The Porsche also feels more linear than the P1, less on-off if you will, and that’s basically the difference between the P1 having a smaller capacity twin-turbo engine whereas the others are normally aspirated and bigger in capacity.
Except it isn’t anything like as simple as that, because all three are, of course, aided in their propulsion by electric motors. And in the 918’s case there is four wheel-drive to improve the traction and trim any unwanted mid corner understeer as well.
What separates them mostly obviously here, though, is the way they harness and redeliver their electric power. In the 918 and P1 you quite quickly run out of e-puff if you drive them hard for sustained periods, and the only real way to get it back is to slow down a bit until the batteries can regenerate, mainly via the engine in the P1 (on a small throttle opening in a high gear) or via the brakes in the 918.
In the Ferrari, however, you harvest power all the time, and there is no 'e-mode' as such. As a result, you have access to the full 950bhp all of the time, which effectively means you have another couple of hundred horsepower to play for much of the time.
Watch: LaFerrari driven
All three have massively powerful brakes, but those of the P1 and LaFerrari definitely have more feel than the 918’s, especially at low speed. The Porsche feels heavier on its feet than the others generally, and from memory it understeers a touch more when you push it hard, again almost certainly the result of it weighing a good 200kg more than the P1 and around 250kg more than LaFerrari.
The Ferrari also makes the best noise – by far. Its V12 engine sings whereas the 918’s 4.6-litre V8 snarls and the P1’s twin turbo 3.8-litre V8 screams and whistles and fizzes. They each sound completely fascinating in their own individual way, however, so choosing the best noise – much like choosing the best handling set-up, the best steering and even the best car – is always going to be subjective ultimately.
Having said that, the P1 definitely feels stiffer and generates less roll than the LaFerrari, even in its most comfortable setting – but it also feels more refined somehow than the 918, which has the noisiest drive-train of the three.
All three have dual clutch auto gearboxes that work brilliantly, the P1’s being the smoothest during low effort, low speed shifts, the 918’s being the most violent during full bore shifts.
One day soon we sincerely hope we will put all three of these cars on the same piece of road, at the same time, and come up with The Answer.
But until then it would be naïve and just wrong, frankly, to do anything more but speculate – and celebrate three of the craziest cars there have ever been. So, until then...
Price €1.2m (approx £1.15 million); 0-62mph Sub-3.0sec (claimed); Top speed “Above 217mph"; Economy na; CO2 333g/km; Kerb weight 1255kg (dry), 1345kg (approx) with fluids; Engine V12, 6262cc, petrol plus electric motors; Installation Mid, longitudinal, rear-wheel drive; Power 950bhp at 9000rpm; Torque 715lb ft at 6750rpm; Power to weight 707bhp/tonne (with fluids); Specific output 152bhp/litre; Compression ratio 13.5.0:1; Gearbox 7-speed paddle shift DCT; Length 4702mm; Width 1992mm; Height 1116mm; Wheelbase 2650mm; Fuel tank n/a; Range n/a; Boot n/a; Front suspension Double wishbones, coil springs, anti-roll bar, electronic adaptive dampers; Rear suspension double wishbones, coil springs, anti-roll bar, electronic adaptive dampers; Brakes 398/380mm, ventilated carbon ceramic discs, front and rear; Wheels 9.5jx19in (front), 13.0jx20in (rear); Tyres 265/30 ZR19 front, 345/30 ZR 20 rear, Pirelli P-Zero Corsa