1. The Battle of the Titans

The Battle of the Titans

24th August 2015

The Battle of the Titans

A comparison between the Ferrari LaFerrari - Porsche 918 - McLaren P1, which one would you choose?

Auto engineers in Europe have been busy this summer, with the introduction of three radical hyper cars into the market. The debate surrounding these revolutionary cars has heated up to its boiling point and is likely to intensify in the next few months, if not years. So keeping all our emotions aside, we've decided to compare these titans of industry on facts and figures alone and see which one comes out ahead!

All three hyper cars are fairly similar in their potential to amaze and entertain. There've also been introduced into the market broadly at the same time, which makes you wonder what the engineers at the respective companies were thinking! And keeping up with the whole energy conservation initiative, all three cars are hybrids which make them extremely economical and good for the environment. But unlike conventional hybrids these hyper hybrids combine the performance of their petrol engines with their electric motor, giving you some serious power. Put all three together and you've got an insane combined total of 2740 bhp.

Battle of the titans: Performance

The McLaren P1

McLaren's petrol-electric P1 is driven by a highly-tuned 727 bhp 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 engine, coupled with a 176bhp lightweight electric motor, giving a total output of 903 bhp.

On its way to a top speed of 349 km/h, the rear-wheel drive McLaren will accelerate from 0-100 km/h in just 2.8 seconds, 0-200 km/h in 6.8 seconds and 0-300 km/h in 16.5 seconds. Beating the legendary McLaren F1 by 6 seconds and equalling the current record held by the Bugatti Veyron.

A compilation of the technical specifications:

Engine

V12, 6262 cc, plus 120kW electric motor

Max Power

950 bhp at 9000rpm

Max Torque

715lb ft at 6750rpm

0-100

2.6 sec

Top Speed

249 km/h

The Porsche 918

 

Porsche 918 is an AWD offering which shares some of its design with the brand's Le Mans racer. The 918's 4.6-litre V8 engine singlehandedly produces 600bhp and is coupled to two electric motors – one at each axle, giving a combined 875bhp of raw power. The two electrical motors can drive the wheel independently or work together with the engine to boost performance.

At full thrust, the 875bhp 918 will see 0-100km/h in 2.5 seconds and hit a top speed of 344 km/h.

A compilation of the technical specifications:

Engine

V8, 4593 cc, plus 95 kW and 115kW electric motors

Max Power

875 bhp @ 8600 rpm

Max Torque

940 lb ft @ 6600 rpm

0-100 km/h

2.8sec

Top Speed

344 km/h

The LaFerrari

Power for the LaFerrari comes from a 789 bhp 6.3-litre V12 engine, working in tandem with a 161bhp electric motor to drive the rear axle only.

In contrast to its rivals, the Ferrari is setup without an electric-only mode for short-distance town cruising – the V12 is tuned to produce its best at high revs and combines with the motor's high torque, low rev output. With a total of 950 bhp, 0-100 km/h takes less than three seconds, while 0-200 km/h is managed in under seven seconds. The top speed is said to be in excess of the 217mph.

A compilation of the technical specifications:

Engine

V8, 3799 cc, twin-turbo, plus 131 kW electric motor

Max Power

903bhp (combined) @ 7500rpm

Max Torque

664lb ft (combined) @ 4000rpm

0-60

2.8sec (claimed)

Top Speed

217mph (limited)

Battle of the titans: Exclusivity

Like all hyper cars, the exclusivity factor is what makes them special to own. To that effect we have compiled a list with number of orders for these cars till date.

Car

Number of units made

McLaren P1

375

LaFerrari

499

Porsche 918 spyder

918

Clearly the McLaren P1 is the most exclusive of the three. Industry sources have informed us that McLaren and Ferrari have stopped taking further orders as all the P1s and LaFerraris are already sold-out. Porsche on the other hand is currently still taking orders and can be yours if you're willing to cough up the huge asking price.

Battle of the titans: Uniqueness

What makes the LaFerrari special:

  • 1. It's a Ferrari and it's the fastest one at that.
  • 2. The Ferrari uses the HY-KERS (Hybrid Kinetic Energy Recovery System) to charge its electric motor, the same technology incorporated in their Formula-1 cars.
  • 3. To decrease weight and improve torsional rigidity and beam stiffness, four different types of carbon fibres have been used during the manufacturing process.
  • 4. The aerodynamics on this car is absolutely amazing, reducing the drag coefficient to nearly 0.3.

What makes the McLaren P1 special:

  • 1. The RCC (Race Active Chassis Control) has been integrated to lowers the body by 50% and stiffens the suspension by 300% improving handling and reducing drag.
  • 2.The P1 can configure or change itself to suit road conditions. It automatically adjusts its suspension, aerodynamics, and drive train to deliver the best possible performance.
  • 3. The IPAS (Instant Power Assist System) combines the electric motor with the power-train to sharpen the overall responsiveness of car.
  • 4. The P1 employs DRS (Drag Reduction System). The active aerodynamic system that changes the wing angle whenever the DRS Button is pressed, reducing drag by 23%.
  • 5. Carbon Ceramic Brakes absorb 50% more energy than conventional ceramic rotors.

 

What makes the Porsche 918 special:

  • 1. Use of high grade composite material like carbon fibre, to reduce the overall weight and enhance the rigidity of the vehicle.
  • 2. Draws-on an AWD system which is attached to two electrical motors.
  • 3. Employs the Porsche Active Aerodynamic (PAA) system to make finer adjustments to the body panels improving the aerodynamics of the car.
  • 4. Drives on 5 different modes, from e-Power to hot-lap. This car can alter its temperament faster than you can.
  • 5. Employs the Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) system to regulate the damping force for each wheel, improving road handling and comfort.

The verdict:

So coming back to the million dollar (literally speaking) question, which of the three hyper cars is the pick of the lot? All three cars seem so evenly matched that choosing a winner is probably pointless. All three are winners, moreover, all three use electric power; which is definitely showing the way forward in this segment for future generation hyper cars.

The Ferrari doesn't offer a plug-in for its electrical motor which lets its down ever so slightly. So if you're choosing from your heart than it would have to be the Ferrari and if you're choosing from your mind than the McLaren would have an edge. But if you're Richard Hammond it would have to be the Porsche. Period!

 

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