There's an upside to the design of the new McLaren P1: it's highly distinctive, interesting to look at, and clearly both expensive and aerodynamic. But those curved panels and unique looks have a downside: it's almost impossible to camouflage its identity. As you can see from theses spy photos, McLaren is testing the P1, and no camouflage can cover that up.
From the looks of things, the car has almost no changes from the stunning showcar we saw at the Paris Motor Show earlier this year. It still has the deep cooling and ventilation apertures, the starship-shaped headlights, and the flowy rear-end with giant active rear wing--it's clear that the McLaren P1 concept's design will survive almost completely unchanged to production. Around back the intricate rear-end grille insert and huge diffuser is gone on this prototype, replaced with two simple strips of colored LEDs and a simple diffuser. The entire car is covered in a crazy style of camouflage filled with the kind of squiggly lines that are clear racetracks--perhaps a nod to the P1's anticipated driving prowess. We can clearly make out Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on the door panel.
Unfortunately for us, what's underneath that racetrack-camouflage wrap and those carbon-fiber body panels is anyone's guess: while we do know that the car will feature an F1-inspired pushrod suspension, a dual-clutch transmission, and an active rear spoiler, we don't know what's going to power the car. Our best guess is an uprated version of the MP4-12C's 3.8-liter twin-turbo V-8 making roughly 700 horsepower, coupled to a pair of 150-hp electric motors. If that does happen, the McLaren's total power output will hit 1000 hp, putting it in rare territory occupied by only a handful of other production cars. It'll also be enough to top other upcoming hypercars like the Ferrari F70 (920 hp) and Porsche 918 Spyder (795 hp).
Check out the photos below and let us know what you think. How many of the tracks in the camo can you identify?