Building a successor to the legendary F1 wasn’t going to be easy, and McLaren dutifully laid out a few performance targets for the new P1 to achieve, apart from being the best driver’s car on both road and track, of course. A rigorous development programme was planned including testing in the harshest conditions around.
The sold-out McLaren P1 – all 375 units of the RM4.4 million (before tax) hypercar have been accounted for – has hit all of its performance targets so far: it does 0-100 km/h in 2.8 seconds, 200 km/h in 6.8 seconds and 300 km/h in 16.5 seconds. The last figure is a full 5.5-second quicker than the F1, and the quarter mile run is demolished in under 10 seconds.
Last but not least, is for the 913 PS/900 Nm road and track monster to lap the Nurburgring-Nordschleife – with all of its 150 corners, 300 metres of elevation change and 20.8 km length – in under seven minutes. It’s the toughest challenge of them all, according to McLaren, not discounting that the Porsche 918 Spyder achieved it with ‘just’ 887 hp.
Without giving exact numbers, McLaren has just confirmed that the P1 has dipped below the magic seven-minute barrier, lapping the circuit with an average speed in excess of 178 km/h. Whether it beat the 918’s all-time lap record of 6 minutes and 57 seconds is not yet clear, though you’d think that McLaren would be more than happy to announce it had it done so.
To set the lap time, the P1 was primed to its ultimate track-friendly setting – ‘Race’ mode, which extended the active rear wing by 300 mm, dropped the ride height by 50 mm, while the RaceActive Chassis Control suspension system stiffened up by 300%. Stock tyres, though bespoke ones tailor-suited to the P1, were used, so there’s no tyre trickery in play.
Behind the wheel was McLaren chief test drive Chris Goodwin (you may recognise him from his days as an F1 commentator), and apparently he reached the P1’s electronically-limited 330 km/h top speed through the straights, and pulled no less than 3.9 g through the turns. Watch the short video above to see the McLaren P1 at its absolute best.