Supercars Dominate 2013 Geneva Motor Show

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Supercars Dominate 2013 Geneva Motor Show

Each year the Geneva Motor Show is known for its debuts of exotic sports cars from iconic Italian brands to ones you’ve never heard of (and probably never will again). But this year will be one for the record books.

In what is certainly no coincidence, long-time Formula One rivals Ferrari and McLaren debuted what, at least on paper, are nearly identical supercars, each with exotic styling, carbon fiber chassis and significant pedigree. Oh, and let’s not forget 900+ horsepower hybrid engines. Yet how these two cars – the Ferrari LaFerrari (we’re not making this up) and McLaren P1 – get to their respective power numbers is unique to each automaker.

In the case of the Prancing Horse, the Italians chose one of their iconic and very large V12 engines. Displacing 6.3-liters, output from the conventional gasoline engine alone is rated as an incredible 789 hp. Add on a HY-KERS regenerative braking function with an electric boost and the supercar delivers an extra 161 hp for a 950 hp total.

The Brits at McLaren, on the other hand, chose an engine almost half the size. At 3.8-liters this V8 does however make use of two turbochargers and combined with a hybrid electric boost makes 903 hp – just shy of the Ferrari.

Both cars top out at claimed speeds of somewhere north of 218 mph. As for exclusivity, the McLaren wins here with just 375 models headed for production, while Ferrari intends to produce 499.

Amidst all the familiarities, these two high-powered hybrids do also share one other obvious similarity: both have terrible names.

And then there’s Lamborghini. The black sheep of the exotic sports car world, in some respects Lambo doesn’t seem to have the technological engine expertise (at least when it comes to hybrids) of the other two and certainly lacks the racing background. There’s no hybrid here either, just a massive 6.5-liter V12 making 750 hp mounted mid-ship in a car called the Veneno – admittedly not a great name, but at least it is a name.

Competing against the F1-inspired twins, the Veneno relies on the proverbial Ace in Lamborghini’s sleeve: design – in the most extreme sense of the word. Looking like something from another planet (Cybertron perhaps?), its looks is certainly polarizing. If you hate it, that’s fine by Lamborghini as they’re not exactly trying to sell a ton of these things with just three being made. And if you love it, you better be rich (disgustingly rich), because for the $4 million asking price you could buy both the Ferrari and the McLaren, and a million dollar home too.

GALLERY: LaFerrari

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GALLERY: McLaren P1

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GALLERY: Lamborghini Veneno

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  • BobbyOne

    Lamborghini seems to be lacking engine expertise? Are you kidding me? They’re the only one of the two with big enough balls to keep their car legit and down to earth, so to speak. The simpler the better. Any real car fan would take a god ole’ gasoline-only, gear-and-shift-knob-transmission car to one of those other two abominations. Don’t get me wrong, Ferrari didn’t take it too-too far, and their car looks amazing. I just don’t feel Lamborghini should be getting knocked here. If you want to drive your iPhone. stick it on the road, sit on it, and see how far you get. But don’t let your garbage technological obsession destroy what pleasures others may find in this fading-fast world. Some people like to feel connected to the world around them, in a way which your electronic crap can’t compete. Leave the cars alone: Better efficiency through better mechanical engineering. Electronics are our societies fix-all… And it’s poisonous. We’re letting it all get mixed up… It’s diluting everything as a result.

  • Colum Wood

    Except the Lambo doesn’t have a “gear-and-shift-knob-transmission”.

  • Tamu

    That’s true, moron. Lamborghini is lacking engine expertise. Lambo doesn’t join Formula 1, that’s why lambo doesn’t know how to make KERS & hi rev engine. And from the power, LaFerrari 6.3 L V12 engine produce 800 hp, 50 hp more & 0.2 L less than Lamborghini.