McLaren brought both its new trackday special P1 GTR and its original F1 road car together to the Geneva Auto Show, and the difference between the two feels like a century apart.
Granted, I love the F1, so this is by no means a slam. It was the world's fastest car when I was in grade school. Everybody wanted the F1. You sat in the middle!
Sure, the F1's classic, clean lines and third grade wall poster fodder aesthetic do a lot more for me looks-wise than the swoopy "we're going to beat you over the head with the overuse of our logo" styling of the P1.
But when they're parked next to each other, you can't help but notice the difference two decades makes.
That 627 hp lovely V12 of the McLaren F1 doesn't even touch the 986 hp of the hybrid P1 GTR. Of course, exacerbating the time warp is the fact that the modern P1 GTR is a track-only car, and all those wonderful curved aerodynamic bits look like they couldn't have come from the era of "Salute Your Shorts," grunge music, and those stupid painful slap bracelets. They're too fluid, like the graceful extensions of a space possum turd from Planet QF3-NG9.
Even the logo on the F1 is straight out of the nineties (in a lovely and delightful way, sure, but it's still a vintage piece of kit by now).
The rump of the P1 GTR, however, is all wild carbon fiber uprights, exhaust and aero. There is no room for a silly name plate.
If you're like me and (erroneously) brushed aside the P1 as a likely garage queen that will rarely if ever be used to its full potential by real people, the track-only P1 GTR is here to change that for good.
Both of these cars look painfully out of their element in the confines of a stuffy, stationary auto show display. These are meant to move, not sit. These objets d'art must run at speed to be appreciated, and that's my biggest beef with auto shows. If you could just send them both to Texas for me to run a few laps in, I could make a proper determination as to which decade I'd rather live in—thanks.
Photo credits: Newspress