The forests of the world are in danger, more danger than ever before. Trees are going to be cut, pulped and made into shiny glossy posters of these three gods to keep the Mclaren F1 company on every gearhead’s walls. The automotive world was expecting a miracle, something to shut the green brigade up with, we all knew there was something in store, we even knew it was one of three companies who would answer the call, but what Geneva gave us, well, that was breathtaking. The Mclaren P1 , La Ferrari and The Lamborghini Veneno in the same city at the same time, like I said, trees are in imminent danger not from any of these cars, they are the cutting edge in green technology today, but from wall posters.
I am not going to sugar coat it, this is war. War for the title of the ultimate “green hypercar” (I KNOW!) and the combatants being Lamborghini’s celebration of its 50th anniversary, the replacement of the F1 and Ferrari’s self referential replacement for the Enzo Ferrari, this war is truly every auto-lovers wet dream and that some fuel gets saved in the process is just some icing on top of the Nürburgring shaped cake. At what many would argue is a moment to leave behind all competition and see the bigger picture we at AutoSpace have planned a very special treat for all of you… An all out comparison between these infant legends so that in the days to come our audience can crown the reigning king of the automotive world.
Power, so much power.
The McLaren P1™ will have the combined force of two highly-efficient powerplants, offering the optimum mix of superb throttle response, day-to-day drivability and top speed. A mid-mounted 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 petrol engine is substantially enhanced featuring, for example, larger turbochargers and a highly effective electric motor, to give a combined output of 916PS (903 bhp) and a maximum torque figure of 900Nm. This ensures instantaneous throttle response through the rev range, more akin to a naturally aspirated engine. Emissions of less than 200g/km on the EU combined cycle are reduced to zero in full electric drive mode, while the Formula 1-derived DRS and IPAS technologies offer an increase in straight-line speed and an instant boost of power. The car can also be driven solely in electric mode. In city driving, with an average speed of 30 mph, this could mean up to a 20km range.
The LaFerrari is the first car in Ferrari history to be powered by the HY-KERS system. The ICE represents the pinnacle of engine development and research, with a 6262 cc V12 that punches out 800 horses and revs to a maximum of 9,250 rpm, a record for an engine of this displacement. It also features a very high 13.5:1 compression ratio and a high specific output equal to 128 horsepower per litre. The engine is coupled with a 120 Kw (163 horsepower) electric motor, giving it a combined power output of 963 horsepower. Total torque generated is in excess of 900 Nm. The hybrid system is composed of two electric motors developed in collaboration with Magneti Marelli – one powering the driven wheels and the second the ancillaries – and a battery pack attached to the floor of the chassis consisting of cells that are assembled in the Scuderia Ferrari department where the KERS for the F138 is also made. The batteries are charged in different ways: under braking (even hard braking with the ABS active) and every time the V12 produces more torque than required, such as in cornering. In the latter instance, rather than the being sent to the wheels, the excess torque is converted to energy and stored in the batteries.
The Lamborghini Veneno with a maximum output of 552 kW / 750 hp has the lowest on paper power figure of the three but unlike its two other competitors it is uninhibited by an electronic wall and hence has the highest top speed. The twelve-cylinder with a displacement of 6.5 liters is a thrilling combination of absolute high-revving frenzy and phenomenal pulling power. Its output has been raised to 552 kW / 750 hp, facilitated through enlarged intake paths, optimized thermodynamics, a slightly higher rated rpm and an exhaust system with even lower back pressure. The ISR manual gearbox, permanent all-wheel drive and pushrod suspension have all been specifically adjusted to meet the demands of the Veneno.
The Design, aerodynamics and control :
The LaFerrari’s chassis features no less than four different types of carbon-fibre, all hand-laminated and autoclave-cured in the racing department using the same design and production methods as the Formula 1 car. The LaFerrari’s architecture posed the first challenge for the Prancing Horse team at the planning stage of the design. The aim was to achieve ideal weight distribution (59% at the rear) and a compact wheelbase despite the extra bulk of the hybrid system. The result is that all of the masses are situated between the car’s two axles and as close as possible to the floor to lower its centre of gravity (by 35 millimetres) and thereby guarantee dynamic handling and compact dimensions. The layout of the cabin made a significant contribution in this regard. The seat is fixed and tailored to the driver while both the pedal box and steering wheel are adjustable. The driving position is similar to that of a single-seater and was designed after consultation with the Scuderia Ferrari drivers, Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa, who played an active role throughout the entire development process. Active aerodynamics play an essential role, as they allow a complete adjustability of the car’s configuration to attain LaFerrari’s exceptional performance.
The engineers’ aim was to deliver the highest degree of aerodynamic efficiency ever achieved with any road car, with a coefficient of nearly 3, thanks to technical solutions honed with CFD analysis and fine-tuned in the F1 Wind Tunnel.
To boost efficiency, the LaFerrari sports active aerodynamic devices front (diffusers and guide vane on the underbody) and rear (diffusers and rear spoiler) which generate downforce when needed without compromising the car’s overall drag coefficient. These devices deploy automatically on the basis of a number of different performance parameters which are monitored in real time by the car’s dynamic vehicle controls, thus guaranteeing the ideal configuration on the basis of the driving conditions.
One further innovative aspect of the LaFerrari is the integration of its active aerodynamics and hybrid system with the other dynamic control systems aboard. This means the car responds intelligently to driver inputs, making for a seamless blend of unprecedented performance and unparalleled driving emotions.
Proprietary Ferrari algorithms deliver optimal integration of the electric motor and V12 for instantaneous response. In cornering, for instance, the HY-KERS keeps the V12′s revs high to guarantee better acceleration on exit.
The LaFerrari’s Brembo braking system is also integrated with the hybrid system, and incorporates several new features, including new lightweight callipers designed to guarantee correct cooling and carbon-ceramic material (CCM) discs featuring a new composition.
The car’s extreme performance potential called for a different tyre set-up, with 265/30 R 19 Pirelli P-Zeros on the front and 345/30 R 20s on the rear.
All in all the car guarantees maximum driving thrills in every situation and performance levels are top level: 0-100 km/h in less than 3 seconds and 0-200 km/h in under 7 seconds, a lap time at Fiorano of under 1’20″ – 5 seconds faster than the Enzo and over 3 seconds faster than the F12berlinetta. LaFerrari is thus the fastest road car in Maranello’s long history.
Styling The Ferrari design team led by Flavio Manzoni developed the LaFerrari’s styling working in close synergy with the engineers to emphasise the exacting link between form and function. The result is an extreme, innovative design which retains close links to the marque’s tradition. This is most evident in its side profile: the car has a sharp, downward-sloping nose and a very low bonnet which emphasises its muscular wheelarches, a clear nod to the gloriously exuberant forms of late-1960s Ferrari sports prototypes.
The LaFerrari’s body has been given a sculptural treatment heavily influenced by its clearly F1-inspired aerodynamics and a tail section that exudes uncompromising sportiness.
Inside there’s a newly-designed steering wheel sporting all the major commands, and the gear-shift paddles are now longer and more ergonomic. The signature bridge on which the F1 gearbox functions are clustered has taken on a sleek, suspended wing-like shape. The whole interior, in fact, has a fiercely track-inspired, pared-back allure.
The astonishing technology developed for the McLaren P1™ includes active aerodynamics and adjustable suspension – both now banned in Formula 1, due to being seen to give a performance advantage. Airflow is optimised around the body through the use of an active wing and underbody devices. The adjustable rear wing can extend from the bodywork by 120mm on road, up to 300mm on the race track, maximising the levels of downforce. The wing is directly inspired by Formula 1 design, with the intersection of the double element rear wing and design of the endplates being the same as that on the 2008 championship winning MP4-23.
In addition, the McLaren P1™ also features adjustable ride height as part of the new hydro-pneumatic suspension. The revolutionary RaceActive Chassis Control (RCC) can lower the car by 50mm in Race mode, to produce ground effect aerodynamics. It also features adaptive spring rates, roll control, pitch control and damping, all providing a huge range of adjustment, making the McLaren P1™ perfect for either road or track. In Race mode, the spring rates stiffen by 300 per cent, allowing the McLaren P1™ to corner at more than 2g.
Formula 1-inspired technology permeates the McLaren P1™. The revolutionary new carbon fibre MonoCage monocoque forms a complete structure incorporating the vehicle’s roof and its distinctive snorkel air intake – a styling feature inspired by the McLaren F1 road car.
McLaren is an acknowledged world leader in carbon technology. The material offers lightness, strength and rigidity – improving performance, safety, handling, agility, durability, efficiency and ride comfort. The body panels of the McLaren P1™ are also made from lightweight yet strong carbon composite, with their complex shapes tuned for optimal aerodynamics.
The McLaren P1™ was designed from the outset to prioritise aerodynamic performance – just like a Formula 1 car. As with a Formula 1 car, wind tunnel testing and CFD (computational fluid dynamics) aerodynamic modelling were used to optimise the aerodynamic flow, both to provide incredible levels of downforce and to cool the powertrain. The result is 600kg of downforce at well below maximum speed (257 km/h / 161 mph) in Race mode, which is considerably higher than most other high performance supercars, and more in line with the levels of downforce generated by a GT3 racing car. This downforce improves the car’s cornering ability, especially in high speed corners. Balance, agility and controllability are all outstanding.
Other areas of Formula 1 technology evident on the McLaren P1™ include the revolutionary layered carbon ceramic brakes, developed for the road by McLaren’s Formula 1 partners Akebono. The highly efficient IPAS (Instant Power Assist System) is a development of KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) used on Formula 1 cars, while DRS (Drag Reduction System) is also used on the McLaren P1™, giving extra power and straight-line speed both at the touch of a button. Brake Steer – an outlawed Formula 1 technology – is also used on the McLaren P1™. It improves cornering behavior and cornering speed.
The Lamborghini wears its aerodynamics on its sleeve. The entire front end of the Lamborghini Veneno has been laid out for perfect airflow and downforce. The front end works as a large aerodynamic wing. Large channels guide the air to the outlets in the front hood and in front of the windshield, as well as to the front wheels. Characteristic for Lamborghini is the Y shape of the angular headlamps that reach well into the fenders as well as the scissor doors.
The division of the fenders from the car body is a reference to the world of sport prototypes and optimizes at the same time the aerodynamic flow. The side line of the Veneno is therefore dominated by enormous sills and the mighty wheel arches front and rear. Here, too, sophisticated aerodynamics ensure perfect airflow to the large openings for engine cooling and intake air.
Just like the front end, the rear of the Veneno has also been optimized for underbody aerodynamics and high speed cornering stability. The smooth underbody transitions into a substantial diffuser framing the four sizable exhaust pipes divided by a splitter to increase the level of downforce peak. Large openings serve to ventilate the engine bay and manage the airflow to the rear wing, with the only sealed area at the rear being reserved for the license plate. The rear lights, including brake lights, indicator lights and fog lights, pick up the Y theme as well. The engine cover sports six wedge-shaped openings, with the focus here, too, on optimum dissipation of heat from the engine. The engine cover extends into a large central “shark” fin, which improves efficiency during braking and rear-end stability, by delivering additional downforce at high yaw angles and thus increasing the high-speed cornering performance.
The adjustable rear wing’s design is the product of Motorsport experience and extensive aerodynamic simulation to ensure the best performance of rear wing interaction with rear diffuser air flow. The exclusive alloy wheels measure 20 inches at the front and 21 inches at the rear and are equipped with center mountings. Their design is also determined by aerodynamic functionality – a carbon-fiber ring around the wheel rim works like a turbine to deliver additional cooling air to the carbon-ceramic brake discs.
The Figures -
0 to 100 kph (0 to 60 mph) – sub 3 seconds
0 to 200 kph (0 to 124 mph) – sub 7 seconds
0 to 300 kph (0 to 186 mph) – sub 17 seconds
Top Speed ( Electronically limited) – 350 kph (217 mph)
0 to 100 kph (0 to 60 mph) – sub 3 seconds
0 to 200 kph (0 to 124 mph) – sub 7 seconds
0 to 300 kph (0 to 186 mph) – 15.5 seconds
Top Speed ( Electronically limited) – more than 350 kph (217 mph)
0 to 100 kph (0 to 60 mph) – 2.8 seconds
0 to 200 kph (0 to 124 mph) – N/A
0 to 300 kph (0 to 186 mph) – N/A
Top Speed - 355 kph