McLaren P1 will have a twin-turbo V8, an electric motor and 916 hp

Article by Christian A., on February 20, 2013

McLaren released today the first technical details of the upcoming P1 supercar and honestly to tell you we are speechless: the car will be powered by a mid-mounted twin-turbo V8 engine but also by an electric motor that deliver a combined output of 916 hp and a maximum torque of 900 Nm.

According to the official press release, the 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 petrol engine is a new version of the familiar M838T unit that was upgraded in order to deliver 737 hp at 7,500 rpm and 720 Nm of torque from 4,000 rpm.

The lightweight electric motor was developed by the McLaren Electronics arm of the Group and produces 179 hp and a maximum torque of 260 Nm. According to McLaren, the boost system provides up to 179 hp instantly.

The electric motor is mounted directly onto the engine and all drive is channelled through the dual-clutch seven-speed gearbox to drive the rear wheels. Thus, the electric motor and 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 petrol engine work seamlessly together, providing more than just added ultimate power and torque.

McLaren P1 has been designed to prioritize aerodynamic performance. Like a Formula 1 race car, wind tunnel testing as well as computational fluid dynamics or CFD aerodynamic modelling had been used to optimize the McLaren P1’s aerodynamic flow in order to cool the powertrain and to provide impressive levels of downforce.

This resulted to a 600-kg downforce at below the 161 mph maximum speed in Race mode, considerably higher compared to other high-performance supercars yet more in line with downforce levels generated by a GT3 car. Moreover, this downforce enhances the McLaren P1's cornering ability in high speed. The car also boasts outstanding balance, controllability, and agility.

Additionally, the McLaren P1 carries other Formula 1 technology features such as its cutting-edge layered carbon ceramic brakes, which had been developed by McLaren's F1 partners Akebono. Also, the very efficient Instant Power Assist System or IPAS is a development of Kinetic Energy Recovery System, which is used on F1 cars, while Drag Reduction System is used on the P1, giving it extra power as well as straight-line speed at a mere touch of a button. Also used on the car is Brake Steer, which is an outlawed F1 technology that improves cornering speed and cornering behavior.

Dick Glover, Research Director, noted that the carryover F1 technology on McLaren P1 is palpable – from the aero work, to the active suspension, to the Brake Steer, to the turbocharging, to the carbon fiber MonoCage monocoque and body, to other engine examples such as the low crankshaft and the dry sump lubrication.

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