I have written that the Nurburgring is bad for car development, and I still believe that, but what McLaren is doing might be the exception that proves the rule. The amazing P1 hypercar – though, frankly, “hyper” doesn’t do it justice – has purportedly pulled off a lap of the ‘Ring in less than seven minutes.
The video that McLaren released to celebrate and tout its achievement is pretty incredible. Sure McLaren over-hypes the significance of the Nurburgring, as the “ultimate challenge”, but my god the driving footage.
I have heard a number of super cars, but nothing that sounds like the McLaren P1. The engine, turbos, and electric motors produce a sound like a jet turbine eating an F1 car while the string section from an orchestra plays. Its symphonic, its loud, it is unmatched.
And kudos to the driver for the amazing performance he put on. It takes a brave soul to maneuver a car with 903 horsepower that is capable of getting from a standing start to 124 mph in 6.8 seconds around that track. This is a car made of maths, unlikely numbers, and sheer raw terror.
Like I said, I think the focus on the ‘Ring is bad, it results in hard un-drivable cars that frequently just aren’t that fast in the real world. But the McLaren P1 isn’t meant for the real world, its meant for another dimension, and the closest thing we have to that dimension is the ‘Ring.
So that’s where it belongs along with its other sub seven minute rival, the Porsche 918 Spyder. Just how the two cars match up isn’t clear yet because the folks at McLaren won’t reveal the actual lap time, but regardless they are beyond hypercars they are quantum-cars.