the boundaries of supercar performance, and what’s even more exciting is that there are plans for it to go into full production in a year’s time.

Let’s start with the figures. The car is likely to be powered by an uprated version of the twin-turbo 3.8 V8 found in the MP4-12C. That might not seem like a particularly impressive engine for a car rumoured to be smashing lap records, but it is. The car will weigh less than 2900lbs and boast an incredible power output of around 963hp. That puts it well ahead of rivals such as the Veyron in terms of power-to-weight ratio. Despite this, McLaren insist that top speed is not their primary concern, and the P1 is instead designed to be the ultimate track car. Either way, it’s going to be seriously fast, and we can expect a sub 3 second 0-60 time.

McLaren also claim that the P1 will be the most technically accomplished supercar ever made, sporting a particularly advanced chassis system, and a monocoque body similar to that of the MP4-12C.

Looks-wise, the P1 is definitely a prettier car than the 12C. It feels more individual than its stable-mate, and the rear in particular is like nothing else on the roads today. The headlamps are modelled to look exactly like the McLaren logo, and it’s a nice touch.

P1 is likely to be just a working name, with the production model expected to bear the MP4 designation. According to reports, the final version will be unveiled and go on sale in 2013. This will mean a McLaren line-up of the MP4-12C, its Spider version, and the as-yet unnamed P1. The company are hoping for an ambitious sales target of around 4000 cars worldwide by 2015. This could be aided by a facelift of the 12C, but nothing is set in stone yet.

McLaren have suggested that only 500 P1s will be made, and with a price tag of less than €1m, they’ll probably shift pretty quickly. There is a definite emphasis on the P1 being a road car too, and apparently there will be a ‘road mode’ for when you’re not on the track. It’ll still put out around 800hp though, so don’t expect it to be tame.

For those of us that won’t have the €1m to blow on the most technologically advanced supercar ever, there are still some incredibly quick cars available for 100 times less. Visit Exchange and Mart to find used cars in the UK, though I can’t promise any McLarens.

Press release:


Sep 18, 2012

McLaren Automotive will use its first ever international motor show appearance to preview 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.

At the Paris Motor Show, Mondial de l’Automobile 2012, the McLaren P1 is previewed as a design study. Next year a production version, which the company aims to put on sale within 12 months, will be revealed.

‘The McLaren P1 will be the result of 50 years of racing and road car heritage,’ says McLaren Automotive Executive Chairman Ron Dennis. ‘Twenty years ago we raised the supercar performance bar with the McLaren F1 and our goal with the McLaren P1 is to redefine it once again.’

‘Our aim is not necessarily to be the fastest in absolute top speed but to be the quickest and most rewarding series production road car on a circuit,’ says McLaren Automotive Managing Director Antony Sheriff. ‘It is the true test of a supercar’s all round ability and a much more important technical statement. Our goal is to make the McLaren P1 the most exciting, most capable, most technologically advanced and most dynamically accomplished supercar ever made.’

When the McLaren P1 goes into production later next year, it will sit above the 12C and 12C Spider, in terms of both price and performance.

More information will be released following the McLaren Automotive press conference scheduled for 17.45 CEST (16.45 BST), on Thursday 27 September 2012.


[Source: McLaren]