The hits keep coming from Paris as the McLaren P1 concept has finally made its official debut, and aims to threaten hypercars the world over like the Lamborghini Aventador, Ferrari Enzo and even the Bugatti Veyron.
The heavily-anticipated sports car boasts a striking design, akin to the original McLaren F1 that debuted twenty years ago and remains among the most revered performance cars ever. It retains elements of the F1, combined with contemporary styling that resembles the current MP4-C12 and takes it to the next level.
McLaren has not revealed engine specifications or targeted performance numbers (we’ll likely learn that information in a few weeks), but when the P1 reaches production it will clearly top the MP4-C12 in both price and ability. The concept shown here will be tweaked and likely unveiled next year, with production slated for a year after that – just in time to compete directly with the Ferrari F70, replacement to the Enzo.
In a statement, McLaren Automotive managing director Antony Sheriff said that the P1 will not be designed for top speed, but as a dynamic driving machine focused on quickness and going quickly around a track. McLaren has always built well-rounded sports cars (we’re stretching that definition to include the Mercedes SLR) and the P1 should be no exception.
Some critics complained that the MP4-C12 felt a little impersonal due to its many computer aids – particularly in comparison to the Ferrari 458 – but none denied its performance. It will be interesting to see whether the P1 maintains some of those characteristics or eschews them in favor of no-nonsense adrenaline.
The McLaren P1 has a fascinating look that McLaren says will serve as a design study for the production version. If that’s true, it’s fantastic news – the P1 successfully integrates past with present to create a futuristic look, with homages to the F1 and MP4-C12 as well as accentuated curves, extensive LED lighting, headlights in the shape of the McLaren logo, extreme rear diffusers, centrally-mounted exhaust and much more.
We can’t wait to see what’s next from McLaren, and the Paris Auto Show, which – after yesterday’s Lexus LF-CC debut – is already delivering the goods before the doors have even opened.
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