McLaren P1 (2013) CAR’s racespeed Goodwood ride Automotive …

12 Мар 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи McLaren P1 (2013) CAR’s racespeed Goodwood ride Automotive … отключены
McLaren P1  Electric Cars

McLaren P1 (2013) CAR’s Goodwood ride

The McLaren P1 the startline like a shard of riding the percussion wave of an It needs high-definition slow-mo to it, like those films of a shattering an apple, or the slow-motion of an F1 car skipping over a kerb, wing flexing, tyres all that physics captured in drowsy detail.

In my mind, I re-live the first moments of my up the Goodwood hillclimb in McLaren’s new I see the release of energy in the same style. It starts when test driver Chris presses the accelerator, his right gliding slowly down to fix the to the floor. The turbo V8 responds the pistons going to work a boxer throwing long turbines spooling, gases in hidden chambers like of flame beneath a Saturn But already the car is moving: before the V8 has to crank up to the full 531lb ft, the electric motor is already on – on, like a light bulb is on you throw a switch – delivering torque to the back wheels.

is no wheelspin, just the gradual, flexing of the suspension, as it handles the shove from those fat tyres.

Inside the cockpit, head and mine rock in unison, neck muscles overcome by the physical shock, and Chris is pulling back the paddle with his fingertip. The seven-speed gearbox engages so fast even slow can barely capture it, and the acceleration is now me pull an odd face. It’s now I make a noise – I had a dictaphone in my fist, recording our run up the Hill, and it back, I can hear myself. My compress like I’ve hit in the chest by a medicine ball, and you can me make a kind of quick, ‘Uh!’

So let’s leave the slow-motion paused right there, at exact moment. Look at Goodwin: frozen in time, taut, his hawk-eyes glaring the road; and there’s me, face like I’ve been by a wasp, mouth open, a deep ‘Uuuaaaarrgghhh!’.

I think sums up my feelings about the new P1 perfectly. All this happens in a My son, standing behind the at the startline, tries to take a on his phone.

The result is a picture of an track, with the P1’s in the extreme right of frame.

reaches the end of the first straight and throws the P1 into the right-hand He knows what he’s I have that uneasy that passengers always when they’re telling ‘the driver knows he’s doing’. The car hunkers and spits us out of the apex. Another squirt of acceleration follows, so I feel nausea in the hollow of my

Goodwin turns right the car squatting into the grip as he across the grass of Turn 2 a rally driver, before the throttle once more. actually. Going for it. Wow.

By the I think ‘Wow’ we’re up to fourth under Goodwood’s white footbridge. The sound is like a low-flying Spitfire a ridge, as we swoop over the at the end of the straight, and dive into a tricky left-hander that us on the steepest slope of the Hill. Up to fourth, the P1 flies towards the shift lights blinking on the as Goodwin changes up around the redline.

Engine noise fills the a steely V8 growl punctuated by shshshsh exhales of wastegate every time Goodwin off the throttle. We squeeze past the Wall, Goodwin making neat adjustments at the wheel, we’re into the last two a long right and a long then up into the trees to through the finishing line as I out laughing. Like I said,

My god, how do I even begin to the McLaren P1? Let’s think: the Shuttle is fast but I’ve driven one. The Bugatti – yes, that’s fast, so it’ll shock a man who drives a to work every day. The has that kind of sustained, acceleration that makes you like you’re riding a express train.

But Veyrons win races, set amazing lap times or track days. When it was in 2005, the Bugatti was Ferdinand personal triumph over the of physics – with an 8.0-litre W16 and ten (TEN!) cooling radiators, it was a heavy supercar. Somehow, in the the tireless VW engineers got it all to work, and the felt light and agile on the but you can’t hide 1888kg of on a track.

The P1, on the other hand, attacked the like a racing car. not just the pure acceleration – claims 0-62 in 2.8 seconds(a Veyron does it in 2.5), and in 6.8 (the Veyron gets in 7.3). That’s brutally but the Bugatti’s been there, that already.

Where the P1 the game on is the way it corners: it is Veyron-meets-Formula 3. It utterly glued down, under the extreme forces those taut, abrupt movements of roll and dive you with a stiffly sprung car.


Naturally we went up the in Race mode (there are Normal, Sport and Track for losers). To engage Race you a button, and wait for about 40 as the car transforms itself, visibly down on the road, tucking the up into the arches, that rear wing rising up a Thunderbirds launch pad.

little bit of kerbside theatre is the key to the P1: how do you top the McLaren F1? The answer, it appears, is mind-numbingly complex control where the old McLaren had ancient and dampers. You see, Gordon 1990s supercar – and the Bugatti that followed it – have made it pretty hard for manufacturers to make their Take carbonfibre for instance: the F1 was the all-carbon production car, but now made out of carbon – you can buy a toilet made out of carbonfibre (seriously, you look it up). Then the engine: on paper the P1’s turbo V8 sounds distinctly the 12C’s 3.8-litre turbo V8, but the engine is actually 90% new – even the is a new casting, to include the P1’s motor.

The resulting spec is awesome: from the V8 and another 176bhp the single electric motor – a 903bhp. Impressive, yes, but not like having a 1000bhp is it?

Even chasing top speed is a task these days. Who a car that does 300mph? The P1 is to 350kph, just short of Fast enough, but hardly

McLaren P1  Electric Cars

So how do you top the McLaren F1? I talk about thorny problem with Dan chief design engineer on the P1 just before I go for my ride. it intimidating, I ask him, trying to do an F1

‘It was to start with,’ he admits. is a legacy there, the F1 was a high but the P1 is a different generation, a different and so we came up with a different idea’. The big idea for the F1 was that driving position, and that was – though it had its limits in real at barriers and that kind of The big idea for the P1 is a Jekyll and Hyde the ultimate driving experience on the without the compromises many have in terms of ride and then at the press of a button, it can into a race car.’

The heart of the P1 then is that chassis – the adjustable hydro-pneumatic system called RaceActive Control, that lowers and the car, allowing computer-controlled adjustments. That stiff, platform is then married to an aero package, overseen by Lacey, former head of at the McLaren F1 race team team, no less.

‘The drops the ride height by in Race mode, but it isn’t about lowering the car,’ Parry-Williams. ‘The spring are also 3.5 times stiffer, so you can the bottom of the car relative to the race and introduce ground effects’.

effects – along with the wing on the back – mean the P1 can 600kg of downforce in race as much as a GT3 Le Mans car, to McLaren. No wonder it went up the like a rat up a drainpipe. These systems – along with the power – are what make the P1 an product of 2013. ‘It’s comparing Ayrton Senna’s F1 car to year’s McLaren MP4-28,’ Chris Goodwin. ‘That’s the car Gordon Murray was working on in when he started thinking the McLaren F1. I drove it yesterday, an amazing bit of kit, and it was state of the art in its but compared to a modern Formula 1 Goodwin shakes his head. centuries – it feels like

So the 1993 F1 road car might have cult status, but on the with a 2013 P1? I suspect legend’ would get humiliated at the corner. So would a Veyron, I’m Okay, I know I haven’t it yet, so let’s not get carried but my best guess is that the P1 has moved the supercar game on.

Now all it has to do is see off the ‘LaFerrari’ (name – cringe) and the new 918, in this year’s ding-dong Battle of the Hybrid – do that, and McLaren will well and truly laid the ghost to rest.

‘Ah yes, we testing alongside the Ferrari and the in Italy last week,’ Goodwin, casually. ‘And. ’ I ask He smiles. ‘We’re not worried.’ it on!

PS: Dear McLaren, when I end a ‘Bring it on!’ it actually ‘please can I drive the P1 now’. got my number.

Words: Mark Photography: Richard Pardon

feature first appeared in the 2013 issue of CAR magazine. To subscription offers and download issues, click here

McLaren P1  Electric Cars
McLaren P1  Electric Cars
McLaren P1  Electric Cars
McLaren P1  Electric Cars
McLaren P1  Electric Cars
McLaren P1  Electric Cars
McLaren P1  Electric Cars

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