Camouflaged McLaren P1 “Spied” on the Test Track [w/ Video]
When McLaren pulled the cover off the concept version of its new P1 flagship in September, we could tell right away that there was a lot to love about it. The aggressive styling details, quasi-F1 proportions and whispers of staggering track performance check all the right boxes for us. Of course, not many other boxes were checked because, well, McLaren didn’t reveal much else about the P1.
Jump ahead to today and McLaren is still keeping details of the production P1 like engine configuration, what (if any) hybrid assist aforementioned engine will receive, and what the interior looks like, close to the (longtime McLaren Formula 1 team sponsor Hugo Boss) vest. However, it is clearly ready to show off a P1 test mule in action on the track. Why else would it release these “spy shots” and a “spy video?”
Even though the freaky looking camouflage is distracting, we can still discern enough detail to know that nothing has really changed from the show car. The McLaren-logo-shaped headlights, sculpted side “coves,” aggressive rear diffuser and single high-mounted tailpipe are all present and accounted for. We also get to see the retractable rear spoiler/air brake, which wasn’t seen in the initial batch of official photos, and see that this development prototype is lefthand drive, meaning those of you hoping for a revival of the center-steering layout are going to be disappointed.
As for what’s underneath the exterior, the rather deep exhaust note heard in the video suggests to our semi-trained ears that the engine is large-ish in displacement, and that – at least in prototype form – is capable of spitting some beautiful blue flames (and sparks!) on overrun. The video also suggests that the P1 accelerates like a model rocket and has immense grip, but anyone with two or more brain cells to rub together could have anticipated that from a car that’s even more extreme than the already astounding MP4-12C.
Needless to say, we can’t wait for more information about the P1 to trickle out of Woking. Until then, we’ll just have to be content with looking at these photos and this video of a wildly-dressed P1 getting flogged mercilessly in the name of research and development. There are worse fates, right?