Supercar

Crush, Race, Own: Porsche 918 Spyder, McLaren P1, And Ferrari LaFerrari

Torturing your inner car person one post at a time

Let’s be presumptuous and assume you’ve heard of the game “kill, marry, FXX K." If you haven’t the rules are pretty simple. You take three people and decide who you marry, murder, and have a good time with. Simple enough, right? Let's flip this idea and apply it to cars. Maybe the idea of crushing a beloved car might strike a nerve. But being the sadistic people that we are, we hereby present you with three cars and the following choices: crush, race, and own. Choose wisely and let us know your picks in the comments!

The three cars in question make up the "Holy Trinity:" the McLaren P1, Ferrari LaFerrari, and Porsche 918 Spyder. The game works as follows: You can keep one car to own forever as yours (marry) one car to spank around a race track of your choice (hanky-panky) and finally one car must die by the crusher (kill). Each car is the pinnacle of its manufacturer's engineering and design might, so these aren't choices to be made lightly. So now we present to you our selection for Crush, Race, Own. But first (let me take a selfie), a description and argument for and against each.

As any Porsche motorsport historian will tell you, the 918 Spyder's name sucks. Sorry not sorry, but being one who kneels at the alter of Porsche 917 this by no means is a worthy successor to the endurance and Can Am-dominating monsters of old. The nomenclature is better suited to Porsche’s WEC and Le Mans winning 919 which subsequently stays more in line with the names heritage. Of the “Holy Trinity” the 918 is the fastest in terms of real world performance. The hybrid AWD system puts power down with great ease.

After witnessing many comparison tests it would also seem the 918 is fastest on track, give or take. It outperforms the LaFerrari on track and bests the McLaren P1 on its standard tires, not the optional Trofeo R tires. The 918 is also the most technologically advanced of the three, seamlessly entwining the use of electric motors and internal combustion ferocity. The 918 is the forefather of future Porsche Performance models, just as the 959 before it laid the ground work for future 911 Turbos.

The P1 had the largest boots to fill of any car ever before; did it succeed? Well, one foot's in, the other isn’t. The McLaren F1 is considered by many to be the greatest car of all time, and it's easy to see why. The Gordon Murray design still looks modern to this day, even on a two-decade old car. The performance is on par with most of today's top-tier supercars and the level of earth-shattering innovation that the F1 debuted with is still mind-boggling to say the least. The F1 GTR defeated prototypes at Le Mans then routed all competition into feeling unequivocally inferior. So does the P1 live up to that? Eh…no… The P1 may be a landmark in design but is only on par with its daddy. Sorry, the boots are only halfway full.

The P1 is a different car entirely however, of the three the P1 is the most aerodynamically advanced and the outright fastest on the Trofeo R tires. It set forth to prove that a hypercar can be driven like hell yet livable on a daily basis. Its on-track characteristics seem to perpetually bring glee to drivers.

The LaFerrari's name is stupid. We all think that. What was wrong with calling it the F70? Okay, just had to get that out there. The twelve-cylinder bias out of the way, the LaFerrari has the best engine. The RS Spyder derived 4.6-liter V8 in the 918 and the twin-turbo 3.8-liter V8 in the P1 fall short of the majesty that is a 6.3-liter 9000 rpm screamer. On paper the LaFerrari should by default be the fastest but it seemingly is outperformed by the other two. Granted it’s a margin so slim that it is relatively an argument that should remain mute. So now the really hard part, the decision of which cars live and die?

The “Holy Trinity” might be the first cars to never go down in value. Prices for the 918 continue to skyrocket and its near impossible to expect depreciation on either the P1 or LaFerrari. All of these cars are masterpieces done in a unique way. So that leaves us with our first choice: race. To race: The answer is definitively the LaFerrari. Blasting around a road course in a mid-engine twelve-cylinder Ferrari is what dreams are made of. The driving characteristics and playful nature are what make the LaFerrari so enticing. So now with only two choices left the answer is going to be painful but here it is.

Crush: 918 Spyder. Your writer is a Porschephile, so trust that this was an incredibly difficult choice but the decision must remain. The 918 is perfect in almost every way. It is aesthetically the most pleasing and in some regards it's the fastest, but it leaves a bit of wanting. Visually it simply looks tame next to the LaFerrari and P1. That is not to say this contest was won and lost by styling alone; the 918 also falls short as there is not the driving lust factor. The electronics seem like nanny states. Yes the rear end can whip around and be playful but so to can the others and with less weight hampering over handling.

The 918 is a masterpiece of technology but that does not always translate to pure enjoyment when driving. So ownership would then fall to the P1, by definition a hypercar in every sense of the word. Add to the equation its livability and the P1 comes out as the overall victor. We know this is a tough choice for all. Masochistic for those who partake. Did we get it right or utterly wrong? Also, what cars do you want to see featured in this series next? Let us know in the comments!

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