Always on the hunt for interesting head-to-head comparisons, Motor Trend recently pitted the McLaren P1 against the Porsche 918 Spyder on the track, with racing driver Randy Pobst testing each model on the Laguna Seca circuit. Initially, the Ferrari LaFerrari was expected to complete the hypercar trinity, but Ferrari allegedly refused to allow a LaFerrari customer to lend his pride and joy for the comparison.

Even so, McLaren and Porsche decided to contribute to the shootout. While Porsche simply said yes, McLaren flew in an entire team of technicians and spare tires for the P1, even though it didn’t make any difference to the end result. That is, indeed, a spoiler, because not many people — Porsche and McLaren included - expected the heavier and less-powerful 918 Spyder to simply mop the floor with the P1 on the circuit.

Both hybrid hypercars have carbon-fiber bodies, dual-clutch transmissions, high-revving V-8s augmented with electric motors and can reach 60 mph in under three seconds. But there are plenty of differences between them, which is why they are very different in both power delivery and lap times. In the end, the 918 Spyder beat its own lap-record on Laguna Seca, while the P1 only managed to finish about a second later on each run. Although all three hypercars are already sold out, the Porsche 918 Spyder, McLaren P1 and Ferrari LaFerrari will be part of or collective memory for years to come.
And this video shows why.

2015 McLaren P1

2014 McLaren P1 High Resolution Exterior
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A spiritual successor to the mighty F1, the McLaren P1 has a twin-turbocharged, 3.8-liter, V-8 that delivers 727 horsepower and 531 pound-feet of torque. Thanks to an additional electric motor, the model’s combined output is 904 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque, sent to the rear wheels via a seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission and an open differential. Despite also featuring a lithium-ion battery with 324 cells, the P1 has a curb weight of just 3,411 pounds. You can check out our full review of the model here.

2015 Porsche 918 Spyder

2014 Porsche 918 Spyder High Resolution Exterior
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Its internal-combustion engine is derived straight from motorsport and is in some ways a descendant of the Carrera GT. The 918 spyder has a 4.6-liter, V-8, paired with not one but two electric motors that compensate for the lack of turbos. Its combined output is 887 horsepower and a gargantuan 944 pound-feet of torque. Because it has a larger battery, two electric motors and all-wheel drive, the 918 also carries more weight than the P1. The model tested by Motor Trend weighed 3,758 pounds, but its higher torque figures and traction overcame that disadvantage. You can read our full review of the 918 Spyder here.

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