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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone..

while Andy, Mikey and the rest are still likely on their way to dinner or at McLaren GT, I'll just post a few words, the others I am sure will post pics, possibly a video...

Quick rundown... I went to the MTC first where I met a bunch of very nice people from McLaren, as always.. but also met Andy for the first time.

We did the MTC Tour, great as always and talked a lot about all the cars and other aspects of McLaren... The P1 production line is looking good. There were 7 P1s finished waiting for delivery and 3 more or so right before finishing.

Production is being still ramped up.

As we have heard from multiple other sources, all 375 cars are sold. There actually are waiting lists in multiple regions in case people drop out. But the last 6 weeks have really been great for McLaren and a lot of people that were on the fence, have gone for it finally.

I did try to tease them into telling us a 'Ring time, but even there, they would not budge. They simply said, all their goals that they set out for when they envisioned the car, they met. Which I guess is most important, so we know it is sub-7 around the Ring, but how much exactly, who cares in the end.

I think we can be sure (and if needed, I will help) that the car will be tested around various tracks to see how it performs to other similar cars...

Which brings us to the most important part, the Dunsfold track test. We left MTC towards Dunsfold and arrived shortly after. XP7 and PP3 were both waiting for us right there and Chris Goodwin welcomed us.

After a brief introduction for the day, Andy and Mikey went out for a drive first together with two test drivers of McLaren Automotive that both know the P1 very well.

Everyone's turn was similar: Do a few laps on the Top Gear Track in various driving modes, N, S, T. Switch to E-Mode in the middle of driving to just feel the difference of just the electric propelling the car still quite nicely. Then back to the start, for a switch into Race Mode, in which we just did runs up and down the runway, to not get tempted to track the car in full speed around the circuit with so little testing before and to truly feel the power this monster has.

When it was my turn, I took the car for a relatively calm spin to really feel and look closely to certain aspects of the systems it has. And as I mentioned before, I was not really feeling comfortable pushing either of these two cars to my limits...

On the runway, in race mode, this was obviously slightly different. Full throttle is staggering in this car and it does not stop. I did not feel any true slowdown or any kind of turbo lag anywhere from 0 to 275kph which is at fast as we got it on the runway stretch, in seconds... And the brakes, consistantly the same braking cold or after a few turns, no difference, no blocking, very very comfortable but strong brakes and the car stays flat, does not move an inch roll wise. It is amazing.

After us all taking them for a spin, we did passenger rides of 2 laps around the top gear track each, to see how these cars really can perform. And god do they perform. Nothing I have ever experienced got close to this speed and precision you felt in these cars.
I did a few laps in full race cars in the past months with racing drivers and albeit the feeling is similar, the P1 blew them all away.

I can guarantee, I do not regret ordering this monster and trusting McLaren that they will deliver on their promises, and for me they have.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Two VERY important things regarding the Hybrid drive that I have learned this trip:

The P1 can regen in all kinds of situations, even in full throttle scenarios. I will not go into details, since I tried explaining things here many times and most people ignore it anyway or do not understand it fully. I had a good long chat with one of the main hybrid tech guys (Andy was present) and what he explained made perfect sense. (And made even more sense after talking a little with Chris about it too.)

Trust me and accept when I tell you, it all makes sense. The Hybrid regen system they have developed is staggeringly good. It regens battery power all the time, it does so very quickly. It uses up to the full 130kw of the e-motor to do so depending on scenario, it also sometimes uses very little... Whatever it can do, it will regen without losing ANY power required on the wheels.

When you watch the battery charge meter jump up and down constantly when tracking the car or just driving it, you realize how good it is at it! Also, important to realize, we drove the cars constantly for a good hour or more, fast, slow, lighting, everything you can think of. And the power never ran out in any shape or form!

One comment that I think shows this even better was that Chris said, in the last years driving all of the P1 XPs and PPs, not a single time did they HAVE to actively charge one. Not a single team did the batter deplete or the car lose some of its power.

Also, regarding the whole "what about the second lap of nordschleife" questions everyone keeps asking... McLaren's goal for the Hybrid system's regen capability is based on the Ring. Their goal is, that when doing one lap of the Ring, the car has to have enough battery power to do the final very long straight from start to finish without running out of batter power for it. Once it passes that straight, then next turns and not full throttle parts are enough to recharge it again so that once it gets back to the long straight, it again has enough power. The car will run out of fuel before battery power, and when it gets empty, put it into E-Mode, drive to the petrol station and fill it up.... ;)

Love this machine...
 

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Good man - thanks for the update.

Very impressed, glad you enjoyed the day and more importantly the car felt every bit as good as you were promised.
 

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The P1 can regen in all kinds of situations, even in full throttle scenarios. I will not go into details, since I tried explaining things here many times and most people ignore it anyway or do not understand it fully. I had a good long chat with one of the main hybrid tech guys (Andy was present) and what he explained made perfect sense. (And made even more sense after talking a little with Chris about it too.)
Thanks for posting your thoughts! If you ever do feel like typing up a more details explanation, I'd love to read it
 

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Fabian: That's great news. There was a previous post today were someone was clocking at 182 mph down the runway in one of the test drives. Nice way to start out in the morning. Andy sure wouldn't need any coffee if he was in the seat.

So if I'm hearing you correctly, the McLaren engineering team used the Ring as a template to design or optimize the hybrid capacity. Is that fair to assume? So what were the driving dynamic tendencies as to understeer / oversteer? On and off throttle? Any major characteristic to share or was it just to much to take in in one outing? Great that you and the guys had great weather.
 

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Drool-worthy writeup. Thank you!

I'm curious if you have ever done laps in a GT-class car (GT3, GT2, 599XX/FXX, ...) against which you could compare the P1?

And one other question - did you time how long the pro driver took to make it around Dunsfold? :)
 

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Thanks so much for this report! Every time I head about somebody driving or riding the in the P1 I get even more excited about it! I can't wait to try it for myself.

Also - I never realized what you alluded to: you can drive the P1 down to empty and then go on battery for 5-6 miles to get gas!
 

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And one other question - did you time how long the pro driver took to make it around Dunsfold? :)
One well informed little birdie suggested to me that a sub-1:10 lap time around Dunsfold should be entirely possible for the P1. I assume that is from a standing start since that's how most are measured there. Will be a fun episode of Top Gear to watch, I am sure. Let's hope they find a day with suitable weather for the Stig's effort.

>8^)
ER
 

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Seems an OK car.
 

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Fabian. Thanks for the writeup. I know you got beat up by some on your explanations, but I for one, really appreciated them and would love if you would further elaborate? Or perhaps there isn't anything further to elaborate on, as you have described the system pretty well in your past posts.

Perhaps, just seeing the light of the system opportunistically charging under all kinds of conditions when you might have guessed it wouldn't, has a way of making it clear to the driver that the system has all the juice it needs.

Regardless, congrats on the day, and on your new ride to be. And thanks for the writeup. Jealous and happy for you all at once! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hi,

I did not time the lap. We also did not start from the standard top gear place. So it will be hard to really judge.

Regarding the car compared to something else... I did a few laps of spa in a 458 challenge... From a forum member actually. The 458 challenge is powerful and all, but in my opinion it has nothing on the P1! Cornering, balance, accel, braking... It is all shockingly good in the P1.

Re under steer or such, we did not have enough time with the car...

I will take mine to Spa early 2014, will play with it more there...
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The P1 did drift on the top gear track in race mode btw.. so at least 5th gear guys should not be totally complaining :)
 

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Fabian: That's great news. There was a previous post today were someone was clocking at 182 mph down the runway in one of the test drives. Nice way to start out in the morning. Andy sure wouldn't need any coffee if he was in the seat.

So if I'm hearing you correctly, the McLaren engineering team used the Ring as a template to design or optimize the hybrid capacity. Is that fair to assume? So what were the driving dynamic tendencies as to understeer / oversteer? On and off throttle? Any major characteristic to share or was it just to much to take in in one outing? Great that you and the guys had great weather.
Regarding the Ring question, yes. They used that 20km stretch of road as a good example of severe driving anywhere, and wanted to be sure that on that stretch, the battery does not run out, even when running over and over.
 

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All good intentions went astray... I meant to keep you a bit better updated than we did, sadly my phone bricked which was not ideal... My bro has video and photos so will upload as and when we can...

Firstly, and this will sound slightly bizarre, but it's the first car I've ever been in that I have enjoyed being a passenger more than a driver... Why? Cos I am simply not good enough to exploit its full potential yet.. And indeed in the time that we had it would be a tough ask to even think about getting the car to perform ... We did as Fabian said, have a couple of hot laps with in my case with Tim Mullins, Mclaren gt driver! those of you how have done pure Mclaren days will also have met him...

The performance of the car is just staggering.. Once again, I had a ride in May this year in the works gt3 car with rob bell, and as has been promised, this is a gt3 but with 900 horsepower... The dynamics are that of the race car there is no doubt, except with the straight line performance that 900 Bhp will give you. The turn in and grip are just incredible... Downforce is officially more than a gt3
From behind the wheel, compared to the 12 c you notice the following... The steering rack is a smidge quicker and the road car turn in has gone replaced by razor race car one.. This is on corsa of course and in track mode... We did weaving down the runway in race mode so something further to explore ..a big difference also is that trofeo r will also be available which is great news... They will be manufacturer approved so no problems to upgrade it would seem...

perhaps the biggest surprise for me is the throttle response is arguably better than any normally aspirated I have driven before.. Clearly the instant torque of the electric motor is a thing of wonder and I don't doubt that this electric thrust produces another level when it comes to what was previously called throttle response.. Put simply you nail the throttle the thing just flies, instantaneously ... It's something you will have to experience as to describe doesn't do it justice... Turbo lag therefore non existent of course.. One misunderstanding on my behalf is no matter what you select, I.e whether to control the electric motor yourself, or let the car do it, the torque fill in low down is always present, so yes, the IPAs is a power boost in all the power range, well as long as you have 70% throttle. So you're not going to have a massive hole At the bottom of the torque curve if you select manual, so will be fun for sure...

I'd like to say that it slides here, does this and so forth, talk about the nuances on the limit... I won't be getting there for a long while, but from sitting with tim driving and chatting with Chris Goodwin, it's clear that the limits are in nature, somewhat similar to the 12c. In other words, they are progressive in nature and predictable. It is in that regard a very very fast 12c.... It should also be said that the environment that you sit in, as a 12c owner does feel familiar... You know how everything is going to work and where everything is...this Was a huge bonus and could just concentrate on the matter at hand...

It is going to take a long long long time to get to grips with this car, not because it is a difficult car to drive, it is not.. But the limits are so enormous for sure you need race car driver skills to get the car to go its fastest... Like a 12c though it will be great fun and rewarding to drive below those speeds, but to really explore its limits is going to take a lot of effort and concentration to get there... Oh, and it's not an after thought, but e mode is fun too!

Great to meet ftyl and boxer finally, and spend more quality nattering time with Andy c... Am sure I'll remember more and post accordingly.. I have just seen a video of me getting out of the car after I drove, so before our hot laps and I look visibly stunned...
 

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Discussion Starter #17
To at least go into a little bit more tech detail on the hybrid...

The way the hybrid system runs, especially in race mode, is that it will try to always find a way to charge the battery. It is hard to show easy to understand examples, but there will be times the ICE can not speed up the car any faster than it currently is doing, it can not increase RPM quicker simply due to lag of something or another... if the ECU catches those times well, it can, even if its just for 2 seconds, overpower the ICE, take the extra torque out by power-inverting the e-motor to make it a generator instead, and not lose power to the wheels but power the e-motor...

I mean, look, adding X amount of kinetic energy into a 1400kg system requires considerably more energy than adding the Y amount of energy into a tiny electric motor connected DIRECTLY to the ICE with one single clutch. I am not sure if I am explaining this well. :)

If you drive the car, you CONSTANTLY see the recharge icon flicking on and off. You can also watch the charge bar diminish and fill up constantly. You do not feel ANY change in the car's performance while it does that. It just RUNS. Well.. screams.. :)

When we were changing the car into Race Mode, it was charging the battery in those 30 seconds. And to just speed it up a bit, we pressed the CHARGE button in the car, and you could watch the bar fill up. Race Mode was set, pressed Charge again and took off.

Amazing piece of machinery.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Mikey, was great meeting you too...

One thing I forgot to mention, on our runs on the runway straight, we tested IPAS, and it is shocking how you feel a light kick in the back even when doing 180kph and pressing the IPAS button.

I did not notice that much with the DRS, but I am rather sure that was simply sensory overload at some point...
 

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OK, it's an OK OK car then.
 
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