The McLaren P1 is intended to be the world’s best driver’s car on the road as well as on the track. It has to have excellent performance and handling. The driver also needs to feel comfortable and in control. To accomplish this, the car has to have the right aerodynamic bodyshape and innovative technology under its carbon fibre exterior.
Because of this, the McLaren P1’s cabin is entirely focused on the driver. It won’t offer any clutter that might distract the driver. Its cabin is shaped like a cocoon, making it very comfortable and efficient. When in the cockpit, the driver gets the feeling of a fighter jet with a glass canopy overhead as well as a windscreen deeper than it is wide, optimizing its visibility. As a result, the car is easier to handle.
Reducing the weight has been prioritized with its switchgear is kept very low. However, the McLaren P1 is keeping its luxury features like full climate control, satellite navigation and a bespoke sound system, which was developed with Meridian.
McLaren – a pioneer in using carbon fibre – uses the material extensively throughout the McLaren P1, particularly in the MonoCage chassis and the aerodynamically-shaped body panels as well as inside the two-seat cabin.
Carbon fibre is the lightest material possible but it provides the strength expected for safety and structural integrity. It’s used for the dashboard, floor, headlining, doors, and rockers. The central control unit is shaped in a single piece to optimize the weight further. To make it even lighter by 1.5kg, the top layer of resin has been taken out to give a more natural appearance to the non-lacquered carbon.
The trim that covers the cabin has been minimized, leaving many parts exposed. It also doesn’t have an interior sound deadening to optimize weight savings further. Carpet is available as an option but when it’s selected, it comes with a special lightweight backing.
McLaren P1 required an aggressive, but still extremely fuel-efficient, powertrain that could offer excellent throttle reactions. These were the vital traits for the best driver's car in the world.
High power levels were critical for the vehicle to fulfil this operation necessity: to be nearer around a race track than any production road car. Crisp throttle reaction is a major factor for any amazing driver's car. Fuel economy has always been a McLaren trait; effectiveness is the signifier of high-quality design.
The company was quick to deduce that the best solution all around was a gas-electric engine. It provides very high power levels, immediate torque, and amazing fuel and CO2 stats. The resulting powertrain feels like a very powerful, normal aspirating engine.
The twin-turbo V8 petrol and single electric motors, both set in the back of the cockpit in a mid-engine location, have together a 916PS (900 hp) and 900Nm output, with emissions under 200g/km. Power is pushed to the rear wheels via the seven-speed dual clutch transmission.
The vehicle comes in a range of driving modes that can get power just from the electric motor or from using a combination of both.
Optimal power occurs when both engines are used together, but even E-mode performs strongly. It's pretty cool to silently appear in a million-dollar McLaren.