McLaren's P1 gets tested under the broiler in southern US statesView gallery - 10 images
McLaren’s P1 has already proven itself in Arctic exercises, but more recently it was the job of California, Nevada and Arizona to gang up on the supercar as part of an extreme heat testing scenario. The P1, which McLaren is set to begin delivering in a few weeks, appears to have remained undaunted as temperatures hit record highs of 116ºF (52ºC) during test runs in its new, undisguised finish.
With McLaren delivering the first of the limited-edition 375 cars over the next few weeks, the team has been under pressure to finish up extreme test scenarios in order to fine tune engine settings, cabin temperatures or cooling issues before delivery. Since the P1 will be developing 727 horsepower via a 3.8 twin-turbocharged engine, and another 176 electric hp via a rear mounted generator for a total of 903 hp, it’s slightly important the performance hybrid remain cool under all conditions.
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When the P1 is traveling at its 217 mph (349 km/h) top speed, wind force should be sufficient to keep select components cool, but under regular stop-and-go traffic and normal highway driving, keeping a hyper-exotic's elaborate array of performance parts comfortable can be challenging.
In addition to the testing for heat weaknesses, this is also the first time McLaren has shown the car – on the road – in an undisguised nature. No zig-zaggy winter camouflage this time out. To better blend in, McLaren dropped one very hot “Carbon Black” version of the P1 into the middle of California's Death Valley. The black P1 is even more menacing and extreme than the previous brightly saturated color schemes McLaren has brought to the shows.
There's no word yet on how the car survived the record-breaking temperatures and what revisions needed to be made. Whatever the case, some of the testing can be seen in the video below.
The first of the limited-edition P1’s should be on the road by the end of September. McLaren's P1 is part of the company's 50 Year Anniversary celebrations.