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McLaren P1 Design Study: Supercar Supremacy

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It doesn’t take a historian to conclude that a half-century of experience in the field of any particular skillset equates to heightened levels of success. With that theory in position McLaren has set off to achieve momentum in the supercar division with the recent showing of their P1 concept at the 2012 Paris Auto Show. The British automaker’s new invention is a compilation of their collective racing heritage and knowledge of the motorsports world as well as an obvious replacement for the iconic F1 supercar from 1992.

Known primarily as a Formula One company, McLaren has evolved into a modern automaker with true road cars. The P1 designation, meaning first place, comes directly from its affiliation with Grand Prix racing. To date, McLaren has 180 Grand Prix victories in its 46-year F1 history. The goal of the vehicle is to offer race-like performance, yet give owners those same sensations when driving on public roads. All of its body panels are carbon fiber for weight reduction while the engine sits amidship in McLaren’s MonoCage, or simply the supercar’s carbon fiber monocoque and roof structure safety cage. Due to the large, automatically adjusted ‘active’ rear wing, the P1’s 600 kilograms of downforce is five times as much as a McLaren 12C. Additionally, very complex geometry is expressed in the rear diffuser for tremendous aerodynamics and stabilized top performance. Initial specs have not been released but the P1 will go well over 200 mph. A production iteration of the vehicle will be unveiled next year at the Geneva Motor Show.

“Our goal is to make the McLaren P1 the most exciting, most capable, most technologically advanced and most dynamically accomplished supercar ever made,” said 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.”


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