How to design a McLaren P1
TG speaks to the man who penned Woking’s new hybrid hypercar
Posted: 03 Apr 2013
You may think that car design involves pens and paper. But when you're designing a McLaren P1, that isn't always the case. "See the little shapes behind the front wheel?" says Frank Stephenson, the company's design chief. "We didn't draw those - they came out of a computer. We just refined them and made them look sexier."
When Frank's brief came down from Ron Dennis, it looked like this: build the successor to the legendary McLaren F1. A hypercar capable of defeating LaFerrari. Make it produce 600kg of downforce at 161mph. Find room for a KERS module. "When the brief came, you start going crazy," he says. "You think, ‘how do we better a car that's already iconic?' Of course we have new technology and innovation but people were saying, ‘you can't repeat an icon'. But I don't think any of us had any worries or fear of creating it. Because as a designer you're geared to think you can do something better than anybody else has done before."
Words: Rowan Horncastle