As the Geneva Motor Show approaches, automakers are finalizing their models and are ready to display them to the world. McLaren released some details regarding the McLaren P1, which utilizes some of the F1 technology features.
Dick Glover, research director at McLaren, emphasized the role that Formula One has in the technological development of street-legal cars. Often, the technology developed for F1 cars becomes the technology for road vehicles such as engine and hybrid engine systems and lighter materials like carbon fiber. Carbon fiber was first developed for the McLaren MP4/1 F1 car, and now it’s common on sports cars all over the place.
It usually takes some time for F1 technology to reach street-legal cars, but McLaren decided not to wait and to transfer some of those features directly to the P1. The P1 boasts a 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 engine with an electric motor underneath it. A button on the steering wheel activates the electric engine, in combination with the gas engine, can produce a face-melting 903 horsepower. Sounds a lot like the red button in the Men In Black car. The electric motor improves torque as well, delivering 900 newton meters of torque. What does that mean? It's FAST! With that kind of torque, the P1 will boast an impressive 0-60 mph time, but unfortunately McLaren has kept that a secret.
Another impressive feature taken directly from McLaren’s F1 car is a Drag Reduction System. Another button on the steering wheel controls the angle of the rear-wing. Depending on the angle of the wing, the drag is reduced significantly, which greatly improves the straight-line speed.
There is also an E-mode, which is powered exclusively by the electric motor. It does reduce emissions to 0, but its range is a mere 10 km. The electric motor is intended more for a speed boost.
Although all of these F1 technology features are awesome, they are not all useful for standard road conditions. Features like the Drag Reduction System and the electric motor power boost are not all that useful for standard vehicles. Time will tell what else the McLaren P1 will bring to the table, but so far, we love what we are seeing!