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Porsche and McLaren battle again to see which is faster: the P1 or 918 Spyder?

porsche 918 and mclaren p1 battle head to mp1p918
It may be a while before Top Gear manages to sort itself out and get the triple crown of supercars together for one big shootout, but in the mean time, we can at least find out which is faster: McLaren P1 and Porsche 918.

The crew at Motor Trend set out to succeed where they didn’t (or haven’t yet, if you want to remain optimistic), trying to procure the trio for their own test. While they did bag a LaFerrari, it was La-not-allowed-to-be-used-for-data-acquisition, as Ferrari did not grant their request for permission.

Still, a shootout between two hypercars is hardly a waste of a day, right?

McLaren’s P1 packs a 3.8-liter twin turbo V8 that, in conjunction with an electric motor, will put out 908 horsepower to the rear wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

McLaren P1 ( class=
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Similarly, the Porsche 918 is powered by a 4.6-liter V8 coupled to two electric motors, giving it a total output of 887 horsepower to all four wheels by way of Porsche’s own seven-speed PDK dual clutch.

These are two interestingly different approaches to the same concept: Hybrid hyper performance, and while numbers can be talked about all day, its what happens on the track that mattered.

Porsche 918 Spyder
Image used with permission by copyright holder

MT had both set to give it their all around Mazda’s Laguna Seca raceway, and through the many runs, it seems that this time, the Porsche came out on top with a 1:29.89 followed closely by the McLaren in 1:30.71.

Both cars had their own nuances, according to driver Randy Pobst who took both out for their times.

It looks like a pretty clear win for the Porsche, who have won this battle, but there are many tracks out there, so they have yet to securely win the war. We’re looking forward to seeing more side-by-side tests like these, but we’re even more eager for Ferrari to let the LaFerrari join in on the fun.

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Alexander Kalogianni
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Alex K is an automotive writer based in New York. When not at his keyboard or behind the wheel of a car, Alex spends a lot of…
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