How to design a McLaren P1

Stephenson's CV backs up the bravado. He's been involved - at various levels - in some pretty big projects: the New Mini, Maserati Gran Sport, Maserati MC12, Ferrari 430, Ferrari FXX, Fiat 500 and Alfa Romeo Mito. He also had a hand in that massive ‘whale tail' on the back of an Escort RS Cosworth. This must deserve a beer or two.

Working at McLaren is a bit different. "Some people try to make things look beautiful to create emotion, but we don't make beauty the overriding element," he says. "It's up there, but the overriding element is to make the car perform. It's like when people design anything that doesn't have to be sold but has to go fast - military aircraft for example. Nobody sits down and tries to make an F-22 Raptor look beautiful, they just design it to perform and it looks stunning."