The Bid is Right

Just how pricey will this P1 be?

by Grady Eger
28 January 2022 3 min read
Photo by Courtesy Bring a Trailer/GrahamRahalPerformance

**This contest has now ended. Congratulations to winner Jesse McCrink, of Waxhaw, North Carolina. McCrink professes a love for Volkswagens, and has a 2016 GTI, a 1993 Cabriolet, a 2012 Touareg, and a 2018 Audi Q7 to back that up. We’ll be posting our next Bid is Right contest soon.**

If you’ve been following the auction scene of late, then you’re aware things are kind of nuts right now. Thanks to the continued growth of online selling platforms, classic cars are being bid on at an unprecedented pace. Insider has lots of thoughts about this phenomenon—you can find some here and herebut perhaps the most important one is that it’s fun. Who doesn’t like seeing amazing classics trotted out day in and day out, and who doesn’t like guessing just how much they’ll go for?

In the spirit of fun, we present, The Bid is Right, round 6!. The premise is simple and should be familiar to anyone who has watched daytime TV in the last few decades: The person who guesses closest to the final bid—without going over—wins.

Oh, and did we mention we give out $500 to the winner? Yes, we take fun pretty seriously.

With no further ado, we present this week’s contest. Submit your guess in the comments section below no later than February 2, 2022 at 2:00 pm EST (24 hours before the auction officially closes—that’s right, no sniping!).

The vehicle: 2014 McLaren P1, for sale on Bring a Trailer

Our take: In the last 15 years or so we’ve entered an entirely new age of powertrain development and electrification is increasingly common; the zappy stuff isn’t just for everyday commuter cars, but for sports and hypercars as well. The big names are all on board, and have been for quite a while; back in 2013, McLaren embraced the performance advantages of a hybrid gas-electric powertrain with the wicked P1, a splinter of speed widely considered its most important road car in years. The P1 packs a 3.8-liter twin-turbo V-8 augmented by a single electric motor, in turn fed by 4.7-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Together, this duo produces a sizzling 903 hp and was considered among the quickest cars on the road upon its introduction in 2013. Its main competitors were the mighty LaFerrari and the Porsche 918, both of which also sported hybrid drivetrains.

The P1 was McLaren’s halo model, built around a carbon monocoque chassis that McLaren calls the MonoCage. On top of this core structure lays a carbon fiber body with adaptive front and rear wings that contribute to over 1,300 lbs. of downforce at 160 mph. It’s not as heavy as most hybrids, either; a rather stripped out interior with fixed bucket seats and thinner glass for the windows contributes to a total vehicle weight just under 3,300 pounds. Zero to 60 mph takes less than three seconds, and the quarter-mile comes in less than 10 ticks. All this, while returning 34 mpg. Along with the aforementioned LaFerrari and Porsche 918, the McLaren was at the absolute cutting edge of car performance in the 2010s. And, with just 375 standard P1s built, it’s also a very rare sight.

How does this all relate to value? Back when the P1 was new, it retailed for about $1.2M. There was some excitement when they first hit the second-hand/collector markets, but before long some of the excitement wore off and the hybrid hypercars were no longer the latest and greatest things, so prices dropped. Since 2020, though, P1s have been creeping back up.

Will P1s keep climbing in 2022? The Azure Blue McLaren P1 on Bring a Trailer right now will be a good test case. It's an 1,800-mile car with a reassuring service history and no issues to speak of, which is exactly what you want in your seven-figure exotic. Bidding for it reached $1M pretty much right away, but how high it will go is anybody's guess.

And by anybody's, we mean yours. Where do you think the hammer will fall on this one? Place your guess in the comments below.

More ground rules:

  • The commenter who guesses closest to the hammer price—without going over—wins. (Hammer price excludes auction house fees).
  • Guesses must be formatted with commas and decimal points (ie: $00,000.00).
  • One guess per commenter.
  • If two people guess the same amount (within a dollar) the earlier guess wins.
  • Commenters must provide first and last name in addition to email address.
  • We will close the guessing on Wednesday, February 2 at 2:00 pm.
  • Your privacy is important to us, and we'll never sell your information.  By providing your email you will receive the weekly Insider newsletter, and you can opt out at any time.
  • You can read the full rules here.
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