McLaren's P1 plug-in hybrid hypercar launched the automaker's range-topping Ultimate Series when it started production in 2013, and now the first customer car is scheduled to be auctioned online by Silverstone Auctions on May 22.

As a refresher on recent hypercar history, the P1 is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V-8 with electric assist, for a combined output of 903 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque. McLaren quoted 0-62 mph acceleration in 2.8 seconds, 0-124 mph in 6.8 seconds, and 0-186 mph in 16.5 seconds when new. Top speed was billed as 217 mph.

The P1 appeared around the same time as the Porsche 918 Spyder plug-in hybrid and Ferrari LaFerrari mild-hybrid, introducing electrification to modern performance cars in a big way. Only the McLaren and Porsche have plugs, meaning they can be charged without using the engine and driven short distances solely on electric power. EPA ratings peg the McLaren's electric range at 19 miles, compared to 12 miles for the 918 Spyder.

McLaren later introduced a P1 GTR track car (some of which were converted for road use). The last standard P1 was finished in December 2015, with the final GTR shortly after that. Just 375 cars were built in total.


First customer McLaren P1 (Photo by Silverstone Auctions)

First customer McLaren P1 (Photo by Silverstone Auctions)

Finished in Volcano Yellow with black leather upholstery and an Alcantara dashboard, this car is the first of those 375 P1s delivered to a customer, according to the seller. A personal letter from then-McLaren designer Frank Stephenson to the first owner is provided as confirmation of that.

The car has covered 3,666 miles in the hands of two U.K. owners, both from the same family, according to the seller. Its last service was at a U.K. McLaren dealership in September 2020, and prior to that a different dealer replaced the lithium-ion battery pack in 2018, per the seller.

Silverstone Auctions lists pre-auction estimates ranging from £885,000 to £985,000, equivalent to between $1.2 million and $1.3 million at current exchange rates. For context, the P1 had an estimated price of $1.1 million when new, and sold out almost immediately, so this estimate seems conservative.

McLaren is reportedly planning a P1 successor, but it isn't expected to start deliveries until 2025. The automaker isn't expected to launch another Ultimate Series model until then, having recently introduced the Senna (including GTR and LM variants), Speedtail, and Elva models in that series.