It’s no surprise that the McLaren P1, the Porsche 918 and the Ferrari LaFerrari have taken the automotive world by storm. So what makes these three hypercars stand out from the rest? Well, they’re no ordinary speed machines; they’re actually hybrids that, when driving around town, run on the electric motors equipped alongside their petrol powered engines. But that’s where the similarities between the three ends, from this point on they are as different as can be. This article will evaluate the performance and specs of each car individually, and at the end will evaluate its impact on the supercar and hypercar names as a unit.
Let’s start with the P1, manufactured by the infamous British Company McLaren, their brand new car. The MP4-12C launched way back in 2012 was a huge success, and their newest feature, the P1, took the automobile name and took it a step further. Equipped with a small 3.8 litre twin turbocharged V8, but don’t let your guard down, it packs a punch. The petrol engine develops 727 bhp and 531 lb/ft of torque. Furthermore, McLaren’s own developed electric motor is also added to the recipe, it alone develops 176 bhp and 192 lb/ft of torque. When both the petrol and electric motors are combined, the end result is a total power production of 902 bhp and 722 lb/ft of torque. Impressive from an engine with a small displacement, this, however, makes the car economical. Making it more economical than a Prius, but you didn’t need me to tell you that, the P1 will average 24 mpg (Miles per Gallon); two less than the Porsche 918, which develops 26 mpg. To round things off with the P1, it accelerates from 0-60 mph in 2.8 seconds and has a top speed of 217 mph. Surprisingly the McLaren’s kerb weight is only 1490 kg, and is made out of only five body panels. Interested in purchasing one? Well, it’ll set you back £866,000.
The classic, retro and traditional look of the typical Porsche has greatly changed with their newest model; the 918. As mentioned at the beginning, the 918 too is a hybrid supercar. However, it does have more features than the P1 in comparison. For instance, the P1 doesn’t have a glove compartment and its interior is quite basic. It does come with its own GUI (Graphical User Interface) system on board. But that’s about it, whereas the 918 does have a glove compartment and a ten-speaker sound system. Along with Porsche’s own GUI system as well, though the Porsche does stand out just a little bit more than the other two. It has four-wheel steering, making it very agile and aggressive in the corners.
The 918 comes with a 4.6 litre, naturally aspirated, V8. That produces 608 bhp and 389 lb/ft of torque. Working alongside with the petrol engine are two electric motors that develop 279 bhp, when both are combined a grand total power production of 887 bhp and 940 lb/ft of torque is produced. The performance figures of the 918 closely resemble, but differ, to those produced by the P1. The Porsche accelerates from 0-60 in 2.5 seconds and has a top speed of 210 mph. In addition, as mentioned previously, the 918 is slightly more economical than the P1. Producing 26 mpg but it does weight more than the P1, at a total kerb weight of 1640 kg. Though it is slightly cheaper than the P1, the Weissach Pack edition 918 costs £704,000. But how do these two hypercars compete with Ferrari’s latest instalment?
The passionate look and stunning feel of a Ferrari are not compromised with their new one million pounds LaFerrari. It may have a silly name, don’t let that get to you, but it is one stunning looking machine. It’s got more curves than a runway model, and with a 6.3 litre V12, it isn’t exactly a slouch either. It too is a hybrid, but Ferrari themselves say, that the LaFerrari is only a mild hybrid. Meaning that it can’t drive on the electric motor independently, like the P1 and the 918 can. Be that as it may, it is still economical in comparison to its single petrol powered contenders.
Time for the performance figures on this bad boy, the 6.3 litre V12 churns out 789 bhp and 516 lb/ft of torque. The KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) unit on the LaFerrari provides a brief burst of increased power output. The KERS Unit, called HY-KERS on the LaFerrari, develops 161 bhp on its own. Combined the hypercar develops a total of 950 bhp and 664 lb/ft of torque. It accelerates from 0-60 in 2.9 seconds, a full one hundred millisecond slower than the P1 and whole 400 milliseconds slower than the 918. The LaFerrari’s top speed is the same as it is on the P1, 217 mph, but Ferrari claims that it can reach speeds over that. Its kerb weight, however, sits slap bang in between the P1 and the 918, is 1585 kg.
To sum up, all three cars are extravagant and the engineering and the design that went into them could be classified as out of this world. Each based on a simple principle of applying hybrid technology into supercars and hypercars. But all done with a unique flair, the P1, for instance, is made out of space age material. Its brakes are made from silicate carbide, and the car itself raises and lowers depending on the speed, temperature, downforce and even weather. The rear wing on it works hand in hand with the rear diffusor, raising and lowering to ensure the rear wheels receive the maximum amount of grip. It’s a similar story with the LaFerrari, the rear spoiler and rear diffusor also raises and lowers to encourage grip in the rear tyres. But the most impressive out of them all, is the Porsche 918, with four-wheel steering. It’s the most agile out of the three and possibly the quickest on tracks that consist of tight corners. In addition to this, the Porsche doesn’t just excel on the track from the other two. But also in the economy section as well, as mentioned, the LaFerrari can’t run on the batteries alone. So on this occasion, it loses this round. But both the P1 and the 918 can. The P1 has a maximum range of 6.2 miles before needing to be recharged, but the batteries can be recharged fully in two hours. Or the petrol engine can charge the batteries on the move; however, the 918’s batteries have a maximum range of 12 miles.
In conclusion, as a whole the three hypercars should be considered as the saviours of the speed machines; where most modern supercars and hypercars like the Ferrari F12, the Lamborghini Aventador etc. Have developed these cars for today, the P1, the 918 and the LaFerrari have saved the speed machines for tomorrow. Not to mention that they’ve started a new trend for the future of sports cars, the all-new Honda NSX will be a hybrid, so will the 2018 Nissan GTR. These three legends are just that and unlike today’s music, these three won’t be forgotten tomorrow.