2012 McLaren MP4-12C on the NordschleifeEnlarge Photo
We all know the 2012 McLaren MP4-12C is quick--the numbers and McLaren engineering alone tell us that much.
But how quick is it at the Nurburgring?
In the hands of one driver, on a single lap, it can circumnavigate the 'Ring in 7:28 seconds, as the video below shows. Unfortunately, that's all it shows.
Horst von Saurma, editor in chief of Sport Auto magazine, recently took the MP4-12C to the Nordschleife for a hot lap, but with just a 12-minute window to lay down his time, that's all he got: one lap. Von Saurma is very experienced at the 'Ring, and he's laid down some impressive times with other cars as well, but this time is likely not the very best that could be wrung out of the car, as our source at McLaren told us.
It does compare favorably to von Saurma's personal lap time list, shown toward the end of the video, with the McLaren outpacing a host of Porsche 911 GT3s, the Pagani Zonda F, and the Nissan GT-R. McLaren confirmed to us that the car used for von Saurma's lap was in fact a completely stock configuration, right down to the Pirelli P-Zero Corsa tires.
The car von Saurma was driving, an orange one, isn't even the one featured in most of the driving shots. That white car was being used on a separate lap day earlier in the year--a day cut short by rain before a time could be set.
McLaren says it has no plans to set its own record lap time this year, and our source notes that due to the massive variability of conditions and circumstances, manufacturer lap times aren't all that reliable a benchmark anyway. We agree.
But we'll still be watching this video of the unofficial lap just for its sheer entertainment value.