A Look Into the History of the McLaren P1

Since its inception in 2013, the McLaren P1 has simply been a world-beater in every aspect. The sleek design and almost impossible performance statistics make it a hyper-car that is sure to be on every enthusiast’s shortlist.

McLaren P1

Rare and Desirable

The exclusive release of a mere 375 models priced at $1,350,000 sold out within months of orders opening in 2013. This serves to highlights the significance and desirability the hyper-car has, from a car manufacturer steeped in racing and engineering brilliance.

Four years on from this, in 2017 the most expensive McLaren P1 ever sold at the world-renowned Amelia Island Concours sale for $2.39 million, proving this to be as much of a collector’s car as it is for driving performance.

Derived from the Legendary McLaren F1

 McLaren P1

Twenty years on from the release of the legendary McLaren F1, the P1 was very much conceived based upon inspiration. It is a logical progression of an instant classic and has gone on to become the rightful successor in many fans eyes.

However, the McLaren P1 had weighty shoes to fill. It’s predecessor, the F1, didn’t gain its legendary status from McLaren’s reputable name alone.

It was the fastest production car in the world at time of release (240mph), the first car to be built around a carbon fiber tub. And if that wasn’t enough, it propelled itself into the racing car hall of fame after winning the iconic 1995 Le Mans 24 Hours Race.

The Ultimate Driver’s Car

McLaren P1

However, after rigorous testing (and excellent marketing ploys) in the arctic circle and death valley desert, the McLaren P1s specs once again proved McLaren’s brilliance in design and engineering and mounted the P1’s place as the ‘ultimate driver’s car’.

The P1 boasts the most advanced suspension system ever fitted to a road car and an importance set on high-speed stability means the McLaren P1 was designed to produce more downforce than any other road car. Moveable front and rear wings can produce a peak of 600kg of downforce in race mode.

The powerful V8 twin-turbo engine manages 0-62 mph in just 2.8 seconds, and allows for a top speed of 217 mph, which is outrageously quick for a road vehicle.

McLaren P1

An Aerodynamic Masterpiece

One glance at the P1 reveals everything you need to know about the immense effort that went into making this car an aerodynamic masterpiece. McLaren’s Design Director resonated with this ‘it’s as though we stuck a tube inside and sucked all the air out – a dramatic, honest shape, but also a very beautiful one’.

Staying true to the aerodynamic, carbon fiber theme, the P1 utilizes lightweight seats with ultra-thin carbon fiber shells, weighing in at just 10.5kg each.

Lanzante: An Iconic Collaboration

Throughout it’s five-year history to date, the P1 has amounted an enormous following and an iconic design collaboration, which has only furthered the longevity of the McLaren P1.

First came the track only P1 GTR, which the British racing team, Lanzante, who were responsible for McLaren’s legendary 1995 Le Mans win, converted for road use at the request of wealthy clients.

The British engineering firm then went on to create five exclusive P1 LM’s, which featured considerably more down force and power than the original P1. This allowed for the P1 LM to break the Nürburgring lap record for a road-legal car in 2017, with a lap of 6 minutes and 43 seconds.

Goodwood Festival of Speed’s Unveiling of the McLaren P1 GT Longtail

McLaren P1

The latest progression in the exciting P1 series was revealed at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed. Lanzante once again collaborated with McLaren to produce the P1 GT Longtail.

The Longtail took inspiration from the classic 1997 F1 GT Longtail, featuring a fixed rear wing mounted on a lengthened tail. This is currently the only car of its type in production after a Middle Eastern client commissioned it for manufacture.

Although specifications for the car have yet to be released, expect this to have more thrust, more power, more aerodynamics, more desirability and demand more excitement than ever before.

The sky truly is the limit for McLaren’s headline model.

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About the Author:

Jack is a freelance writer that focuses on luxury asset trends for Borro Private Finance.