It is the road car rivalry of the decade… Faster, more advanced and even more competitive. The planets have alined for us to bear witness to this titanic battle between two of the greatest cars ever made in the same year. The McLaren has placed its cards firmly on the table and to be honest, Ferrari are going to have their work cut out against their longterm Formula One foes.
McLaren’s P1 is powered by a 3.8 litre twin-turbo V8 that produces 903BHP. LaFerrari gets a 47BHP advantage from its 950BHP V12 engine. When it comes to weight the Ferrari scores well again being about 100KG lighter thanks to the way they have packaged their hybrid system. Although McLaren’s KERS may weigh more, it is expected to produce more torque that that of the prancing horse’s because of the way it is built into the engine and gearbox. McLaren announced their official performance figures for the P1 the other day whereas Ferrari have been purposefully vague in some areas. The 0-62MPH sprint for the Brit takes just 2.8 seconds, for the Italian it is a mysterious “less than 3 seconds.” The Ferrari does 0-124MPH in “less than 7 seconds” and the McLaren will do it officially in 6.8 seconds. The one figure Ferrari is blowing its trumpet about is LaFerrari’s 0-186MPH time of 15.5 seconds as it undercuts the P1 that does it in 16.5 seconds. Top speed according to the red car is “unimportant” and so will no be quoted, but McLaren have told us that their car will do an electronically limited top speed of 217MPH.
There are still a lot of unknowns when it comes to LaFerrari, quite possibly to allow engineers some extra tinkering time before the outcome is set in stone. However, there is speculation that the McLaren P1 has completed a lap of the Nürburgring in a blistering 6 minutes 47 seconds, something that Ferrari will find tough to beat considering that the P1 produces the same level of downforce as a baby elephant being sat on its roof.