Ferrari F150 vs McLaren P1: PH Blog


Ferrari and McLaren. Rivals on track in F1, rivals for the hearts of ‘junior’ supercar buyers with the 458 Italia and 12C – and now, with the arrival of the F150 and the P1, that rivalry will take to the show floor at Geneva next week as the two companies duke it out for top honours in the upcoming hybrid hypercar market.

Ahead of that, I’ve been pondering who’s been winning the war of words and (leaked) pictures. That the two have very different ways of achieving the same ends is no mystery. But the approach to presenting these two ostensibly similar, million-pound, carbon-built, hybrid-enhanced hypercars couldn’t be more different. And those differences perfectly symbolise the caricatured corporate characters we seem so familiar with.

Out in the open, or as near as damn it
Out in the open, or as near as damn it
First blood seems to have gone to McLaren. First, the P1 debuted as a ‘concept’ at Paris last September, so we already know what it’s going to look like. Then came the steady drip feed of teaser images, videos and ‘spy’ shots of ‘disguised’ test mules. We asked if having hacks along for a passenger ride was PR by proxy not long ago but the fact press offices now ‘officially’ release spy photos just shows how cynical the whole pre-launch hype machine has become. Not that we’re complaining – every time we write about the P1 it’s another boost in clicks and site views. Stuart and the suits are happy; white cats are purring on bosses’ laps and Alex and I can safely cross the bridge above piranha infested ponds on the way into PH Towers to live another day.

Back to the car itself, though. We now know what it looks like on the outside. We know what it looks like on the inside. We know how much it’ll cost, how many they’re making, how its hybrid system will work, the inside leg measurement of the bloke who designed the gearbox, how fast it’ll go and all sorts of other stuff, and it hasn’t even made its motor show debut yet.

The Ferrari? By contrast, we still don’t even know what it’s going to be called. Official bet hedging continues with the presence of quotation marks around the “F150” name, with even potential customers are being teased with presentation packs badged “F150 Project”. As yet, nothing more certain than that. Yesterday was the first official acknowledgement the thing even exists:

Meanwhile, lurking in the shadows....
Meanwhile, lurking in the shadows....
“Maranello, February 28th – Ferrari’s new limited edition special series car receives its world unveiling at the Geneva International Motor Show on Tuesday, March 5th next. This leaves just a few days to go before all the details of a model generating a huge sense of anticipation, are revealed. From today, however, enthusiasts can find intriguing hints at what lies in store from Ferrari at Geneva, by keeping a daily eye on the Maranello marque’s website and official Facebook pages.”

And that’s it.

And, hand on heart, though the P1 has gone from ‘meh, it’s a hybrid 12C with knobs on’ to ‘wow’ over the drip feed of releases, videos and info, I’m still genuinely fascinated by what Ferrari’s got in store for us. You can roll your eyes at the Italians and their sense of theatre, but you’ve got to hand it to them: whether by accident or design, I can’t help but feel the big buzz ahead of Geneva is around the F150, or whatever it’ll be called, and not the clinical Terminator whatsit from Woking. In engineering terms the two cars and the technology behind them are likely to be closely matched. But when it comes to hype, drama and intrigue, let’s face it: Ferrari’s been in the game longer, and it shows.   

The lazy stereotype is that those in the market for a seven-figure supercar aren’t in the business of having to decide either/or. But one has to be declared the moral victor, and until we get to drive the things, the battle is for hearts and minds. Right now, I think the Italians might just be in the lead.

So much for my view – where’s your million going at this stage?

Dan

Comments (154) Join the discussion on the forum

  • ilovevolvo 08 Mar 2013

    I wonder what the real sales figures are for both cars

  • DonkeyApple 07 Mar 2013

    C36 Nico said:
    The La Ferrari might not be the best looking ferrari, but its still ahead of the ugly little mutter¨from Maclaren.
    I don't the Ferrari is ugly. I think it's a beautiful car but just nothing new. It just doesn't look ground breaking, ahead of the others. It kind of looks like 'expected'. It's difficult to explain.

    Conversely, I don't think the Macca is better looking. But the Macca just looks exciting and new.

    Weirdly the Macca wins in the exact way I expected the Ferrari to blow it away. Cohesive, exciting and new looks.

  • 007 VXR 06 Mar 2013

    C36 Nico said:
    The La Ferrari might not be the best looking ferrari, but its still ahead of the ugly little mutter¨from Maclaren.
    Quoted for when they have both been on the same race track wink

  • C36 Nico 06 Mar 2013

    noble12345 said:
    Ferrari looks like a mansory 458 crossed with a mock up prototype from the 80's.. thoroughbred? yes.. a thorughbred donkey! You know a design is a mess when no one thought to put a numberplate on it until the last minute.. then they chopped its "dangly bit" hehe ..in half yikes to mount it rofl Too many cocks.. erm i meant cooks... spoilt the dish i guess, looks like a lot of people designed it and they wernt on the same page and everyone wanted their little "design" on the car.

    P1 is a modern timeless fluid design, well thought out and a timeless classic like the F1 is today. I cant wait to see one for real.

    I wish the F150 had blown the doors of the Mclaren, but its lame and thats a shame they could easily do better.

    As for performance, the ferrari might be faster in a straight line the P1 in the corners, thats if ferraris power/weight can be believed .. for once biggrin

    Ultimately its good we have both these cars and all the other supercar makers out there today, they bring joy and happiness to billions of people and the lucky few who own them too! clap
    The La Ferrari might not be the best looking ferrari, but its still ahead of the ugly little mutter¨from Maclaren.

  • 007 VXR 06 Mar 2013

    noble12345 said:
    Ferrari looks like a mansory 458 crossed with a mock up prototype from the 80's.. thoroughbred? yes.. a thorughbred donkey! You know a design is a mess when no one thought to put a numberplate on it until the last minute.. then they chopped its "dangly bit" hehe ..in half yikes to mount it rofl Too many cocks.. erm i meant cooks... spoilt the dish i guess, looks like a lot of people designed it and they wernt on the same page and everyone wanted their little "design" on the car.

    P1 is a modern timeless fluid design, well thought out and a timeless classic like the F1 is today. I cant wait to see one for real.

    I wish the F150 had blown the doors of the Mclaren, but its lame and thats a shame they could easily do better.

    As for performance, the ferrari might be faster in a straight line the P1 in the corners, thats if ferraris power/weight can be believed .. for once biggrin

    Ultimately its good we have both these cars and all the other supercar makers out there today, they bring joy and happiness to billions of people and the lucky few who own them too! clap
    Nice post bow

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