McLaren P1 heats up the Arctic Circle


May 1, 2013

McLaren P1 undergoing extreme testing in Sweden

McLaren P1 undergoing extreme testing in Sweden

Image Gallery (17 images)

You don't create one of the utmost masterpieces of the high-performance supercar market without countless hours of testing. Much of that testing is dirty, sweaty and anything but sexy, but a few select aspects are riveting enough to make for edge-of-your-seat video – aspects like the McLaren P1 drifting through snow-powdered ice in northern Sweden. McLaren released just such a video this week.

The specific reason behind McLaren's traveling across the North Sea was "durability and development testing" under extreme conditions, something that sounds much more compelling when set to the soundtrack of a motor-assisted 727-bhp V8 engine and screeching Pirellis. McLaren brought the car inside the borders of the area we know as the Arctic Circle for the testing.

McLaren showed a P1 design study at the Paris Motor Show last September and provided details about the 903-bhp hybrid powertrain and other mechanicals prior to the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. Moving forward, McLaren is certain to cite the 217 mph (349 km/h) top speed, sub-3-second 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) and sub-7-second 0-124 mph (0-200 km/h) in trying to convince 375 buyers that US$1.15 million is a small price to pay for this particular piece of motoring history.

McLaren is continuing testing P1 prototypes around the world and plans to showcase the P1's talents at a "number of dynamic displays" this summer. The car will also be a part of McLaren's Goodwood Festival of Speed presence.

The video won't answer definitively whether McLaren has succeeded in making the "best driver's car in the world," but it will make you forget about every other sports car in existence for at least a couple minutes. And since the car tested in Sweden was a camouflaged test car, we've packed some recently released track day P1 photos into our gallery for a little extra viewing pleasure.

Source: McLaren

About the Author
C.C. Weiss Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work. All articles by C.C. Weiss

You really have to wonder at this type of testing. All the fluids meet or exceed temperature standards. The heater and A/C can be cheaply tested in a test chamber for output. The engine can be much better instrumented and dynoed in a climate chamber. So what are you really testing? The tires on ice? I am sure the manufacturer has specs he has already tested to. Perhaps it is an opportunity for a new driver who has never driven in snow... I suppose the next test will be in the Gobi or Sahara desert to check on paint wear. Er... that has been already been tested too. Oh! I get it! It's a photo op!


Super car performance has reached the point that only a professional driver could ever utilize a portion of it. Any higher horsepower or speed is pretty much meaningless and the price tag is so far out of reach for most of us that I am beginning to find articles like this to be boring. What I want is something I can afford that can do 0-60 mph in 4 seconds or less and gets at least 40 mpg. Technology that we can all afford. Now that would be a real advancement in automobiles.


We'll only see these advancements in "regular" automobiles when they are first tested in the expensive automobiles. Light weight materials like carbon fiber, infinitely variable, camless engines, turbo chargers made from exotic alloys and fully computer controlled suspension are still the toys of the rich. However, technology is one of the few things to actually trickle down, so we'll one day see this technology distilled to "regular" cars. It was little more than a decade ago the old ford mustang cobra made 300hp, but got only in the teens to low 20 ish mpg. You can now buy that same hp in a smaller v6 that emits less pollution and has a 30mpg highway rating. Its coming, just stop bitching about it.

Michael Wilson
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