The new McLaren P1 dropped last week and it’s orange. Just like its grandaddy, the achingly awesome F1. Why? Because orange is the best color ever. It’s not garish and angry like red or psychotically cheery like yellow. No, it’s eye-searingly incredible and it tells the universe: I mean business.
The brutal 1967 M6A Can-Am racer was the first McLaren to be slathered in aneurysm-inducing orange. Why? McLaren wanted the competition to quake and quiver at the sight of the roaring beast, to treat it with caution and fear. Or maybe they just really liked orange. Nobody knows for sure, but McLaren orange became a legend.
Until the mid 70s, when McLaren signed a deal with the Devil (Marlboro) and had to switch to red-and-white livery.
In 1992 McLaren made the legendary F1 super car. Metallic orange was one of the early colors, a seductive and simultaneously arresting shade that paid homage to the early days.
The F1 is one of the greatest cars ever made. Just to remind you: It can reach 60 miles per hour in 3.2 seconds and thunder on to a top speed of 242 miles per hour. It has a 6.1-liter V12 good for 618 horsepower. It wears orange proudly.
But the F1 got better. In 1995 McLaren set the the car loose at Le Mans. F1s took 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 13th places. To commemorate the slaughter, erm, victory, McLaren built the meanest, baddest F1 ever: The F1 LM. Only five were made and they were all painted “Historic Orange” to honor the Can-Am monsters of yore.
Now the P1 wears a variant of McLaren orange, a glittery, futuristic hue that shows off the new car’s angry curves quite nicely. McLaren hasn’t divulged the specs, but rumor is the P1 will rock an 800+ horsepower turbocharged 3.8 V8 and a KERS system good for a 100+ horsepower boost at the push of a button.
The P1 certainly looks the business. No doubt it will live up to the F1 and do its orange paint justice.