Circuit-ready Holy Trinity head to head battle

Ferrari, McLaren, and Porsche are three automakers renowned for making many superb track-honed models over the years, and the latest names to keep that flame going are 488 Pista, 600LT and 911 GT3 RS. All these cars are roughly in the same price bracket and are comparable in terms of performance. Yet, the way they achieve (and deliver) said performance is quite different from car to car.

Ferrari 488 Pista vs. McLaren 600LT vs. Porsche 911 GT3 RS

The new 2019 Ferrari 488 Pista is a car Ferrari didn’t really have to make because the regular 488 GTB was already mesmerizingly good to drive. But, Ferrari being Ferrari, it found ways to enhance the car in a way that so many motoring journalists fell in love with (despite the fact most were ready to hate it for losing the screaming non-turbo V-8 of its predecessor). The 488 Pista makes 50 horsepower more (for a total of 710 horses, courtesy of a race-tuned engine), is lighter, stiffer, and, obviously, faster.

Moving to camp McLaren, the 600LT isn’t the 488 Pista’s direct rival (since in terms of power the 720S is), but like the Pista, it is a dedicated more hardcore car that is very good around a track. Its formula is quite similar to that of the 488. It has a force-fed V-8 engine in the middle and power going to the rear wheels through a seven-speed gearbox. The 600LT only makes 592 horsepower, but it actually has almost the exact same sprint time - 2.9 seconds versus the Ferrari’s 2.85 seconds to 62 mph or 100 km/h.

The Porsche 911 GT3 RS is the least powerful car in this company, but it makes up for that with sheer excitement. Its non-turbo, 4.0-liter, flat-six makes 510 horsepower, but with a sprint time to 100 km/h or 62 mph in just 3.2 seconds, it’s not really that far off. And, that’s despite the fact that it’s some 200 horsepower down on the Ferrari and 100 horses down on the McLaren.

But all are great track-focused cars from automakers that are renowned for such vehicles, which is why Autocar pitted the three against one another in order to gauge not only their real-world performance around a circuit but also to see which one gets the handling crown. There’s also a 0-100mph-0 section in the video that not only aims to gauge how quickly the cars accelerate, but also how long it takes them to stop again.

So, while it may seem like a foregone conclusion that the Ferrari 488 Pista comes out on top - it is the newest and most powerful car of the three - you might want to watch until the end just to make sure the Porsche’s low weight and agile nature or the McLaren’s superb balance don’t tip the scales in their favor.

Porsche 911 GT3 RS McLaren 600LT Ferrari 488 Pista
Engine 4.0-liter flat-six 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 3.9-liter V-8
Horsepower 520 HP @ 8,250 RPM 592 HP @ 7,500 RPM 720 HP
Torque 346 LB-FT @ 6,000 RPM 457 Lb-FT @ 5,500-6,500 RPM 568 LB-FT
Transmission 7-speed Porsche Doppelkupplung 7 Speed SSG. Normal, Sport and Track modes seven-speed dual-clutch
Top track speed 193 mph 204 mph 211 mph
0 - 60 mph 3.0 s 2.8 seconds 2.85 seconds
1/4 mile 10.9 seconds 10.4 seconds 10.1 seconds

Further reading

2018 Ferrari 488 Pista Exterior
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Read our full review on the Ferrari 488 Pista

2019 McLaren 600LT
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Read our full review on the 2019 McLaren 600LT.

2018 Porsche 911 GT3 RS Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Read our full review on the 2018 Porsche 911 GT3 RS.

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