Good Things Come in Threes: 1:18 McLaren P1 Dealer Edition
Part II of my Holy Trinity review series
My grandmother on my dad's side of our family always used to say "bad things come in threes." She may have been right at times but there are also some really good things that come in threes such as the hypercar Holy Trinity. I wouldn't have expected my grandmother to be a hypercar fan but I can tell you that the Porsche 918, McLaren P1, and Ferrari LaFerrari are the best trio of cars I've ever seen. They are pure balls to the walls, function and form brutes showing the full capacity of human engineering. They are simply the greatest hypercars...ever. I love these three cars so much I decided to add them to my collection in 1:18 scale and review them. I already did so for the the first of the trio, the LaFerrari, which you read here.
That means the McLaren P1 is up next. I love the P1 and believe it ranks only slightly behind the Porsche 918 in the Trinity. Nevertheless the P1 is a work of art, and you'll see why below.
Unfortunately, my truly first impressions came from the online ordering process and that left a bad taste in my mouth. I ordered the P1 from LiveCarModel, and I don't plan on doing so again. I mean, who charges $30 more to get the P1 in metallic silver or orange and actually doubles the price to order it in white? As if that wasn't bad enough, at the time of writing, LiveCarModel raised the price of the P1 I ordered by $20 without reason. If that wasn't bad enough, LiveCarModel never shipped me the other member of the Trinity I ordered along with the P1 - the Porsche 918. For weeks, my 918 order remained "partially shipped," whatever that means. How do you "partially ship" a car? Well, apparently, you let somebody order it despite it being sold out and then hope you can get more in stock at some point to, I guess, "fully ship" it to the customer. Either way, poor approach to customer service and business practices!
After we complained more than just a little we got a refund and I ended up with a better looking version of the 918. I got it from Selection RS for $20 less than what LiveCarModel was charging. The challenges weren't done just yet. The P1 took nearly a month to arrive which was ridiculous considering it was being shipped from Los Angles, less than 500 miles south of where I live. It must have been quite treachorous journey. But wait, there's more: upon its arrival, I noticed that the left passenger door didn't shut right, creating a poor shut line.
Outside of all of that...the P1 is pretty darn beautiful. When looking around it, you'll see the grey wheels give a nice level of contrast to the sparkly yellow paint and carbon fiber bits and bobs. Well actually, "bits and bobs" is an understatement considering the entire nose and 80% of the door is covered in it. Altogether despite the passenger door flaws and comical ordering/delivery issues, this car made a solid first impression.
For a ride that came out seven years ago, the McLaren P1 has aged very well! It looks as good today as it did when it first came out of the factory in Woking back in 2013. This specific model was recreated in 1:18 with no shortcuts taken as you'll see. Starting at the front of the car, carbon fiber is in surplus, covering the nose and splitter. In between the signature P1 headlights and "frunk" (I promise you I won't say the f-word again) you'll find each individual radiator, a feature that is small but appreciative and helps justifies the $120 price tag. The brake calipers have the McLaren script and logo as they should, but the discs fall a bit short - clearly made of plastic, giving the impression the unnamed diecast manufacturer took the easy way out on this part.
On the plus side, more carbon fiber was added into the mix on the roof of the car, including the roof scoop, as well as the door panel. The prominent sloping roofline is proportional to the full size car making it stand out from a lot of my other models. Finishing off in the rear, the vents are made of a more realistic mesh pattern, not just a grooved piece of plastic. The rear diffuser that was, guess what, carbon fiber yet still felt a bit plastic-y but still more or less realistic. The exhaust pipe too appears cheap, as it didn't have a lot of depth to it, but still better than a Welly or Bburago model.
Inside the cabin
When you open the door of the P1, you'll almost immediately see the plaque telling you you're in a P1, just in case you momentarily thought you were stepping into a Honda Civic. The McLaren P1 interior, even in 1:18 scale, is as bare as it gets. The most modern thing you'll find inside is an infotainment screen the size of an iPhone 4. There isn't any other technology to speak of, so don't expect to be blasting your Taylor Swift playlist while going 200 on the Autobahn. The cabin itself, however, is very high quality in 1:18 scale, as it should be for $100+. The bucket seats that hug you tighter than your mother does are solidly in place and don't feel cheap like the plastic used in certain Maisto's or Bburago's interiors. Even the seatbelts were made of fabric and were adjustable, rather than being the same rubber or plastic found on all of my other 1:18s.
I don't quite understand the steering wheel, though. For reasons I don't really understand, it is turned off-center facing towards the right, which would be cool if the P1's wheels turned as well, but they don't. I tried pushing the steering wheel back to center drive but I don't know if that made it worse or better! The good news is that this is the only issue I had with the interior.
If you were expecting an "under the hood" subhead and section about the engine you are out of luck as the bonnet doesn't open which bummed me out. My research showed that the least expensive P1 with an opening bonnet an AUTOart model selling for $300-$400 USD (222.97-297.29 GBP as of 12/3). While I was disappointed by this, there were very few overall flaws in the design of this P1 and I believe that it is a steal at $120 this is a steal. There may be more elaborate P1 models out there, but when you are on a tighter budget, this model is just right. I recommend this model if you like to add this member of the Holy Trinity to your collection (and don't mind an unnaturally long shipping time!). How much better can it get for $120?
1:18 McLaren P1 Dealer Edition