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A New Generation: The McLaren P1

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On: Tue, Sep 25, 2012 at 9:40AM | By: Chris Weiss

A New Generation: The McLaren P1

One of the most anticipated cars of 2012 is finally here...for the most part. McLaren has confirmed and previewed its F1-succeeding flagship supercar. While McLaren is keeping the details mum until the Paris Motor Show, it has provided several pictures for us to ogle and analyze.

For months, rumors have ebbed and flowed about the supercar. We've heard several names such as the P12 and 799, but McLaren is calling it the P1...for now. The model is just a design study at this point, andreports suggest that it will receive a more proper model name in production, though we kind of like the simplicity of "P1" over the mish-mash of letters and numbers that create "MP4-12C."

More important than nomenclature is design. Rumors have long suggested that the P1 would break away from the MP4-12C's safe, modest styling, employing a more aggressive, radical look. Not only is it more aggressive, it's downright nasty. While some of the proportions are a little questionable, it's hard not to be impressed with the angry carbon face and commanding rear diffuser and center exhaust. The car just looks like it wants to speed past every other vehicle in its way, and possibly light a few on fire from the heat of its tires and engine. If I were the Bugatti Veyron, I'd be as intimidated as a newbie fighter staring at a match with late-80s Mike Tyson - this bad, bad set of wheels has you in its sights.

McLaren has yet to offer up any details of the weapons the P1 will bring to the battle against the likes of the Veyron and SSC Tuatara, but McLaren Automotive Managing Director Antony Sheriff says in a statement: "Our aim is not necessarily to be the fastest in absolute top speed but to be the quickest and most rewarding series production road car on a circuit. It is the true test of a supercar’s all round ability and a much more important technical statement. Our goal is to make the McLaren P1 the most exciting, most capable, most technologically advanced and most dynamically accomplished supercar ever made."

That all but confirms rumors that McLaren has decided to abandon a world record top speed and focus more on acceleration and drivability. The mention of "quickest" suggests that the P1's 0-62 mph time may very well be below 2.5 seconds - or perhaps it refers to the 0-100 mph or 0-200 mph times.

We'll find out what other reported information, including the 800-hp V-8 + 200-hp hybrid boost, is correct in another week. McLaren will unveil the P1 at the Paris Motor Show on Thursday, September 27. It plans to introduce the production version next year and put the car to market later in 2013.

Photo Gallery (click a thumbnail to enlarge)


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