McLaren P1 Supercar: Our First Official Interior View

mclaren-p1-interior-view

McLaren’s been all too happy to show off the slinky exterior form of its forthcoming P1 supercar, but it’s carefully shied away from revealing its interior design. Weeks before its official Geneva launch, the automaker is now

No, Virginia; the P1 isn’t a three-passenger concoction like the original McLaren F1 road car. Like its MP4-12C sibling, the P1 is strictly a two-passenger vehicle. Several cues, including the floating center stack, the touchscreen infotainment interface, and turbine-inspired vents. 

But that’s about as far as the symbiosis stretches.

Let’s start with the gauge cluster. While the MP4-12C places an analog tach front and center and flanks it with reconfigurable LCD screens, the P1 has a long, arching LCD display that bears some resemblance to the digital instrument clusters used in Formula 1 cars. A tachometer stretches across the main screen, while speed and gear selection information is displayed immediately below. Ancillary digital gauges are neatly arranged in the right corner of the panel, while a trip computer is tucked into the left.

While the MP4-12C’s cabin is trimmed in hides and accented with carbon fiber, the P1’s interior is the inverse. Save for a few scant bits of Alcantara trim, every surface is crafted from carbon fiber – and we do mean every surface. Carbon fiber reinforced polymers are used to craft the dashboard, center stack and console, headliner, floorboards, door panels, and door sills. It’s also used to form shells for the bucket seats, which tip the scales at a scant 23 pounds each. Those same seats boast backs that can lock at one of two positions (28 or 32 degrees, the latter providing additional room when wearing a helmet) and provisions for retrofitting a six-point racing harness.

If all this sounds rather hardcore, you’re catching on. McLaren notes that carpeted floor trim is optional, not standard, and the top layer of resin in the carbon fiber panels has been removed, shaving 3.3 lbs from the car. As for noise abatement…well, McLaren says it’s skipped the stuff altogether to further reduce weight. No matter; judging by the exhaust note evident in a recent teaser video, we wouldn’t want to silence the engine – whose displacement, power, and arrangement still remain a mystery – one bit.

Expect to learn more in early March, as the production-spec P1 formally launches at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. Stay with Automobile Magazine for the latest news surrounding McLaren’s latest supercar.

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