McLaren's carbon-saturated P1 interior revealed
February 13, 2013
McLaren has been drip-feeding us details of its multi-faceted supercar since releasing the first pictures last year. Now we have our first glimpse of the interior, and as with the rest of the P1 it's all business … carbon fibered to the hilt business.
McLaren refers to the design as cocooning, similar to a fighter jet’s seating package; i.e. you go where the car goes, none of this sloshing about like a goldfish in a Lincoln type behavior. Seating is essentially racing design centric. Encased in ultra-thin carbon fiber and using minimal amounts of foam, the seats weigh in at a meager 10.5 kg (23 lbs) each. Seat backs are set at 28 degrees, but can be set to 32 degrees to fit one’s fat head in once it’s encased in a right proper racing helmet. Seat height is custom set by McLaren for both driver and passenger, but can be adjusted post-purchase as needed. As lap belts just won’t cut it on track days, the P1 comes standard with six-point racing harnesses and inertia reel seat belts.
Continuing with the carbon-fiber tub architectural theme, the interior is designed with one goal in mind – weight saving, AKA performance enhancement. A class leader in carbon fiber design, McLaren has spared no expense in saturating the interior with the holy grail of performance materials. Sniffer dogs will find the fibrous carbon incorporated throughout the dashboard, the floor, headliner, doors, rocker panels, while the central control unit is shaped from a single piece of CF. To further reinforce the anal retentive nature of the engineers, McLaren removed the top layer of resin from the interior carbon fibers in order to save another 1.5 kg (3.3 lbs) and provide that au-natural look.
The minimalist look that the French love so much is further reinforced in the P1 by leaving key components naked. Sound deadening is also right off the list to again enhance weight savings and increase the extreme visceral nature of the beasty. You can have carpet if you like, as an option – and it comes with a special light weight backing of course.
But it’s not all fun and carbon fiber here people. No sir. There be a bespoke sound system by Meridian, sat-nav system for when you get lost on the Nurburgring and climate control things. Switchgear is kept to a minimum to reduce distraction and optimize driver focus.
A digital display tracks left to right across the P1’s dashboard. No bells and whistles here, just a straightforward tach bar that changes colors as revs climb horizontally. Speed is just one big fat number below the tach bar, while other perfunctory gauges bracket the main display respectively.
The P1’s steering wheel, finished in Alcanatara with carbon fiber inserts, is as technically precise as the ones found in McLaren’s race cars. Modeled and scanned on a CAD system using past McLaren champions grips, the P1’s wheel is as close as you’ll get to an F1 without marrying Lewis Hamilton.
There’s no Huayra bling-a-bling excess to be found in the P1, just simple straight forward carbon fiber-oscopy to the nth degree.
More drip-feeding is expected ahead of the production-ready P1 making its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March.