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McLaren P1, crazy from the heat

About the author

Editor of BBC Autos, Matthew is a former editor at Automobile Magazine and the creator of the digital-only Roadtrip Magazine. His automotive and travel writing has appeared in such magazines as Wired, Popular Science, The Robb Report and Caribbean Travel + Life. He lives in Los Angeles with his wonderful wife and four-year-old daughter.

 

McLaren P1 hot-weather testing

(McLaren Automotive, via Newspress)

The British Formula 1 racing outfit and sports-car builder McLaren celebrated its 50th birthday on 2 September.

But while the team back home was raising glasses of bubbly in the air-conditioned comfort of McLaren’s picture-perfect headquarters, halfway around the world, an elite cadre of drivers and engineers was putting the company’s forthcoming P1 supercar through a final torture test: Heat.

Blasting down lonely desert roads in the US states of California, Nevada and Arizona in an undisguised carbon-black P1 prototype, the McLaren posse saw the temperature hover near 130° Fahrenheit (54° Celsius). The relentless heat (which lingers in the mid-90s even overnight) tested the mettle of the supercar’s 903hp hybrid system – a 727hp twin-turbo V8 gasoline engine paired with a 176hp electric motor. Some closed-course work gave the team the opportunity to explore the P1’s performance under the duress of triple-digit temperatures. The coupe is capable of making the sprint from 0-60mph in less than three seconds, on its way to an electronically governed top speed of 217mph.

Deliveries of McLaren’s mighty P1 are set to commence in the next few weeks. The car is priced at £866,000 (about $1.35 million) and production is limited to a scant 375 units.

Watch a brief video of McLaren’s hot-weather antics here.

McLaren P1 hot-weather testing

(McLaren Automotive, via Newspress)

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