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Geneva show: McLaren’s electrifying P1 stats

Brutal: The McLaren P1 will use twin power sources – petrol end electric – and will return the British marque to the pointy end of performance lists the world over.

McLaren P1 supercar to pack a 673kW/900Nm plug-in hybrid powertrain

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McLaren logo21 Feb 2013

By MIKE COSTELLO

McLAREN claims its P1 hypercar’s plug-in hybrid powertrain will produce a mammoth 673kW of power and 900Nm of torque but consume about as much fuel as a base Mazda3.

The British marque released yet another round of details on its eagerly anticipated new flagship overnight, ahead of the car’s full reveal in production form at the Geneva motor show on March 5.

As reported, the company has already shown full exterior and interior images.

The huge power figures come from the combined might of a 542kW/720Nm 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 petrol engine with a 131kW/260Nm electric motor mounted directly onto it, channelled to the rear wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

The motor draws power from a lithium battery that weighs just 96kg, mounted in the lightweight, high-strength carbon-fibre MonoCage chassis. The pack features super-efficient cells and a complex temperature control system with minutely balanced flow of coolant.

A plug-in charger can be stored on-board in the luggage compartment, or to save weight it can be moved to the garage (or the pits), and can fully charge the battery in around two hours.

McLaren claims the plug-in drivetrain will emit fewer than 200 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre, which equates to fuel consumption of around 8.5 litres per 100km.

The P1 will also be capable of travelling more than 10km in zero emissions electric mode – especially useful with many major European cities turning the screws and limiting CBD access to ultra-low emission vehicles.

Because the electric motor’s maximum torque is available from the get-go, McLaren claims the P1 will have “instantaneous throttle response” akin to a naturally aspirated engine. When off-throttle, the motor also recaptures brake energy.

The company has also tapped into its vast experience in Formula 1, fitting DRS drag reduction and IPAS power burst technology from its open-wheeled racers, giving the P1 an instant boost of speed when called upon.

The DRS controls a moveable wing that cuts drag by 23 per cent, and is instantly switched off either via a button or the brake pedal, while the IPAS taps into the battery pack to feed a 131kW power burst to the rear wheels in an instant.

The P1 is just one of several forthcoming supercars replete with ‘green’ technology, with Ferrari’s imminent ‘F70’flagship to use a Hy-KERS hybrid system and the Porsche 918 to use a plug-in petrol-electric drivetrain.

Jaguar also had plans to go down this road with its C-X75, but postponed the project as it turned its budget to more volume future models instead.

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