The McLaren P1 launched almost a decade ago was a pioneer when it came to using electrification in high-performance applications. Remember when hybrid technology was synonymous with the Toyota Prius?
One of the holy trinity of hybrid hypercars, together with the Ferrari LaFerrari and Porsche 918 Spyder, the P1 combined a powerful V-8 with an electric motor in plug-in hybrid configuration for a combined output of 903 hp. It also featured a 4.7-kilowatt-hour battery that gave it an EPA-rated electric range of 19 miles.
Battery technology has come a long way since then and McLaren wants P1 owners to benefit from this. As a result, the automaker has developed a battery upgrade for the P1 (and P1 GTR track car) that will be available to order from July.
First noted by CarBuzz, McLaren's P1 battery upgrade uses lessons learned from the more recent Speedtail hypercar and sees the P1's original battery replaced by a much lighter unit. The new battery weighs about 110 pounds, which is ls less than half the weight of the original battery, which weighs almost 234 pounds.
The reduced weight has resulted in improved acceleration and track times, with McLaren quoting a 0-186 mph time of 16.1 seconds, down 0.4 seconds from before. The automaker also states the P1 will lap the high-speed Nardo test track in Italy half a second quicker than before. However, electric range has also been reduced. According to CarBuzz, the new battery means the electric range is only about a quarter of the original, due to the cell chemistry picked for power delivery and regeneration over range. Somehow we don't think P1 owners will care too much about the reduced range.
The upgrade can be handled by a McLaren dealership and costs $156,700. The new battery comes with a 6-year warranty.