The Ferrari of Ferraris takes on the bad-boy of the McLaren supercar line-up. Both are ultra-sophisticated supercars in their own right. Both are loaded with innovative aerodynamic elements, state-of-the-art adaptive suspension and steering systems, and mind-numbing performance capabilities. Also both cars feature needle thin front ends which blossom into a beautiful maze of functional bulges, valleys, and vents. These are truly two of the most impressive cars ever produced.
The LaFerrari roars to life with all of the subtlety of a predatory beast. Surging underneath the surface of this beautiful red supercar is a monstrous naturally aspirated 789-horsepower 6.3-liter V12 engine. Equal length Iconell hydroformed six-into-one exhaust headers quickly and efficiently dispatch spent gases, variable length intake manifold runners help to deliver air to the heart of the beast more proficiently, and a lightweight crankshaft helps to minimize vibration and optimize available horsepower. The engine redlines at just over 9,000 RPMs and is supplemented further by an electric motor (mounted on the rear of the seven-speed automated manual transaxle). The electric motor is good for an additional 161-horsepower. That gives the LaFerrari a total of 950-horsepower, with a curb weight of just over 2.800-pounds. Zero to sixty-two is accomplished in less than three-seconds with a top-speed of 217 mph. MSRP around $1.5-million.
British automaker McLaren capitalizes on over five-decades of Formula 1 racing experience to bring consumers the McLaren P1. Like the LaFerrari, it is constructed using a lightweight carbon fiber monocoque shell and aluminum suspension components. It also offers driving enthusiasts extreme horsepower from a mid-mounted engine. The P1 opts for a turbocharged (maximum boost: 34.8-pounds) 3.8-liter V8 engine with the latest in advanced turbochargers and plumbing. The internal combustion engine manufactures 727-horsepower and a 57-pound electric motor (mounted to the side of the engine block) kicks-in an additional 177-horsepower. The combination delivers 903-horsepower through a dual-clutch gearbox which is outfitted with a cooling system that exceeds even that of the the iconic McLaren 12C. All of that with a gross vehicle weight of about 3,100-pounds). The electric drive system helps to soften torque gaps between shifts (as the turbos spool-up) and aid in faster upshifts by providing driveline grag to reduce engine speed more efficiently. MSRP of approximately $1.15-million.
As expected, both the LaFerrari and the P1 are similarly outfitted with opulent interiors. Plush leather racing seats and trimmings are complimented using Alcantara and carbon fiber accents. Both cars are designed with dihedral doors for ease of entry and both are equipped with the latest in technological gadgetry. To remind drivers of the performance prowess, six-point racing harnesses are standard equipment.
Body composition for both supercars begins with a carbon fiber monocoque (or “monocage” as McLaren refers to it) that weighs in at only about 200-pounds. The front and rear frame sections and suspension components are made from lightweight aircraft quality aluminum and the brakes are oversized with cross-drilled and ventilated rotors. The McLaren utilizes Akebono carbon ceramic discs and pads while the Ferrari stops using Brembo brakes.