It would be just about a decade before McLaren would build their next road car, the 12c. It was difficult for the company to build something that would not live in the shadow of the F1, but in 2012, they unveiled the P1 at the Paris Motor Show. Much like the F1, the P1 uses a blend of proven technology augmented with cutting edge innovations. While there are commonalities in the engines used in the McLaren Sport, Performance, and Ultimate lines, like the 3.8 liter twin turbo V8s, the P1 powertrain delivers much more torque and over 900 horsepower from both of its engines. In 2012, hybrids were best known for their fuel economy and any performance was limited. The P1’s 131kW 170 horsepower electric motor complements the performance of the gas engine on straightaways and helps maintain high speed just before the turbos kick in.
The P1 is built to be a track car for the road, which is reflected in the different driving modes. Flipping the switch into race mode sets off a series of changes that reveal the car’s real potential. In track mode, the car lowers almost to the ground, suspension stiffens up, transmission becomes tighter, and the large wing elevates and pivots to generate downforce.