Series production says goodbye to the McLaren P1

Very special cars generally are built in limited numbers. That makes the ones that can buy a new one really lucky guys. Either because they have such unique masterpieces of engineering or because these cars follow a different logic of devaluation. The older they are, the more valuable they get. First of all, because the ones that can be bought are the few that have been produced. Secondly, because they are dream cars, vehicles that many millionaires would want to have, but did not get the chance to buy new. It that was the case of the McLaren F1, you can bet on the same fate for the P1. The last one has just rolled out of the production line.

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The P1 has been regarded not as a car, but as a technological achievement of high performance. It is an easy car to drive on a daily basis and, at the same time, it is a track monster. Electronic setups can adjust the vehicle for any sort of environment. Since it is a hybrid car, with one electric engine placed beneath the 3.8 turbo V8, it integrates the holy trio of speed, composed by the Porsche 918 Spyder, already out of production, with 918 units, and the Ferrari LaFerrari, which will also be produced in limited numbers, or only 499. The P1 is the rarer of them all.

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The P1 has not managed to overcome the fame of the McLaren F1, or its charisma, but also deserves our reverence. It is 4.59 m long, 1.95 m wide, 1.19 m tall and has a wheelbase of 2.67 m. Although it is almost entirely built of carbon fiber and aluminum, it is quite a heavy car, with a dry weight of 1,395 kg. Its engine produces 542 kW at 7,300 rpm alone. Combined with the electric engines, power rises to 674 kW.

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When McLaren first announced it, back at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, all its 375 units were already sold out. That may sound impossible, but it is easy to explain: this is not the sort of car you choose to buy. McLaren has a list of loyal customers and VIP, such as F1 drivers, that are offered the car even before it is officially unveiled. All of them have the necessary means, of course. Only a crazy one would turn down the offer.

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There is a funny story about Nigel Mansell when he used to drive for Ferrari. He was offered nothing less than the F40. Since he had already been given one by no one less than Enzo Ferrari, he decided to buy another one. And sold it almost immediately, earning a lot of money in the sale. Enzo was not very pleased with the move. We have found no official confirmation of this story, but it is nice anyway.

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Each P1 unit cost £866,000. Nowadays there are two put for sale in the UK, according to Autocar. One of them has a price tag of £1.8 million. The other one is selling for £2 million. Go find a similar investment that doubles your cash in two years… If you do, it will probably be another supercar.

Gustavo Henrique Ruffo

I have been an automotive journalist since 1998 and have worked for many important Brazilian newspapers and magazines, such as the local edition of Car and Driver and Quatro Rodas, Brazilian's biggest car magazine. I have also worked for foreign websites, such as World Car Fans and won a few journalism prizes, among them three SAE Journalism Awards and the 2017 IAM RoadSmart Safety Award. I am the author of "The Traffic Cholesterol", a book about bad drivers that you can buy at Hotmart, Google Play, Amazon and Kobo.