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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Chris Harris drives the McLaren P1 Hybrid on Road and Track [VIDEO]

Chris Harris drives the new $1.2 million McLaren P1 at the Yas Marina Grand Prix circuit in Abu Dhabi UAE. Before taking to the track at night, Chris Harris chats with Chris Goodwin, the Chief Test Driver for McLaren Automotive to discuss the technology of McLaren's latest offering, perhaps the definition of the modern day hypercar.

Fair warning, the McLaren Chris Harris drives in this video is the XP7, the pre-production prototype for P1. The car has had a long life over the past 15 months, driving around the world and clocking over 40,000 hard miles.

If you can tolerate the Jeremy Clarkson school of power slide car testing then the second half of the video should provide some light entertainment, but most of the technical info ends once McLaren's Chris Goodwin exits the P1.

As far as the P1's hybrid systems goes, it seems more like an F1 car with a 130 kw KERS system than a full-featured road-going hybrid. Sure, the P1 has an 'EV mode' but the 100 kg, 324-cell lithium-ion, 4.7 kWh battery only provides 10 kms range.

We noticed in this video that the car doesn't seem to have an engine stop-start system as the combustion engine continued to idle while the car was stationary in traffic and although the battery can be charged via a plug-in wall socket in two hours, an oft-mentioned feature of the car is a manual ‘charge' button that uses the 727 hp twin turbo V8 to drive the electric motor and replenish the batteries. You would naturally presume the car would primarily charge the battery with brake regeneration but this is never mentioned.

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