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McLaren P1 (2013): powertrain revealed with 903bhp and electric driving

By Ollie Kew

First Official Pictures

20 February 2013 09:01

McLaren has revealed first details of the P1 supercar's hybrid powertrain. The headlines are: a combined 903bhp, 664lb ft, and the ability to drive 6.3 miles on zero-emission electric power.

McLaren P1 powertrain: the details

The engine is, as expected, an uprated version of the 12C's 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8. It develops 727bhp and 531lb ft (up from 616bhp and 427lb ft in the entry-level McLaren), but it's not just a tune-up job: the engine's block has been revised to incorporate the car's electric motor, and cooling systems are upgraded.

Providing extra shove is an electric motor, powered by a 96kg battery pack packaged in the carbonfibre tub at the P1's core. Developing 176bhp and 147lb ft from standstill, the electric motor can power the P1 for up to 6.3 miles on electric power alone. Mostly though, it's there to engage maximum attack acceleration.

Thanks to what McLaren calls 'IPAS' - Instant Power Assist System, the electric motor helps thrust the P1 forward as the engine's turbos spool up, improving throttle response. The performance/efficiency double whammy also means an official CO2 output figure of 200g/km.

Plus, the electric motor provides 'negative torque' when the driver clicks a gearshift paddle. This drops the engine's revs to a level optimal for cog-swapping faster than a regular engine can, meaning even faster ratio changes than a conventional dual-clutch transmission. Top speed is expected to be around 230mph, and the 0-62mph sprint under three seconds.

Any other McLaren P1 news?

In yet another nod to F1 tech, the P1 features DRS, meaning Drag Reduction System. Press the steering wheel-mounted button and the rear wing changes angle to reduce drag and unlock the potential for higher top speeds. McLaren claims the DRS system makes the P1 23% slipperier when activated.

The production-spec McLaren P1 will be revealed at the Geneva motor show in March 2013. Ferrari is expected to unveil its hybrid supercar in Geneva, codenamed 'F150'. Click here for CAR's coverage of Maranello's latest F1 car for the road.