McLaren’s first total model refresh. Let’s see how they’ve done!
McLaren’s first total model refresh. Let’s see how they’ve done!
The Geneva Motor Show happened this week, and every year it’s like Christmas has come for the car industry.
Here are the highlights for me, and my thoughts on each…
Ferrari 812 Superfast
The front-engine V12 Ferraris are by far my favorite Ferraris. They have always been the ultimate expression of what a grand touring car can be, and their lineage goes all the way back to the beginning of Ferrari road cars in the early 1950s.
The 812 Superfast takes the insanity of the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta, and takes it up yet another notch. With damn near 800hp on tap from its still-naturally-aspirated-V12 engine, the 812 Superfast is now the ultimate GT car (really more of a supercar) that money can buy. I also think it looks absolutely manic, yet somehow still in an elegant sort of way.
Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid
Do you think anyone ever imagined this when the Toyota Prius first came out? Hybrids were once pathetic little econo-boxes, but here is a 680hp Porsche Panamera with a hybrid system developed from the 918 hypercar. This is exactly how hybrid technology should be used. I want a 680hp bullet that can still get decent MPG when I’m not thrashing it. If nothing else, isn’t technology all about having your cake and eating it too?
This is it, the McLaren F1, and in many ways it has remained the most insane hypercar ever made. Sure, it’s top speed of 240.14 mph has been beaten by a few other cars now, but it took the industry ten years to accomplish that. Even still, no one has been able to beat the McLaren without a boosted engine, and it’s likely the F1 may remain the fastest naturally aspirated car of all time.
Even if we forget about its monumental performance, the McLaren F1 is one of the most unique and clever designs ever to grace an automobile. 3 seats, with a central driver, two trunks on each side of the car right behind the doors, and gold plating lining the engine bay to reflect heat. It is an incredible experience getting to see an F1 up close, and pour over its every detail.
For the car’s 25th anniversary, McLaren has released unseen footage from the F1’s world record 240 mph run. See it below, and enjoy the rest of the photos!
For me the GT1 homologation era has been the epitome of the high performance automobile thus far. These were actual race cars that had been converted for road use, and they make the hypercars of today seem like shallow status symbols. You actually need a decent amount of skill to drive a McLaren F1, a Mercedes CLK GTR, or a Porsche 911 GT1 at all, let alone quickly.
This video from The Supercar Driver shows us a collection with all of them, as well as a glimpse into the ultra-exclusive world of trading automobiles at the highest end.
The Ferrari 488 GTB is one of the supercars to beat at the moment, taking everything awesome about the 458 and turbocharging it (quite literally). The question is, is it worth the price premium you pay over more “entry-level” supercars? (I really don’t feel right about saying it that way)
I mean, let’s face it, a Ferrari 488 GTB is going to run you over $300,000 when options and dealer premiums are added. Meanwhile you can have the McLaren 570S and Audi R8 V10 Plus, and keep around $100 grand in your pocket. Maybe buy something cheap, like an Audi A8, as a daily driver.
Is the 488 really worth it in context?
A lot of you may think the mighty McLaren P1 is the ultimate McLaren to have, if money were no object. Maybe you’d be right, but maybe you’d be wrong. You see, driver satisfaction goes a lot deeper than just raw speed and lap times. Is it possible that the “baby” McLaren 570S may be more fun than it’s faster siblings?
See what you think after watching this video from Motor Trend. For my money, an afternoon out driving is usually more fun in a more playful car.
After long last, we now have the hypercar comparison test we’ve all been waiting for!
Porsche 918 vs. Ferrari LaFerrari vs. McLaren P1
Chris makes sure to show how they went about the test using the proper methodology, in an effort to produce fair, uncontested results.
The video is around 50 minutes, but well worth the time. So sit back and enjoy this ultimate hypercar showdown!
In 1995 the McLaren F1 GTR dominated the 24 hours of Le Mans, beating out purpose-built prototype cars for a 1st overall victory. This feat has never been accomplished since by any road-car-based GT class car. And when I say McLaren “dominated” Le Mans that year, I mean they finished 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 13th positions overall. Not bad for a modified version of a road-going supercar, which was never initially intended to go racing.
With that huge victory, the folks at McLaren were inspired to give the F1’s racing their all. That meant the car needed to be lightened even further and optimized for racing duties. Aerodynamics were key, and they wound up elongating the F1’s shape into what became known as the “Longtail.” McLaren also managed to take another 135kg out of a car which was already absurdly lightweight. The F1 GTR Longtail was quite an accomplishment, no doubt, and went on to be quite successful in the 1997 season.
In order to compete in racing, McLaren had to build a road-going version of the Longtail, dubbed the “McLaren F1 GT.” Just three F1 GT’s were built, the green prototype (seen here), a red one, and a black one. The green prototype, “XP GT”, has been retained by McLaren themselves, while the other two F1 GTs currently sit in private collections.
McLaren was kind enough to let the world see XP GT at this year’s New York International Auto Show. For me it was a dream come true because I’ve been lusting over this very car since I was a kid. It simply is gorgeous in person.
For a deeper dive into the F1 GT, and every other McLaren model, check out the McLaren Website, they have some great information.
To see more of the F1 GT at NYIAS see the video below from our friends at NJExoticSpotters on YouTube:
This is our highlight gallery from Day 2 of the 2015 New Hope Auto Show last weekend. Sunday is always about supercars and other european cars, and this year was WAY better than last year.
Everything from a Renntech Mercedes SLR McLaren, to a Lexus LFA, to a Porsche 959 were present, along with the most minty Lamborghini Diablo SV I’ve ever seen.
Enjoy the photos!
At the Scarsdale Concours, they had a McLaren P1 (left) on display right next to its little brother, a McLaren 650S Spyder (right). They were even the same color and have similar styling in the front. To most normal people, they looked like the same car, and I heard multiple conversations where someone had to explain why the grey car on the left was so much more special than the gray car on the right. This got me thinking about the real value of the McLaren P1, when it costs a massive $1.3 million more than the 650S Spyder right next to it. Is it really worth that, I mean really?
Now, obviously I realize that people who can afford a seven figure car aren’t counting their pennies, and most could easily afford both cars without a second thought. That isn’t my point here. You see, most of what people pay for with ultra-luxury items is total bullshit. Profit margins are through the roof, because it’s easy to get people to pay more if you just blow a little smoke up their asses with terms like “exclusive” or “limited”. So what do you actually get in a P1 for spending the extra $1.3 million?