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Is it curtains for the Holy Trinity?


For the past fifty years in the automobile industry, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche , Bugatti, McLaren and the like have made some iconic cars. The cars which make people count themselves lucky for catching even a fleeting glimpse of them. The cars that would be expected as a default answer, when queried about one's favourite supercars or dream cars. With the emergence of the smaller players, have they lost their relevance? Is the hierarchy being overthrown? Let's go through this article and find out.

In this article, the traditional supercars are pitted against their millennial cousins. As all will agree, the microcosm of the traditional performance cars is captured by the so called "Hypercar Holy Trinity".

Side

The Holy Trinity consists of three hybrid hypercars from the stables of McLaren, Porsche and Ferrari.


They owe the tag "hyper" to the monstrous performance they are capable of delivering. Their power outputs and 0-60 times are drool worthy. Their  price tags are outrageous. They are extremely exclusive. The cheapest of them, the Porsche, comes at $2 mn apiece. Initially the trio could be bought at $3 mn; now that the people have started to realise how exclusive they are, the buyers are willing to pay more at auctions.


The McLaren is the rarest of them with 375 examples built. Ferrari comes up next with 499 cars and the Porsche rounds off the list at 918 examples.
Track versions were also made for the Ferrari and the McLaren , which focussed more on performance.

Ever since the manufacturers began the delivery of these much revered machines , many people wanted them to be tested together and the verdict delivered, definitively, as to which is the best car around.

YouTubers and every known car magazines scrambled for reviewing these cars, which proved to be elusive. After all the mad frenzy , some were able to get their hands on the three. During one such analysis by Chris Harris , the host of Top Gear, opined that,
"Porsche feels heavy. Even it is the heaviest of the three . But it is doing those things it shouldn't be capable of.
Ferrari feels like an old racing car with new technology. It is silky smooth while shifting gears.
McLaren is the simplest to drive , and the most fun".

The Grand Tour
put the cars to test and each of the cars ended up as winner on different occasions. This shows that there is little separation between the trio in terms of performance.
Similar results were obtained when YouTube car enthusiast Alejandro Salomon organised "Hyper 5" in which the triumvirate was joined by Pagani Huayra and Bugatti Veyron. The Porsche was the winner with the Ferrari and the McLaren behind by fractions of a second.

The reviewers couldn't stop gushing over these examples of exquisite technology. Some of them believe that the  ability of Ferrari and McLaren to borrow technology from their Formula One teams has played a crucial role in their being the most sought after hypercars on the planet.

Porsche may not have any presence in the Formula One any more but is the world's largest racing car manufacturer. They also have some experience in rallying and some other racing formats.

The obsession with Holy Trinity is real ; British businessman Paul Bailey became the first in the world to have the celebrated trio of cars. As mentioned earlier , the price of a 918 has risen to more than twice it's initial MSRP. If you were planning on buying them , make sure that you have  millions in your bank account , and pray really hard that people will let go of their prized possessions . Despite being overshadowed by new cars , the price is bound to increase owing to their exclusiveness.

In December 2017 , a La Ferrari was sold at an auction for a staggering $9 mn!

Flip side:

According to some experts, the hybrid - Holy Trinity is about to be rendered obsolete by the lightweight - Holy Trinity.

The new Holy Trinity comprises of Aston Martin's Valkyrie , McLaren's BP-23 and Mercedes AMG Project One.

The cars are very light in weight , as the name suggests , and thus they are expected to have a huge power to weight ratio.

Valkyrie is a hypercar from Aston Martin which will be limited to just 100 examples and will have a hybrid powertrain , with technical support from the Red bull Formula one team.

The BP-23 is touted to be the fastest road going McLaren ever and has a driving position akin to the legendary F1.

Mercedes is building a small capacity hybrid machine with assistance from their own Formula one team.

The Holy Trinity can heave a sigh of relief because none of these cars is around yet. However, some of the existing cars are already beating them; which includes, ironically, the models from McLaren and Porsche. The McLaren 720 S and Porsche 911 GT 2 have already surpassed their more celebrated cousins.

The problems don't end there; some of the "less mainstream" manufacturers are catching up. A Pagani Zonda R has a Nürbürgring record of 6:47 against 6:57 posted by the 918, the fastest of The Holy Trinity around the venerable track.

Some time back, Koenigsegg penned a blog. They might have been feeling frustrated because of all the talk that centred on how The Holy Trinity was the pinnacle of modern technology.  The blog begins by stating that "it is unusual for manufacturers of their stature to comment on how their car runs ". However, " in assurance to one of its customers ", they were declaring that their cars were capable of easily beating the hypercar trio.

They then go on to draw a comparison between the trio and their record-setting One: 1 and Agera.

The huge gulf in performance was illustrated by comparing the claimed specifications of the trio with what Koenigsegg had actually achieved. Apparently, the trio will be left for dead in the event of them racing a Koenigsegg.

The other fringe manufacturers such as Zenvo, Hennessey, SSC and Pagani are all making ridiculously powerful cars. 1000 BHP doesn't sound like a lot anymore with the arrival of these mean machines.

The Holy Trinity may have been outpaced and outperformed; the driving experience, however, is one of a kind.

In the words of  The Grand Tour host James May, "I don't remember the last car that gave me such a fizz". He was speaking about La Ferrari.

He has even driven a Bugatti Veyron, a car in which he clocked 407 kilometres per hour, which is  57  kmph faster than what you can possibly attain in the Ferrari. In a nut shell, the "fizz" that he meant doesn't equate to sheer speed. He must have interpreted the car holistically.

Ultimately, the huge numbers on the specification list may amount to nothing, because a traffic snarl affects a hypercar as much as a lesser car. The distinction between a 900 BHP car and a 1500 BHP car is fuzzy on roads.

Even the legendary cars have gone through trying times; being shunned by speed crazed fans and falling out of favour. Yet they have survived, to this day. After all, in the end, it is not those technical specifications that matter. It is the feeling of bliss that the rides impart. It is about being part of the illustrious history of these classics.

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