When the Holy Trinity of hypercars came out in 2013 nobody had realized that these three cars would in a way change how we view hybrids. Before when you thought about a hybrid, the only thing that would come to mind is those damn hippies and their Prius. But Porsche, McLaren and Ferrari started adding in electric motors on top of their already ridiculously powerful engines and suddenly there was a new level of performance available.
The McLaren P1 was the first to enter the scene with its 3.8L twin turbo V8 producing 727hp and in house built electric motor producing 177hp bringing the combined total to 903hp on tap. The main purpose of the electric motor is to “torque fill” the gaps in the gas motor, which basically equates to turbo lag. So essentially that means that there is no gap in the acceleration, when you put your foot down there is going to be an immediate response so you better be hanging on.
Porsche came out next with the 918 spyder and it uses similar technology as the P1 with a few small differences. One of the most notable is the fact that the 918 utilizes all wheel drive whereas the P1 and Laferrari are both rear wheel drive only. This means the 918 is going to be able to put the power down much more efficiently than the other two cars. Powering the 918 is a 4.6L naturally aspirated V8 engine that produces roughly 608hp plus the addition of two electric motors, one at each axle, producing 279hp. When you add those together you have a combined output of 887hp at your disposal!
Lastly we come to the oddly named Ferrari LaFerrari, which even now that we’ve been saying that for a few years now it still sounds as weird as when we first read it. But aside from its poor name choice, pretty much everything else on the car is fantastic. It apparently was designed based off findings found during testing of the track only FXX. On paper, the Laferrari is the most powerful of the three cars with a combine total of 950hp. It features Ferrari’s iconic 6.3L V12 that produces 789hp by itself and is supplemented with an electric motor providing 161hp. Ferrari refers to it as the Hy-KERS system because its similar to the Kinetic Energy Recovery System seen on Formula 1 cars.
When these cars were first released all anyone could talk about was which one was going to be the fastest. Many of us waited patiently for their to be a Hypercar showdown between these three spectacular cars. But years went by and there was nothing to be seen. The closest we got was when the 918 and eventually the P1 were featured on episodes of Top Gear. Richard Hammond drove the 918 and was completely blown away as to how fast it was. Then a couple episodes later Clarkson got behind the wheel of the P1 and he was so convinced that the P1 was going to be faster than the 918 he went as far as to say that if it wasn’t, he would officially change his name to “Jennifer”. They claimed that there would be an upcoming episode that would feature all three cars and we would finally find out which is the fastest. But as you already know that didn’t happen. Clarkson punched a guy, got fired and now they are doing a totally different show.
But that apparently wasn’t the reason why we never saw the three cars on screen at one time. Well not the only reason. Rumors were going around that some of the manufactures didn’t want to cooperate and allow their cars to be tested in a shootout format. I could be wrong but the name I heard most in these rumors was Ferrari. Considering how stringent they are with the requirements of owning one of their cars it starts to make sense though. It’s purely speculation but it was always my opinion that Ferrari didn’t want to take the chance of seeing their top of the line car get bested by the other two cars. It finally came to a point where we had to just accept the fact that it was never going to happen.
But then all the sudden it did! Someone out there was thinking and they came up with a way to work around all the nonsense between the manufactures. If you own all three cars you can do whatever the hell you want with them right? That is exactly what happened, British writer Paul Bailey went ahead and purchased all three cars and took them out to do a series of test and Supercar-driver.com (SCD-TV) got it all on film. They broke it up into a few different sections like track time, 0-60, and my personal favorite the flat out drag race where they reach speeds just under 200mph. You will surely notice a difference in colors of the Porsche 918. In the track shootout it was Bailey’s white 918, but then in the other two videos it was a dark grey almost black color. That’s because apparently the white car got wrecked and so they had to find another car to fill in.
We wont talk about the results of the drag race just in case you didn’t see it yet. But the 918 with its all wheel drive had pretty much dominated the other tests. The Ferrari has more power than the two other cars so this could be its chance to really shine and show the world it means business. My personal favorite of the three is the P1 so you know I was rooting for it to win. Now we should probably mention that this was not sanctioned by the manufactures, and since then there has been a few other shootouts released that ended with slightly different results than the test done by SCD-TV.
We are crossing our fingers in hope that when Clarkson, Hammond and May’s new show, The Grand Tour, airs this fall they will also do a full shootout between the cars. Mainly because we want to see the look on Hammond’s face when the P1 beats the 918, well as long as they don’t base it solely on a 0-60 test. But now of course there is the track only variants of the P1 and Laferrari so maybe they will test those too!
In case you missed the whole three part series we included the first two parts so you didn’t have to search for them, your welcome.