Are you interested in saving the planet by driving a low emissions vehicle, yet disappointed by the lack of million dollar models available? Well McLaren are about to release a car that could be perfect for you.
The McLaren P1 hybrid supercar, which was unveiled earlier in the year at the Geneva Motor show, will go on sale for over $1 million, with only 375 units planned for production over the next couple of years.
McLaren’s Chief Design Engineer, Dan Parry-Williams, explained that when creating the idea of the McLaren P1, they were trying to make the best on-road car in the world, whilst also offering incredible efficiency.
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“The best all-round solution, we quickly deduced, would be a petrol-electric engine. It gives us very high levels of power, instant torque and terrific fuel and CO2 figures. The result is a powertrain that feels like a very strong, normally aspirated engine.”
The McLaren creates 903 bhp from a 3.8 litre twin turbo V8 petrol engine that is linked to a lightweight, custom made electric motor. This sends the P1 from 0 to 62 miles an hour in 2.8 seconds, on to 186 miles an hour in 16.5 seconds (5.5 seconds less than the legendary Mclaren F1 according to Earth Techling), and maxing out at a limited 217 miles per hour.
Whilst you may think that the majority of the power comes from the petrol engine, and the electric motor is only there to slap the ‘hybrid’ tag to the car, it may surprise you to know that the McLaren P1 does offer some very encouraging emissions specifications (for a 200MPH supercar).
McLaren writes that the P1 produces:
“34.0 mpg (8.3 l/100km) on the EU combined cycle, with CO2 emissions of 194 g/km. The electric motor offers a range of 11 km (6.8 miles) in full electric mode on the NEDC cycle, which sees emissions drop to zero.”
The electric motor was developed by the McLaren Electronics department especially for the P1. Unusually for an electric motor it has been designed with internal rotor cooling, which prevents the motor from heating up, allowing it to perform at its highest levels for longer periods of time than normal motors.
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McLaren also created its own battery pack for the car; one that offers greater continuous power density than any other car battery pack, and focuses on power delivery rather than energy storage. This allows the battery to charge up and release its charge very quickly, but comes at the cost of range.
In Instant Power Assist System (IPAS mode), the battery is recharged from excess energy produced by the petrol engine as the car decelerates; or it can be plugged in as normal. When plugged in the battery will charge in just two hours, and a fast ‘pit lane’ system can quick charge the battery to 100% in ten minutes.
The car can be driven using a combination of the engine and motor, or in full electric mode. Paul Mckenzie, the Project Director for the McLaren P1, stated that “it’s pretty cool to turn up, silently, in a million dollar McLaren.”
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com