THIS week, we will be looking at one of the most exclusive hypercars on the planet. Welcome to the 2014 McLaren P1.
This limited production plug-in hybrid was first revealed to the public in its concept version at the 2012 Paris Motor Show, and it was designed to replace the legendary McLaren F1. Unlike the F1, it was not designed to be the worlds fastest car, but more of an innovation.
As you may already know, the McLaren P1 is actually a hybrid.
The internal combustion engine is a 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V8 that is capable of producing 542kW (727 bhp) and 719Nm of torque (531 lb-ft of torque). Its sibling, the McLaren 650S, also has a 3.8-litre V8 engine but McLaren claims that the two engines have completely different internals.
Its main two rivals are the Porsche 918 Spyder and the LaFerrari, both combine an internal combustion engine with electric motors.
The P1 has little more power than the 918 Spyder, but less torque. The story is switched with the LaFerrari, as it has more power than the P1 but less torque.
Connected to the engine is a seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission, with shifting paddles located behind the steering wheel for manual control. Dual-clutch transmissions are one of the fastest gearboxes currently being produced, but the P1 uses the electric motor to improve shift times by applying negative torque at the moment of the shift. This causes the engine speed to drop and allows for faster changes.
All of this allows the RWD McLaren P1 to launch from 0-100 kilometres per hour in just 2.8 seconds, and it will keep accelerating until it reaches its electronically limited top speed of 350 kilometres per hour (217 miles per hour).
An absolutely astonishing figure is the 0-300 kilometre per hour acceleration time. It takes just 16.5 seconds for the car to reach that speed.
McLaren decided to only produce 375 P1s, all in left-hand drive, which unfortunately means they are not road legal in Australia. All of the P1's were sold back in November 2013, all for a starting price of $1,150,000 USD plus on road costs.
Jesse See is a teenage car enthusiast. His blogs and website can be found at www.jessesee.com
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