McLaren P1 takes to the track (w/VIDEO)

While it’s great to hear McLaren is making progress with the P1, there’s not a great deal more to say that you don’t already know. Thankfully there IS something to watch. And listen to.

McLaren has been busy since it first unveiled its new P1 at the Paris Motor Show last September, and the video (above) is the first time we’ve seen their new super car being driven in anger.

It’s also the first time I can remember in the past 20 years since we’ve been able to savour a battle of supercar titans – releasing their greatest masterpieces at the same time.

Back in 1992 the McLaren F1 earned its supercar credentials by eclipsing Ferrari’s outgoing F40, this time McLaren’s P1 will need to beat Ferrari on the same terms. Mano-a-mano. P1 against F150. The best of each car maker’s abilities in 2013.

McLaren P1 XP G0 999x619 McLaren P1 takes to the track (w/VIDEO)

Since Paris, the team at McLaren Automotive has continued its relentless testing programme for the car. The goal being: to produce the best driver’s car in the world on road and track.

Using CFD (computational fluid dynamics) aerodynamic modelling and F1-derived simulation tools, the development team established aggressive targets for the P1, even before the first prototype was built. Detailed analysis has continued hand-in-hand with physical testing, as can be seen in the video above.

A dedicated team of McLaren engineers, technicians and racing drivers are now running a fleet of XP-codenamed vehicles, around the clock in some of the most demanding conditions, and on roads and circuits across the world.

McLaren P1 XP G2 999x638 McLaren P1 takes to the track (w/VIDEO)

The tests have involved McLaren Automotive’s chosen technology partners including Akebono for its highly-efficient braking system, Pirelli for the P1’s bespoke high-performance tyres and Mobil 1 for its cooling, lubricants and hydraulic fluids. As they converge on the final specification, McLaren has gained confidence that their original targets will not just be met, but exceeded.

Their obsession with detail filters down to even the striking camouflage being worn on the development cars. Designed in-house by the team behind the shape of the car, the graphic incorporates the outlines of famous circuits from across the world, each of which is significant in the history of the brand.

For the time being, and until the main stages of development are complete, McLaren remain silent on the exact specification and performance of the P1, but it will be clearly be one of the highlights of 2013 when they and Ferrari eventually show their hands.