Video: Corvette ZR1 vs. Ferrari 458 Italia vs. McLaren MP4-12C

Recently Road & Track Magazine performed a head-to-head-to-head test between three of the world’s Supercars – the ZR1, America’s finest supercharged Chevy, the Ferrari F458 Italia, and the McLaren Mp4-12c.  The 638-horsepower ZR1 boasted the most power, while Ferrari’s exquisite 458 features a 570 horsepower naturally-aspirated, direct-injection quad-cam V8, and McLaren’s MP4-12C’s 592 horsepower, twin-turbocharged V8 whistler is an engineering sight to behold. 

These are three different cars, three different power-producing styles, three different driving impressions. They are also – no matter the powerplant – a heck of a lot of fun to drive.  Check out the video (all 8:14 is worth it!) to see multi-time champion racer Steve Millen drive these machines on the track. In addition, all three cars were dyno-tested at the Hennessey Performance Engineering facility, and since there were factory reps on hand for all three nameplates, the trash-talking commenced almost immediately in the garage area. 

Left, All three cars were tested on a road course, in the desert, and on the Hennessey Performance Dynojet to verify their respective capabilities. Right, super-driver Steve Millen put all three cars through a rigorous exam on the track. He mentioned that the Corvette felt larger than the rest but performed admirably.

Each of the cars brings certain strengths to the table, but they are also very different – where one excels, another falls off. Of course, comparison tests are often subjective, but given the chance to drive each of these cars back-to-back-to-back, Millen was able to form a solid opinion on each car. We enjoyed watching the tire-shredding, oil-cooking action as much as you will. Not to mention the awesome audio – a set of headphones is great for listening to the 458 as it climbs to its 9000 RPM peak on the dyno.

The authors claim the Ferrari comes out on top, but the ZR1 costs over $100,000 less than the competition. We’re not sure how that’s even a competition given how similar the cars are in the performance categories; the ZR1 would be our winner every day and twice on Sundays.  But perhaps the best part of the video is the 7-plus pages of comments at the bottom, where you’ll find plenty of internet warriors on patrol! Read at your own risk. 

About the author

Jason Reiss

Jason draws on over 15 years of experience in the automotive publishing industry, and collaborates with many of the industry's movers and shakers to create compelling technical articles and high-quality race coverage.
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