More details are emerging about the powertrain fitted to the new 2014 McLaren P1 that will debut in Geneva. The factory has revealed that motivation for its new ultimate GT will come from a high-tech hybrid system that combines a gasoline engine and an electric motor that collectively crank out 903 horsepower and 664 lb-ft of torque.
The engine nestled mid-ship in the McLaren P1 is a modified version of the 3.8-liter McLaren-sourced M838T twin-turbo V8 used in the automaker's existing MP4-12C/12C Spider models. Tweaked to improve cooling and durability in this more-demanding application as well as to accommodate its electric augmentation, it now makes 727 horsepower and 531 lb-ft of torque, up from the 616/427 vital stats it has in 12C guise. The other half of the hybrid equation -- dubbed IPAS for Instant Power Assist System - takes the power from of a lightweight motor that churns out 176 horses and 147 lb-ft of torque. With all of that twist on hand from zero rpm, the motor completely eliminates the potential impact of turbo lag, and allows the McLaren - which will send all motive force to the rear wheels via a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission -- to flash from 0-62 mph in less than 3.0 seconds.
Energy for the motor will come from a compact, liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery pack developed by McLaren Electronics. Weighing just 212 pounds and positioned ahead of the engine, McLaren claims it offers greater power density than any other currently available automotive battery pack. While its prime purpose is to add extra muscle to the mix, it also allows the P1 to be driven up to 6.3 miles in pure EV before the engine turns on to help re-energize the battery. In addition to that and whatever other regenerative on-the-fly replenishment is created when the vehicle is coasting or braking, the pack can be fully recharged in two hours on a 240V line using the portable on/off-board charger.
Like the McLaren P1's Formula One-style drag reduction system (DRS) that activates the car's articulated rear wing, the IPAS setup can be activated manually by the driver using a button on the multifunction steering wheel. The IPAS is also designed to produce and apply instant negative torque when required to reduce engine revs to optimum levels and thereby promote quicker upshifts.
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