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By Jody McCutcheon
Little else quickens the pulse like a McLaren car. A sleek marvel on wheels, McLaren boasts an astonishing marriage of power and aesthetics. But now, with the 2013 McLaren P1 hybrid, the supercar company has added another awesome quality to the mix: eco-friendliness. What’s more, the P1 combines hybrid power and Formula 1 technology to raise the bar on both luxury and performance.
The MonoCage carbon fibre full-body structure is durable yet light, weighing in at 90kg. A 3.8L twin-turbo V8 engine teamed with a highly efficiency, 26kg electric motor deals a combined total of 903 hp. The electric motor fills the speed gap before turbo fully engages, offering instant acceleration. The Drag Reduction System opens or closes a vent in the rear spoiler for optimal aerodynamics.
That all translates to high speed. The P1 does 0-100km/h in under three seconds. It hits 200km/h in under seven seconds, 300km/h in under seventeen seconds, and tops out at an electronically limited 350km/h. The other impressive element is the P1’s relatively modest CO2 emissions. While similar, non-hybrid supercars routinely emit over 300g/km, the P1 doesn’t exceed 200g/km–lower also than most family cars.
In E-mode, with petrol engine de-activated, the P1 offers approximately ten km of emission-free driving at speeds of 160km/h. Instant Power Assist System mode recharges the battery using extra energy from the engine, such as when the car is braking. The vehicle also comes with a plug-in cable that fully charges the battery in two hours.
With beauty, speed and eco-consciousness on display, the McLaren P1 makes for a serious indulgence, especially at the price ( £866,000, or about $1.3M). And as fast as it goes on the road, with only 375 being produced, it’s guaranteed to go fast on the showroom floors as well.
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