How to design a McLaren P1

Stephenson is currently working on McLaren's Porsche 911 rival - yes, they're doing one - code-named ‘P13'. And if you're expecting a baby P1, you may be wrong. "P13 is going to be different to 12C and P1, but in a much fresher way," says Frank. All the cars have to hang together as they're going to sit in the same dealership, so you don't want one to look like it's got an odd father. I can say that the quarter window will relate to all the cars and is very ‘F1-ish' [that's the F1 road car, not race cars]. Also the line down the side of the P1 is from the F1."

Only 375 P1s are being built, each costing £866,000. Production starts later this year. But it's got one hell of a rival in the new LaFerrari. So what does Stephenson - a former Fiat Group employee - think of Maranello's masterpiece? "I think the car is about trying - trying - to look dramatic," he says, "it doesn't come across to me as being one hundred per cent efficient in the design. It's new, it's got the wow factor and is definitely more attractive than the Enzo ever was. "The Enzo didn't come across to me as Italian. This one does look Italian but it looks like those girls who are dressed to kill at 9am. But it does look lot more sensual than other cars. It's a lot like a pretty girl... but she's got a lot of scars on her."

(Words: Rowan Horncastle, Photos: McLaren)