The year 2013 was an awesome time for the supercar world, with plenty of models launched during the year’s most coveted auto shows. However, only three hypercars had what it took to stand out of the lot - the Ferrari LaFerrari , the McLaren P1 and the Porsche 918 Spyder .
All three carry badges of immense significance and come with enormous power under the hood. More importantly, all of them are equipped with a hybrid powertrain, a technology that places them in a category of their own, with plenty of comparisons done... on paper.
Of course, getting the LaFerrari, the P1 and the 918 in a three-way, head to head comparison is nearly impossible, but drawing conclusions based on specs ain’t that easy either. And the reasons are quite simple: most of them are only estimates and have yet to be tested in the real environment.
Fortunately, these issues are finally starting to go away with more and more journalists getting to test the these supercars. For instance, the exclusive LaFerrari was hooned by reporters from several magazines last month, with most reviews having already been released.
But this time we’re not here to talk about the Italian hypercar, but to have a look at Motor Trend’s recent encounter with the McLaren P1. Not only because they got a chance to drive the British beast, but because they were the first to put together an acceleration test and provide some actual performance figures.
As expected, the results are incredible and prove that the P1 is one of the fastest production car ever built. With a 0-to-60 sprint time of just 2.6 seconds, the P1 is actually as quick as the Bugatti Veyron , a supercar that sports a W-16 engine with more than 1,000 horsepower on tap. Moreover, the hybrid is able to complete the quarter mile in 9.8 seconds at 148.9 mph, making it the quickest production vehicle ever tested in Motor Trend’s 65-year history.
These figures place the P1 above the Porsche 918 Spyder - the German car needs 2.8 seconds to reach 60 mph from a standing start - but it’s still unclear whether the McLaren is quicker than the LaFerrari.
Click past the jump for the video and more details on the McLaren P1.
Why It Matters
Does it really matter if the McLaren P1 needs 2.6 or 2.7 seconds to go from naught to 60 mph? Hell yeah! It might sound silly, but that fraction of a second is enough to push the P1 further up on the popularity scale. I won’t matter that much on sales side, with all 375 P1s already commissioned, but some owners will be quite happy to learn that this supercar is as quick as the Veyron while maintaining superior track abilities.
Introduced at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, the McLaren P1 is stuffed with a 3.8-liter V-8 engine and electric motor combo that generates 903 horsepower and more than 1,000 pound-feet of torque.
The huge amount of power is sent to the rear wheels via a seven-speed twin-clutch transmission, but it is also put to good use by the P1’s extreme aerodynamic package, which can provide up to 1,200 pounds of downforce.
The vehicle’s top speed is limited at 217 mph, but the P1 needs only 16.5 seconds to reach the 186-mph mark. McLaren sold its flagship supercar for $1.15 million, all 375 units being acquired in a matter of months.