McLaren: Talking a leap into the future

Published On  July 28, 2015 06:23 PM By Konark Tyagi at

Being a great in the Formula 1 scenario, McLaren cars rely on more than fifty years of racing success. Inheriting from their rich racing background, the British Automotive manufacturer has been producing some of the worlds most iconic and exhilarating road cars. Starting from the legendary McLaren F1 to the much-famed Mercedes collaborated-McLaren SLR, McLaren 12C and the most recent McLaren P1, the company has perfectly carried forward its racing DNA in its road cars. 

The McLaren F1 bristled with tomorrow’s technology. Ideas that its engineers thought would have mass market appeal in the near future included the contraction of a host of common automotive components from the transmission to the in-car entertainment and its unique front and rear suspension configurations.

The P1 carries forward this legacy splendidly. The P1 is a completely different ballgame as compared to the F1 but the basic futuristic ideology still remains the same. What makes the P1 so special is that how McLaren has cleverly hijacked green hybrid technology and used it to create more speed. It is an evolved breed, a glimpse at the future, a marvel of modern engineering. Hybrid power, turbo charging, active suspension and adjustable aerodynamics make it dramatic on the road and incredibly fast on a track.

The P1 generates a mind-boggling 903bhp from a 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 petrol engine coupled to an electric motor and it can rocket from 0-100kmph in a mere 2.9 seconds !!. 

P1 is actually a hybrid just like a Toyota Prius. Its battery weighs just 96 kilograms, and can provide a pure-electric range of up to 20 kilometers in low-speed city driving. The electric motor can be deployed manually by the driver or left in automatic mode, whereby the car's torque fill feature eliminates the gaps in the petrol motor's output(turbo lag) using the electric motor.

The P1 is equipped with Formula 1 derived features such as the Instant Power Assist System (IPAS). The IPAS is like Boost button, pressing it strangely reduces the power by 150bhp and what is does is that it stores all of that power and once you press the button again, everything goes bonkers.

The Drag Reduction System(DRS) which adjusts the P1’s rear wing, thereby adding to the straight line speed has also been derived from Formula 1 and a Kinetic energy recovery system(KERS) which charges the electric motor by regenerating power from the petrol motor on the go. 

The P1 is fitted with a brand-new kind of carbon-silica brakes which are NASA grade and apparently they’ve been used in space but have never been fitted on a road going car before. They’re made up of carbon-silica and are more effective at dissipating heat and are even lighter than regular carbon ceramic brakes. Everything about the P1, is either very brilliant or outrageously brilliant. 

Celebrating 20 years since their victory in the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans, McLaren came up with the P1 GTR – A 1000 PS track only pumped-up version of the P1. Only 35 units were made and only existing P1 owners could buy the P1 GTR.

Engineers at McLaren have insured that their cars are always ahead of their time by using cutting-edge Formula One technology. The F1 and the P1 have been examples of this, redefining the term ‘Supercar’.


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