Quite old meets not-so-new-anymore in top-shelf race off the line

The McLaren P1 could very well be the Naomi Campbell of supercars. With such sleek, perfectly rounded shapes, the spiritual successor of the F1 looks better today, six years from its inception, than pretty much ever new car we can think of.

The Ferrari F40, launched by Maranello to mark four decades in the business of making thrilling sports cars, was a declaration of turbo force as much as it was a design masterpiece.

And now, the two are locking horns in a drag race.

Seeing is believing

A Ferrari F40 and a McLaren P1? You HAVE To See This Drag Race
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Through God knows what magic trick, Tiff Needell managed to bring together a McLaren P1 and a Ferrari F40. And he drag raced them, too, in what might be one of the car industry’s most pointless duels but also one of the most beautiful, as one YouTube user points out in a comment to the video.

Now, we’ll obviously let Mr. Needell and his co-host do the talking on what it feels like to launch the P1 from a standstill, not without mentioning that the F40 is heavily disadvantaged here.

A Ferrari F40 and a McLaren P1? You HAVE To See This Drag Race
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Its mid-mounted 2.9-liter V-8 might be blessed with two turbochargers, but it makes ‘only’ 478 horsepower and 424 pound-feet of torque. Of course, that was aplenty back in 1987, but compared to the P1’s ultra-sophisticated hybrid powertrain (also based on a twin-turbo V-8) delivering 903 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque, well, you get the point.

Maybe that’s why Tiff Needell labels the video as more of a demonstration rather than an out-and-out drag race. Or maybe, that’s why he felt the need to easy off the P1’s throttle, letting the F40 make up for the lost ground off the line.

That’s one way to show respect in front of a monstre sacré like the Ferrari F40, even if your buttocks are sitting smugly in a much quicker and faster McLaren P1.

Tudor Rus
Assistant Content Manager - Automotive Expert - tudor@topspeed.com
Tudor’s first encounter with cars took place when he was only a child. Back then, his father brought home a Trabant 601 Kombi and a few years later, a Wartburg 353. At that time, he was too young to know how they worked and way too young to drive them, but he could see one thing – each of them had a different ethos and their own unique personality. As time went on, he started seeing that in other cars as well, and his love for the automobile was born.  Read More
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