The McLaren F1 has arguably been the embodiment of the word "supercar" since its introduction twenty years ago. Twenty years ago. For two decades it's been hard to match the F1's combination of looks, performance, and sheer exclusivity, but McLaren is about to unveil the F1's successor and heir to the supercar crown: the P1.
Let me just attempt to reinforce just how long 20 years is when it comes to technology. This, folks, is what 1992 looked like:
Yep. Windows 3.1. Rad.
I suppose you could argue that automotive technology is more mature, and that the techniques for getting horsepower out of an engine haven't really changed that much, but it's also true that cars are packed with computers electronics now more than ever for both safety and performance reasons.
This makes it all the more remarkable that the venerable F1 can still more than hold its own with "modern" (i.e. over a decade younger) supercars like the Bugatti Veyron:
McLaren is getting ready to announce the next generation of its supercar, the McLaren P1. Due for an official unveil at the Paris Motor Show in a few weeks, all we have right now are some pictures. But damn if this isn't a seriously good looking car:
Here's all the info that McLaren has seen fit to release at this point:
'The McLaren P1 will be the result of 50 years of racing and road car heritage,' says McLaren Automotive Executive Chairman Ron Dennis. 'Twenty years ago we raised the supercar performance bar with the McLaren F1 and our goal with the McLaren P1 is to redefine it once again.'
'Our aim is not necessarily to be the fastest in absolute top speed but to be the quickest and most rewarding series production road car on a circuit,' says McLaren Automotive Managing Director Antony Sheriff. 'It is the true test of a supercar's all round ability and a much more important technical statement. Our goal is to make the McLaren P1 the most exciting, most capable, most technologically advanced and most dynamically accomplished supercar ever made.'
Rumor has it that the P1 will possess over 900 horsepower, active aerodynamics (yay computers!), and will probably cost between one and two million dollars. Our guess is that even at that price, the 4,000 units that McLaren plans to produce starting in 2013 will sell out immediately.
Here's one more pic for the road: