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McLaren delivers first P1 supercar, announces performance figures

Mon, 21 Oct 2013

McLaren delivered its first P1 supercar on Monday, days after British TV show “Top Gear” was spotted testing the vehicle. The new UK-based owner picked up the Volcano yellow and carbon fiber P1 at the company's headquarters in Woking, England. McLaren also confirmed the insane specs we were all hoping for.

The sprint to 62 mph landed at 2.8 seconds, nearly unheard of for a two-wheel drive vehicle; 124 mph passes in 6.8 seconds, and drivers will be topping 186 mph in 16.5 seconds, or about the time it takes to drop the top on a newer convertible. McLaren also notes that the time to 186 mph is 5.5 seconds faster than the legendary F1. Top speed is 217 mph.

All that velocity is made possible by McLaren's twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V8 and lightweight electric motor. The combination delivers 903 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque. The car is slowed from 62 mph -- with Akebono brakes and carbon ceramic discs -- in just 2.9 seconds or 99 feet. Did we mention it will get about 28 mpg, and have 6.8 miles of all-electric range? Now we did.

Only 375 examples of the P1 will see the streets. The company says once its factory is up to full capacity, 82 technicians can pump out one car per day, which they will do until mid-2015.

The P1 costs $1.15 million.

The company also broke down its manufacturing process into four easy steps:

Stage 1: Structural Assembly

The manufacturing process commences with the preparation of the carbon fiber “MonoCage” chassis. The one-piece MonoCage weighs just 198 pounds. It includes the integrated roof structure, an integral roof snorkel and air intake ducts, and provides a fully sealed compartment for the battery.

Stage 2: Painting

In total, the McLaren P1 consists of seven lightweight panels, all of which are made from carbon fiber -- front and rear clamshells, hood, doors, front and rear bumpers. Due to the extended painting processes involved, and to minimize disruption to the facility within the McLaren Production Center used for the 12C and 12C Spider, each McLaren P1 is prepared and hand painted in a dedicated paint shop in the McLaren Technology Centre while the chassis structure is being prepared.

The complete set of body panels for each McLaren P1 is painted simultaneously to ensure a perfect color match. This process takes three days, including surface preparation of the carbon fiber panels, to ensure flawless paintwork on every single car.

Stage 3: Trim Assembly

The fully prepared carbon fiber MonoCage chassis and the hand-painted carbon fiber body panels are brought together on a dedicated production line. This 10-stage process is the most recent addition to the MPC, and sees the sub-assembly of battery, front sub-frame, doors, rear clamshells and bumpers fitted as it moves along the line.

Two dedicated McLaren technicians work on each of the production stages for the McLaren P1, with each step taking a full working day to complete.

Stage 4: Final Assembly

As each car reaches the end of the McLaren P1 line, it is then subjected to the same rigorous testing regime and sophisticated quality control procedures as the 12C and 12C Spider models to ensure it meets the required quality and performance levels. This phase of production takes a total of seven days to complete.

For the McLaren P1, this includes a full-day shakedown at a proving ground, testing every element of the car's performance. The McLaren test drivers and a team of technicians run through the different settings and modes to examine and verify the performance ahead of final delivery to the customer.

By Jake Lingeman