As the preview pictures suggested, the P1 was designed as a spiritual successor to the McLaren F1 supercar of the '90s, down to the "snorkel" in the roof that helps cool the engine. It's part of a concerto of scoops, strakes and vents styled by the same engineers who handle aerodynamics for the McLaren Formula 1 team.
The result isn't just about making the car go fast, but keeping it on the track; thanks to a massive rear wing and two flaps that pop from the body, the car can generate an extra 1,322 lbs. of downforce at racing speeds -- which McLaren managing director Antony Sheriff compared to having a young elephant sit on the car.
Everything about the car's exterior is meant to shuttle air around it at speed, and McLaren says its spared no expense in the P1's construction; it's made mostly of carbon fiber, but there are more exotic materials mixed in, like the heat shield for the exhaust that's coated in gold leaf. To help stop the car, the wing can pivot down and act like an air brake -- not that the car will need them if it keeps the brake calipers large enough to fit across the tires of some small cars.
- McLaren F1