McLaren P1 Has 903 Horsepower and EV Mode…Just Not At the Same Time

Sections: Fuel Economy, Powertrain

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A cutaway of the powertrain of the McLaren P1 hybrid supercar

This cutaway drawing shows the hybrid electric powertrain bits of the McLaren P1 supercar set to be revealed in Geneva. (Image courtesy McLaren Automotive.)

McLaren’s P1 supercar will be revealed in production-ready guise at the Geneva International Motor Show with a 903-horsepower twin-turbo V8-plus-hybrid electric powerplant enabling it to go up to 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) on electricity alone.

According to a press release from McLaren Automotive, the P1 will be powered mainly by a 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine that on its own produces a respect-commanding 727 horsepower and 531 ft-lbs of torque. A lightweight electric motor setup developed by McLaren’s electronics arm adds another 176 horsepower and 191 ft-lbs to the P1’s bag of tricks. The electric motor helps ensure the full combined torque is available from just 4,000 RPM when the skinny pedal is sufficiently prodded.

One of the car’s neater tricks will be its ability to accomplish those mundane short trips in town without using a drop of fuel or producing any pollution from engine exhaust. From the press release:

The McLaren P1™can be driven in a variety of modes, powered by the engine and electric motor together, or solely by the electric motor. This ensures versatility and ease of transportation, allows use in low emission zones and residential driving is optimised with near-silent running.

Maximum power comes when using both powerplants together, but even in E-mode the performance is strong. E-mode is the most economical mode available with zero tailpipe emissions. In E-mode, the McLaren P1™ can travel more than 10km with electric-only power – enough for most city journeys. When the battery is empty, the petrol engine will automatically start to maintain drive and charge the battery.

This is of course not the first we’ve reported on the P1— McLaren has done a fine job keeping a steady trickle of information about the hybrid supercar leeching out to the press– but it is the first time we’ve seen this much information about its ability to momentarily operate in EV mode.

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