The Alfa 4C is a seriously exciting new sports car – but not always for the right reasons…
916hp for 2013 McLaren P1 hybrid hypercar
McLaren has announced that its upcoming P1 hypercar will produce a grand total of 916hp from a “twin-power” combination of 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V8 petrol engine and hybrid electric motor, putting it well beyond conventional supercar territory.
The road car division of the McLaren Formula 1 team has also confirmed that the P1 will travel more than 10km (over six miles) using the 179hp electric motor alone, helping it achieve CO2 emissions below 200g/km.
The P1’s powertrain also gives a tyre torturing 664lb ft of torque, aided by the electric motor’s instantly available 192lb ft of twisting force as part of McLaren’s innovative new ‘IPAS’ Instant Power Assist System.
This compliments the petrol engine’s maximum output of 737hp produced at 7,500rpm and 531lb ft of torque produced at 4,000rpm.
The electric drive unit is mounted directly to the engine, requiring a unique engine block casting to incorporate the motor, while the 96kg battery pack is mounted on the underbody of the carbon fibre chassis and in the centre of the vehicle to optimise weight distribution.
All motive force is channelled directly through a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox and sent to the rear wheels.
Interestingly, McLaren states that a further benefit of the “e-motor” is that the transmission can provide quicker upshifts, “achieved through the application of instant negative torque at the point of upshift, making the engine revs drop as quickly and efficiently as possible to the required engine speed for the upshift.”
Having spoken to McLaren, we can confirm this means the hybrid motor can physically force the engine to slow down when changing up a gear, allowing for the shift to be quicker as the pause needed for the revs to drop is all but eradicated.
What’s more, we’re also told it can be used to raise the engine speed for faster, smoother downshifts. In fact, using the electric motor means engine speed during gearshifts can be changed up to two times as fast as is possible in the existing McLaren 12C supercar.
Which in turn suggests the P1 is going to accelerate like a proverbial rocket.
The instant power delivery of an electric motor should give sharp throttle response too, and fill in any initial hole created by turbo lag – although given the ferocious performance of the 12C, we can’t see that being a problem…
There’s no word on the P1’s mooted active aerodynamics as yet, but McLaren has confirmed the car will get an F1-inspired button-activated Drag Reduction System (DRS), making the car as slippery as possible. Reducing drag by 23%, this will enable McLaren to maximise top speed.
Exactly what that top speed will be still hasn’t been revealed, as this latest release is firmly focused on efficiency details. Ditto the lack of 0-62mph information.
Working in conjunction with the lightweight engineering incorporated in the car, when off the accelerator McLaren’s in-house built e-motor also harnesses kinetic energy that would otherwise be wasted.
Expect more details next week as the British firm releases more information approaching the production car’s Geneva Motor Show 2013 public debut.
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