McLaren P1: Engine details

20 Feb, 2013 9:14am Luke Madden

The McLaren P1 will produce 903bhp and emit less than 200g/km from its V8 engine and electric motor

McLaren has revealed the first official details of what will power its new P1 supercar, ahead of the production car's world debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March.

As expected, the P1 uses a twin-turbo 3.8-litre V8 – developed from the one in the 12C – and an electric motor for a total of 903bhp. Both deliver power to the rear wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, and while McLaren hasn’t revealed performance figures we’re expecting the system to allow for acceleration from 0-100mph in less than six seconds.

The 3.8-litre engine produces 727bhp at 7,500rpm and 720Nm of torque from 4,000 rpm, while the electric motor produces 176bhp and maximum torque of 260Nm from zero rpm. Thanks to its powerful hybrid powertrain, the P1 will emit less than 200g/km – about the same as petrol-powered Volkswagen Sharan MPV. 

An IPAS (Instant Power Assist System) button on the steering wheel allows for the full 176bhp from the electric motor to be instantly available, providing an electric boost like the KERS system on a Formula One car.

The P1 also has another F1-inspired feature, in the DRS (Drag Reduction System). Activated by another button on the steering wheel, the DRS reduces the angle of the wing to lower drag by 23 per cent.

An E-mode is available for the powertrain, which allows the P1 to run for around six miles on electric power alone. The battery is charged by the engine but can also be plugged in to the wall for a full recharge in about two hours.

Further details on the P1 will be revealed when the car debuts at the Geneva Motor Show