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McLaren P1 Performance Numbers Likely to Leave You Breathless

0 to 60 in “less than three seconds,” ultracar tops out at 218.

by on Feb.28, 2013

McLaren hopes to one-up Ferrari when it launches the P1 ultra-car at the Geneva Motor Show.

If supercars and other high-priced exotics are your game you’ll likely want to keep a close eye on the Geneva Motor Show next month with everyone from Bentley to Ferrari weighing in with new entries – and upstart McLaren intending to clamber to the top of the heap.

The maker has finally released production numbers for the P1, the track-ready supercar it previewed in Paris last year.  And the word, “breathless” quickly comes to mind, the 2-seater promised to deliver 0 to 100 kmh (0 to 62.5 mph) times of “less than three seconds,” with a rated top speed of 218 mph.

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Supercars have a lot in common with baseball, where the game is as much as anything about statistics. And for the number crunchers here are some equally impressive figures. The McLaren P1 will dash from 0 to 200 kmh (0 to 125 mph) in under seven seconds, with the launch to 300 kmh rated at 17 seconds.

The P1 borrows extensively from McLaren 's Formula One race program.

To put that into perspective, that latter number is a full nine seconds faster than the legendary McLaren F1 – of which the P1 is being billed as the spiritual successor.

That’s all the more amazing when you realize the British maker – best known for its long-dominant Formula One team – will achieve these numbers using a 3.8-liter twin-turbo V-8.  Yes, it’s much the same engine as found in the earlier McLaren MP4-12C. But here, among other tweaks, it borrows a number of tricks the maker has learned from F1, which means DRS and IPAS systems, along with a hybrid boost system that can deliver a peak of 903 horsepower through its back wheels.

Indeed, most  folks tend to ignore those black donuts, but the McLaren P1 boasts specially designed Pirelli rubber that, it claims, are track-ready.

There also are new Akebono carbon ceramic disc brakes similar to those used on the GT3 racing circuit.

Like the MP4, the new McLaren P1 will make extensive use of carbon fiber for chassis and body and that means the 2-seater’s mass is a mere 3,100 pounds.

It may be a lightweight when rolling across the scales but the P1 carries a hefty price tag, expected to come into the U.S. market at $1.3 million.

That should put it in the realm of the replacement for the Ferrari Enzo ultra-car that the Italian maker plans to also reveal in Geneva. In fact, McLaren’s challenger could prove the more exclusive, with plans to produce just 375 of the P1 models.

That could make for some interesting trash talk at Geneva’s PALExpo convention center when the two exotics make their debuts in less than two weeks.

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