Which can be retrofitted starting this Julyby Isaac Atienza, on LISTEN 02:31
It’s been about nine years since the McLaren P1 made its debut. This hypercar was a part of a triumvirate that is composed of the Porsche 918 and LaFerrari, and they were the first wave of hypercars that featured electrification and pushed the average horsepower boundaries to four digits. And yet even then, that hasn’t stopped McLaren from improving its hypercar till this day.
The updated high-performance battery is the result of the company’s lessons from its development of the McLaren Speedtail hypercar, and through this, the new battery pack weighs just 41 kg (90.4 lbs) which is 55 kg (121.2 lbs) lighter than the previous unit.
As with everything in life, lighter means more agile and better acceleration, and that’s what this new, lighter battery delivers. Acceleration from zero to 300 km/h (186 mph) is now at 16.1 seconds, which is 0.4 seconds quicker than with the heavier battery. Additionally, the new battery enables the P1 to be half a second quicker around the famed Nardo racetrack.
These numbers may not sound like much, but in the grand scheme of things, batteries have a shelf life, which means owners would probably need to have their batteries replaced either way at this point. At least with this new battery, owners of the McLaren P1 do receive subtle but tangible performance benefits.
As a reminder, the McLaren P1’s plug-in hybrid powertrain was revolutionary during its time. The twin-turbo 3.8-liter V8 and electric motors had a total output of 903 horsepower, and its powertrain had a feature called Instant Power Assist System (IPAS).
IPAS is an F1-derived technology that provides a temporary boost in acceleration via the electric motors, which was possible due to the original battery pack having the ability to quickly discharge itself, exactly like those in an F1 racecar. Additionally, the plug-in hybrid powertrain was able to give the P1 a pure electric range of 6.8 miles.