The new McLaren P1 hypercar looks set to redefine what's possible on the road and on the track
Production of the McLaren P1 began in September, at the firm's Woking-based facility
It's one of a handful of cars to have a sub-3.0sec 0-62mph time; McLaren says it takes just 2.8sec
The top speed is electronically limited to 217mph
McLaren's P1 utilises a hybrid drivetrain, with a 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 engine coupled to an electric motor
The powertrain's total output is 903bhp and 664lb ft
The standard steering wheel is trimmed in Alcantara, but buyers can specify a leather finish with carbonfibre inserts
The P1's roof-mounted snorkel feeds fresh air to the McLaren's turbochargers
Two flaps behind the roof panel give access to the fuel filler, oil and coolant fillers and a battery charger
McLaren has been exhaustive in its attention to detail; every element of the car has been aerodynamically optimised
The original brief for the P1 called for it to be a car that was about driver satisfaction in every respect
Considerable on-road testing was carried out in order to ensure the car's reliability and usability
The P1's powertrain generates a vast amount of heat; cooling it has been one of the biggest challenges
The mid-mounted engine and e-motor send power to the rear wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission
At low speeds the e-motor adds 369lbft at 1000rpm, compensating for turbo lag
The McLaren underwent punishing testing in the Mojave desert in order to ensure it could deal with high ambient temperatures
A day of data gathering from the prototype's 960-odd sensors would generate around 5GB of information
The McLaren's structure comprises a carbonfibre 'MonoCage' with aluminium front and rear frames
Its rear wing automatically adjusts its angle to deliver the correct amount of downforce
McLaren's twin-turbocharged 3.8-litre V8 produces 727bhp and 531bhp on its own
The exhaust system has been carefully optimised to assist in creating downforce at the tail of the McLaren
Stopping power comes from a bespoke carbon-ceramic braking system; maximum adeacceleration is rated at close to 2g
The P1 features an electro-hydraulic steering system; buttons on the wheel are few, to avoid unwanted distractions
McLaren engineers wanted to make a car that was engaging
Predictability and precision were also important; much track testing has taken place as a result
McLaren claims that the P1 is capable of lapping the Nürburgring in less than seven minutes
Autocar's Matt Saunders was present to see McLaren's chief test driver, Chris Goodwin, push the P1 to its limits
The tyres and suspension settings were all standard showroom specification
The large rear wing helps generate the required downforce in corners, but drops to improve top-end speed on the straights
LED strip lights provide rear illumination
The P1 only has five body panels in total: the two clamshells, the front bonnet and the two doors
The P1 features a ‘minimalist’ interior design that is meant to feel like the ‘cockpit of a fighter jet’.
Digital instrumentation reveals all that the driver needs to know
Wheel-mouned paddle shifters allow for easy gearchanges
DRS and IPAS buttons are mounted on the wheel for quick access
'XP12' denotes that this model is one of McLaren's own 'experimental' prototypes
The whole interior of the McLaren weighs less than 69kg
Inside the McLaren you'll find simple and intuitive controls
The burning desire for the P1's weight loss can be seen throughout the cabin
McLaren's attention to detail extends to small features like beautifully finished air vents
The designers had a little freedom with the headlights, as they don't notably affect the overall aerodynamics
McLaren's design director, Frank Stephenson, says the basic idea was to make the car as aerodynamically effective as possible
"It's technical styling", he says
Wildlife, sci-fi and planes helped to inspire the P1's design
The P1 is a standard bearer for all that McLaren Automotive stands for
Four years on from that original meeting, the launch of the McLaren P1 ends the company's journey of turning that ambitious goal into a reality.
It's a car designed to be engaging, precise and predictable while offering the ultimate in performance, everyday usability and safety.
With a combined output of 903bhp and 664lb ft, delivered by a twin-turbocharged 3.8-litre V8 and an electric motor, McLaren's hybrid will be capable of 0-62mph in 2.8sec and reaching a limited top speed of 217mph.
"It is in McLaren's DNA to search for perfection," said Ron Dennis, boss of McLaren Automotive. "The McLaren P1 is the result of 50 years of racing and road car heritage."
Readers of this week's Autocar magazine, dated the 6 November, will get a free 64-page magazine documenting the making of the McLaren P1 hypercar.
To find out more about the McLaren P1, click here.
Click here to read the road test of the original McLaren F1 supercar.