The Mclaren P1 is, by all accounts, absolutely, mind-bogglingly fantastic. Made by one of the most innovative and, it has to be said, coolest manufacturers on the planet, England's fastest hypercar is so much more than your run of the mill performance bruiser. And despite being a little (controversially) flawed, it can outrun a NOS-fueled cheetah on coke.
Ah, but there's always a but.
The Mclaren P1 is a road car, and it functions on the road, but it is mainly engineered to be blisteringly fast on the track. Yup, that's what it's for: being a crazy, stupid fast tool. It's not over-engineered for the road, the garage, the interior, the stereo, or indeed the looks.
Now if I were spending such an incomprehensible amount of money (a million is enough to buy like...a country...right?), I would want a car, a real car. not a weekend-racetrack-cornering-smoking-monster-lunatic toy. Which brings us neatly to the Porsche 918 Spyder. Wassup, gorgeous?
The lovely gentlemen down in Stuttgart know how to make a fantastic racecar, but they also know how to make a road car, hell, they've been doing it over 60 years. But producing both isn't the hard part, the hard part is knowing the difference between the two. You see Mclaren has only ever made one true road car, the 12C (the F1 is more hard-core than Rambo in a cage-fight and everything road-y about the SLR came from Mercedes). And with the P1, I think they've gone too far in the hard-core direction yet again, it's an overly specified tool. It's a scalpel for cutting a specific artery in a specific pancreatic surgery in a specific hospital by a specific doctor, not a utility knife for your pocket. The Porsche, on the other hand, is cool and calm and collected and knows what to do on the track as well as on the drive to get some Oreos. Man I love Oreos. Single Stuff. Double Stuff is ridiculous. Who needs that much stuff? Cretins.
Yeah, I know its a cliche, but the Porsche is legitimately a car you could use every single beautiful day (every day is beautiful when you have a 918). It has four wheel drive, a more efficient hybrid system, is backed by a massive, successful, automotive conglomerate, and to my eye, is considerably better looking. Yeah, it's damn pretty. While I know it was styled by science and wind tunnels just like P1, it has cleaner lines, and doesn't look quite so cobbled and strewn together. On the Mclaren all I see are vents, spoilers, diffusers, and intakes, I don't see any car. To put it more simply, the Mclaren P1 looks like a bunch of aerodynamic bits stapled together to make something that resembles a car, while the Porsche is a big 'ol sexy thang with all the cleverness artfully integrated.
Oh and it comes in Martini trim. Holy good golly moses.
Yes, the Mclaren is a tool, a damn good one, but the Porsche is a better car. And if I'm buying a million dollar car, I want a utility knife, not a pancreatic scalpel.