DEC 16th 2015

Decision, decisions... McLaren P1 or Mercedes‑Benz CLK GTR?


These two desirable warp-speed hypercars are separated by over a decade and some sizeable advances in technology. The list of pros and cons could have you toing and froing between each for weeks if you had to make up your mind as to which you’d prefer to own. But at the moment both are available for similar outlay, so what’s it to be?

Sebring 1970 Promo

Having a comparable price tag does not of course mean that these cars are directly comparable. Even when looked upon as uber-exotic, two-seater hypercars there is still sufficient difference between the two to keep them firmly in separate categories.

McLaren P1

The CLK GTR holds all the exclusivity cards. Just 25 were made for homologation purposes and with 6.9-litre versions of the divine V12 as used in the Le Mans version they’re good for 201mph, sixty in 3.4 seconds and can cover the standing quarter mile in 10.8 seconds. Now that’s really, really quick, but then again the CLK GTR was a racing car homologated for road use. That the P1 can eclipse these figures and was designed as a road car shows just how far we’ve come in the 15 years that separate the first CLK GTR from McLaren’s first Ultimate Series car.

The Woking machine scores highly in the performance department (217mph, 0-60 in 2.8 and a standing quarter in 9.8 seconds) but with all 375 units having just been completed it can’t compare to the CLK’s rarity factor. Then again, the P1 was built to be as adept as a track weapon as it might be carrying two of you over to Monza to take in the Grand Prix. Grand touring Mercedes-Benz certainly did not have in mind when it produced the CLK GTR.

Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR

And so the debate continues. In fact, aside from both cars being very fast indeed and having two doors, similarities between the pair are few until we get back to the sordid topic of money; Both are appreciating assets and, although you’re likely to have to pay a tad more for the Benz (Bonhams is selling this one at its Grand Palais sale in February with an estimate of between £1.3m and £1.5m), if you’re in the market for one you’re likely to be able to consider the other (the McLaren is for sale here through a Dubai dealer with an asking price of just over £1.3m.)

McLaren P1

Mileage isn’t listed for the McLaren, but it’s likely to be in the region of the CLK’s 3285km. You’d be more likely to roll miles on the P1, but despite its superior usability surely neither machine would exactly be well used during your ownership.

So, they’re both hugely different (despite also being similar?) cars but perhaps with comparable desirability in the current market. So, just for fun, which you most like to be yours?

 Photography courtesy of Bonhams and Al Ain Motors

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