Just a few years ago, nobody knew who Canadian born Abel Makkonen Tesfaye was, until he started releasing songs on YouTube under the moniker of The Weeknd. After collecting a small fanbase, The Weeknd was signed to a record label and released his first album “Kiss Land” to modest success. It wasn’t until 2015 that The Weeknd became a big star, releasing his smash album “Beauty Behind the Madness” that featured a pair of number one singles. The next year, he released his third album to much success called “Starboy”, and has been one of the most popular singers of the past few years.
Most celebrities, especially famous musicians, love showing off their car collection to the public, but not man would showcase them in a music video. The Weeknd, however, is not like most celebrities. In 2016, The Weeknd released the video for his hit song “Starboy”, showing off his new hairstyle and car collection that included some massively expensive rides. There were your standard celeb cars like the Lamborghini Aventador and the Bentley Mulsanne, but the real winner was the burgundy McLaren P1.
McLaren didn’t come out with the P1 until showing it off as a concept car in 2012 at the Paris Motor Show. The automaker then started taking orders in 2013, shipping them out in 2014. By 2016, McLaren had made their final P1, making (and selling out of) a total of 375 units. That puts the P1 into some exclusive hands that really have to shell out some big bucks for the two-door coupe.
The starting price for the P1 was listed at $1.35 million, but high demand allowed McLaren to sell for even more than that, driving up the average price to $1.6 million, especially thanks to demand for luxury additions. The P1 is a special car, no doubt, but what is it that sets it apart from other supercars? For starters, the P1 is actually a plug-in hybrid, and gets a total of 34 miles per gallon combined. If you’re driving on the electrical charge alone, you can still make it for 19 miles, and the total range before needing to be charged is 300 miles.
That’s not all that sets this super light supercar (3,411 pound curb weight) apart from others in its class. The McLaren has top notch performance, thanks to an astonishing 903 horsepower and 664 lb-ft of torque that comes from the 3.8 liter V8 engine. If you can master the seven-speed clutch, you can leave other cars in your whisper quiet dust, too.
The McLaren P1 reaches 62 miles per hour (100 km/hr) in just 2.8 seconds. That makes the P1 one of the fastest cars that you’ll find, and it takes just 6.3 seconds to make it up to 100 miles per hour. The P1 is the successor of McLaren’s F1, which also had impressive times at 3.2 seconds (0-62 mph) and 6.8 seconds (0-100 mph). You might be worried about stopping when the acceleration is that high, but there’s nothing to worry about, as the P1 can go from 62 miles per hour to a full stop in 2.9 seconds, and 124 miles per hour to zero in 4.5 seconds.
The acceleration for the P1 is in a class of its own, but how is the top speed? You can make it up to 217 miles per hour while driving, which doesn’t sound all that fast when considering how powerful the car is. Just know that the P1 is capable of going much faster, but the engine sends an electronic signal to slow it down if you try to get over that speed. Needless to say, there aren’t too many places you can go outside of the race track over 217 miles per hour, anyway.
People weren’t too sure if The Weeknd actually owned the P1 when he released the “Starboy” video, but a spokesman for McLaren said that it was indeed the singer’s, and that he was impressed. “We were equally thrilled to see that he does indeed keep his P1 as clean as a pair of church shoes, which isn’t always the case with supercar owners,” he said. If you dropped more than $1.5 million on a car, you might be a little more motivated to keep it clean. The Weeknd did just that, too, buying the car straight up instead of on an expensive lease.
So what does the inside of this extremely fast supercar look like? Once you open up the always eye-catching butterfly doors, you’ll actually find that there aren’t as many bells and whistles as other celebrity cars. Since the focus of the P1 is performance and cutting weight to get said performance, there’s a pretty minimalistic style inside. Some celebs want a bunch of gadgets with their new toys, but The Weeknd wanted the sleek and fast car, instead.
It’s still impressive to take a look at the interior of the P1, though, which features a glass canopy and uses a lot of carbon fiber to reduce weight. McLaren’s designers were inspired by airliners to reduce as much weight as they could, and it does require some maintenance. There’s no lacquer on the dashboard or console, meaning that it can get dirty quite easily if you’re not paying attention. Not using a lacquer finish saved just over three pounds, according to designers.
Almost everything about the controls inside is what you’d find in a standard vehicle (such as heating, cooling and audio), while the rest is all placed into a lightweight touch screen monitor. The McLaren P1 also isn’t ideal for road trips, as the seats don’t contain a lot of the filler to make them more comfortable, making them more like racing seats that don’t have much adjustment, but plenty of room for your head (and The Weeknd’s previous hairstyle).
Most of the expensive cars that you’ll see out there really play to the luxurious types that care more about maximum comfort and having a lot of distractions such as televisions on every seat (like Drake’s Maybach). The McLaren P1, though, is all about a focus on performance, leading people to say that it’s definitely the true car enthusiast’s dream vehicle.
If you want to get your hands on one, there might be some luxury test tracks out there, especially in the United Kingdom. In the United States, there aren’t many around, as most have been bought for private use only (and it actually makes for a good daily driver thanks to the fuel economy). With 375 made and all of them sold, the resale market is a bit slim, and according to the duPont Registry, you’ll have to shell out anywhere between $2.4 million for a used one with just over 1,000 miles up to $3 million for a yellow one with just over 100 miles. To sum it up, you really do have to be a “Starboy” to own a P1.