The Bugatti Rival – Mclaren P1

Mclaren has broken cover of its brand new supercar – the Mclaren P1 at the glamorous Paris Motor Show. Being one of the most successful teams in F1 history, Mclaren took the world by storm after unveiling its £168,500 car, the MP4-12C, a while ago. The British marque’s racing technology combined with emphasis on aerodynamics led them to develop a groundbreaking supercar yet again.

After the Spider version of 12C early this year, the crowd gathered at Mclaren’s stand to witness the so “shrink wrapped” P1. As the numbers gets higher so does the price tag: £700,000 (before tax) for the carbon-everything make from Surrey, England. It has been only a year and so since Mclaren Technology Centre (MTC) was born as the exclusive production base at Woking, costing around £50 m for MP4-12C.

Let us bump into some specs, the extravagant supercar has a whooping power-to-weight ratio of 600 BHP per ton. The multipurpose lightweight carbon panels aid the engine cooling as well as aero efficiency. The constant windtunnel evaluations created an astonishing figure of 600kg of downforce, bettering the might of Bugatti Veyron SS. Some speculations are that a hybrid hides under the bonnet, perhaps a KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) unit. The brutal power of 963 bhp could terrorize any supercar from the MP4-12C 3.8 L twin-turbo V8 engine or a speculated 6.8 L V8 unit.

Although the engineers are obsessed with speed, they also have taken good care of the ride and comfort. It’s a daily commuter and also a track day monster. As a result, the three ride height setups of which only one is devoted to the track and as the side apertures are well balanced to channel air to the back, the frontal area is minimal as well and the car has long flowing lines throughout and looks stunning on every angle.

Codenamed P12, the mid-engined supercar has a top speed of 260 MPH just seven short of Veyron’s unbeatable figures but I can be sure that we can’t expect less of it from the successor of once fastest car on earth Mclaren F1. Only 500 of them will make it into the streets by late 2013 as Mclaren looks to strive on every stage of supercar market and initially being designed as a Le Mans racer.

The rear of the car is intriguing with the F1’s very synonymous DRS wing which helps in cutting drag while cruising on high speeds and has dual wing elements. The pitch angle can be adjusted up to 29 deg instead of a moveable flap as seen on F1 racers. The rear wing can also act as an airbrake when deployed. The glasshouse is a bit unusually styled but its cleverly designed teardrop shape sends in air through the scoops mounted atop and naturally to the rear wing.

As similar to the pioneering of MonoCell chassis design by incorporating single piece injection moulding technique, a new innovation likely to feature is the MonoCage. The safety cage structure which acts more of a clamshell like with front and rear panels attached to it saving weight.

Though Mclaren refused to acknowledge the details about the interiors, 90% of the concept is likely to be carried over for production especially the beautifully sculpted jet fighter-canopy styled cabin. Despite being in at 22 other countries Mclaren’s Indian plans are still left numb. It won’t be long until we see a £60,000 – 80,000 worth sportscar offerings from Mclaren, probably at the Geneva show. Mclaren took center stage at its very first International Auto show and it will be a fascinating contest to see P1 rising against its established rivals from Ferrari and Bugatti.


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