Words by Raj Hunjan
In the past, the fastest cars in the world have been called supercars. However, the performance envelope has been expanded so much by supercar manufacturers, that a new term is now used to describe their ultimate performance cars, the “Hypercar”. The first lucky owners of the latest crop of hypercars from McLaren, Porsche and Ferrari are receiving their cars during 2014. All three utilise technology in totally new ways. Out of the three, we consider, which is likely to be the best investment for the future. Here’s a few details about each of the cars:
How many are being produced?
McLaren P1: 375 cars, sold out within a month of the first car being delivered in October 2013.
Porsche 918 Spyder: 918 cars, with orders still being taken as of March 2014.
Ferrari LaFerrari: 499 cars, offered for sale by invitation only and all sold before production began late 2013.
How much did they cost new?
The prices of the three cars vary hugely, with LaFerrari over double the price of the 918.
McLaren P1: £866,000
Porsche 918 Spyder: £540,000
Ferrari LaFerrari: £1,100,000
How are they using technology?
All three have adopted the use of electric motors, but in very different ways.
The McLaren P1 is a V8 twin turbo hybrid that produces 903bhp and 722lb-ft of torque. It has a single electric motor that can propel the car without the petrol engine for 6 miles. The P1 uses the electric motor to ‘torque fill’, essentially counteracting torque lag, enabling the car to have an effective power band of 7,000rpm. This provides instant acceleration on demand. The electric motor is also used to provide the Instant Power Assist System (IPAS), an instant boost in acceleration at the press of a button on the steering wheel. With the press of another button on the steering wheel, the Drag Reduction System (DRS) is engaged, tilting the huge rear wing to increase straight line speed and acceleration out of corners just like their Formula One car.
The Porsche 918 Spyder is a 4.6 litre V8 hybrid that produces 887bhp and 940lb-ft of torque. It has two electric motors that can run the car for 18 miles without the petrol engine. In Race mode (one of five drive modes) a push-to-pass button delivers additional electrical power on demand. The battery can be charged by the engine while coasting and also through regenerating energy from the brakes. The 918 is claimed to have a fuel economy figure of 94mpg and CO2 emissions of only 79g/km.
The Ferrari LaFerrari is a 6.3 litre V12 hybrid that produces 950bhp and 664lb-ft of torque. LaFerrari cannot be powered by the electric motor alone, it is instead used to provide short bursts of extra power on demand. The car also features active aerodynamics to enhance both cornering and acceleration performance.
What is the claimed performance of each?
The real differences between these cars and their predecessors is in the way they will accelerate beyond 100mph. The most impressive figure is claimed by LaFerrari, a 0-186mph time of 15 seconds.
The McLaren P1 will accelerate from 0-62mph in 2.8 seconds, 0-124mph in 6.8 seconds, and 0- 186mph in 16.5 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 217 mph. The P1 weighs 1,395 kg and has a power-to-weight ratio of 647 bhp/tonne.
The Porsche 918 Spyder will accelerate from 0- 62mph in 2.6 seconds, 0-124 mph in 7.2 seconds, and 0-186 mph in 19.9 seconds. Top speed of around 214mph. The 918 weighs 1,700kg and has a power-to-weight ratio of 535 bhp/ton.
The Ferrari LaFerrari will accelerate from 0- 62mph in under 3.0 seconds, 0-124 mph in under 7 seconds, and 0-186 mph in 15 seconds. Top speed of around 214mph. LaFerrari weighs 1,700kg and has a power-to-weight ratio of 629 bhp/tonne.
How did their predecessors fare?
McLaren F1 (1992 to 1998): £540,000 when new and 106 sold – now prices are upwards of £4million.
Ferrari Enzo (2002 to 2004): £450,000 when new and 400 sold – now prices are upwards of £800,000.
Porsche Carrera GT (2004-2007): £320,000 when new and 1,270 sold – now prices are upwards of £250,000.
How much do they cost now (November 2014)?
All three are now on the road and have started to appear in the second hand market for those that didn’t make the initial order list.
Ferrari LaFerrari – Ferrari only offered the car to buyers who had previously purchased at least five of their premium cars in recent years. This exclusivity has led to used prices soaring, premiums now stand at around £750,000 over the new price.
McLaren P1 – There are a handful for sale on the used market with barely more than delivery miles for a premium over this new price of between £330,000 and £580,000.
For those that secured a build slot in the Ferrari or McLaren there is clearly a return. The same can’t be said for the Porsche 918 Spyder, with delivery miles cars trading around the list price, £730,000.
It is likely that the McLaren P1 is the best investment over the long term, due to the relatively low production numbers, it’s unique way of using its electric motor and the increase in value of it’s predecessor, the McLaren F1. The P1 had adopted both engine and aerodynamic features from their Formula One programme, which also adds appeal to potential owners who want to experience some of the excitement of F1 themselves or at least brag about them.