The McLaren P1 is part mad performance, part genius design approach

We believe that if every car designer out there shared his approach on various models via YouTube, just like Frank Stephenson does, the world would be a better world. While that happens (do not hold your breath, though), here’s a another captivating video where Mr. Stephenson explains why the McLaren P1 looks the way it looks.

The P1’s design pretty much had to tick every box you can imagine

"I wanted to take out as much visual weight as possible, to have a car that was really lean; a car with absolutely no fat between the mechanicals and the skin. It’s as though we stuck a tube inside and sucked all the air out – a dramatic, honest shape but also a very beautiful one. It was all part of the engineering and design approach to fanatically take out weight."

Those are the words of Frank Stephenson himself, from back when the P1 was unveiled in front of the world. In reality, the P1’s body had to do a lot of things: generate downforce, cut air as sharply as possible, provide adequate cooling, abide by McLaren’s ethos, and of course, look gorgeous.

Frank Stephenson Explains How The World's Fastest Animals Helped Shape The McLaren P1
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For that to happen, the design team looked at some of the fastest animals on the planet and found out they all have one thing in common - the lack of useless ‘material.’ Think of a cheetah - it’s lean, no fluff, not extra fur, no extra fat whatsoever. It’s what makes it agile and quick.

Another aspect of the P1’s design that’s massively interesting has to do with how the designers and engineers agreed to, as they put it, ram the engine with air instead of going for the customary side vents positioned in front of the rear wheels.

Frank Stephenson Explains How The World's Fastest Animals Helped Shape The McLaren P1
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But hey, we are not here to spoil the fun of watching this very informative video, so do check it out whenever you get the chance.

McLaren P1 specifications
Powertrain twin-turbo 3.8-liter V-8 with an e-motor
Peak power 903 HP
Peak torque 664 LB-FT
0 to 100 KM/H (62 MPH) 2.8 seconds
0 to 200 KM/H (124 MPH) 6.8 Seconds
0 to 300 KM/H (186 MPH) 16.5 Seconds
1/4-Mile 9.8 Seconds Ay 245 KM/H (152 MPH)
Top Speed 217-mph, limited
Weight 3,285 pounds (1,490 kilos)
Tudor Rus
Assistant Content Manager - Automotive Expert - tudor@topspeed.com
Tudor’s first encounter with cars took place when he was only a child. Back then, his father brought home a Trabant 601 Kombi and a few years later, a Wartburg 353. At that time, he was too young to know how they worked and way too young to drive them, but he could see one thing – each of them had a different ethos and their own unique personality. As time went on, he started seeing that in other cars as well, and his love for the automobile was born.  Read More
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