Most People Do Not Know These Facts about the McLaren P1

Article by Andrew Christian, on August 3, 2016

Ferrari and McLaren have been in close competition with each other for as long as most of us could remember. First there was their constant rivalry to achieve first place in the Formula 1 arena. The competition extended into the production of road-worthy supercars.

Through this constant struggle to become the best of the best, these automakers have (for the most part) created several of the most powerful vehicles of this generation. One of those vehicles is McLaren’s F1 which has outperformed its competitors and that which to this day would still be a vicious contender to modern day supercars.

However, the most celebrated amongst the McLaren cars is the one that took about twenty two years for the McLaren Formula One engineers to actually conceptualize. This vehicle is none other than the McLaren P1, the car to complete the hypercar trinity. At a base price of more than a million dollars, it is expected that this vehicle is the best of the best.

The P1 is a lot more complicated than it looks but it sure is one heck of a specimen. This “gas-guzzler tax-waiving hybrid drivetrain” has more to it than meets the eye and only a few will have the patience and curiosity to dive into the unknown features of the P1. It’s all these intricate details that make the P1 one of the most luxurious purchases in the world. And if this one has blown your mind, you’d better get ready for its successor.

Everything in the P1 is made of carbon fiber

What most people do not know is that more than its power and more than the pretty face that the P1 possesses, this hypercar is built on a backbone which makes it all the more worthy of its title. Carbon fiber, space-age technology, downforce, and a central supplementing electric drivetrain provide the P1 the necessary pillars to become one of the world’s best hybrid sports cars.

Everything in the P1 is made of carbon fiber – from its monocoque chassis to the removable and interchangeable body panels – with the exception of its engine (which engineers would’ve wanted to make with the same material, if only it were possible). It would cost as much as $305,000 to strip off the paint on the P1 to see that its body is purely made of carbon fiber. Here are more fun facts about the McLaren P1.

Carbon silica brakes

The brakes on the otherhand are made of carbon silica, one of the hardest substances in this planet that was also used on a spacecraft. It is said that because of its composition, it would be theoretically impossible to need replacements for its set of brakes. That’s actually good news if we take into consideration the amount you’d have to pay to get a P1. Hopefully, the brakes could handle post-apocalyptic Earth (crossing our fingers).

The brakes are also designed so that once the driver hits on the pedal, it would drop the anchors to up to two G’s of stopping force; thus creating a more efficient braking system. In order for the car to pivot into corners, a brake steer system clamps on the inside rear tire.

Active aerodynamics system

The top layer of resin on the interior’s exposed carbon fiber was removed for aesthetic reasons as well as weight reduction (about 3.3 pounds less). The P1 has an active aerodynamics system that serves as an “air bender”, bending the air around the vehicle as the driver pleases.

It also has a special button on the steering wheel that supplements the engine and maximizes the battery’s boost mode by closing all drag-inducing vents and enabling an “unencumbered slipstream travel”. How cool is that?

Cool driving modes

The P1 also features some cool driving modes such as the maximum attack mode that gives its driver the control needed (as long as the parking brake and seatbelts are on) as well as a race mode that allows the driver to lower the ride height even to illegal levels and engages the maximum attack mode for those who are on the more adventurous side.

Weightless wind

Aside from that, there’s what we call the “weightless wind” which provides a maximum downforce of 1,300 lbs. at 160 mph. It may surprise you that with a top speed of 218 mph, the P1 only gets 160 mph of maximum downforce – this is because of the self-preservation instinct of the suspension system. The computers adjust the aerodynamic helpers by keeping a consistent 1,300-lb. downforce even when its speed goes beyond 160 mph to avoid producing 2,200 lbs. of downward push that will require reinforced suspension components; and we wouldn’t like that.

Electrically grounded full body suit

Another fun fact is that a mechanic is required to wear a special electrically grounded full body suit and a pair of anti-shock gloves to be able to remove the entire rear end of this hypercar. They are even required to have a standby defibrillator to restart their hearts in case they get electrocuted by the 600-volt hybrid battery.

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