The reveal of the Ferrari “La Ferrari” may have stolen some of McLaren’s Geneva Motor Show thunder, but the Woking-based automaker wants the world to know the McLaren P1 won’t be known as the second-fastest production car in the world.
As Cars UK tells us, McLaren’s Ron Dennis is already making some bold claims about the P1’s performance potential. At 3:45 in the above video, Dennis tells the audience that the P1 will “set a new benchmark” for supercars, referring to a lap of Germany’s Nürburgring Nordschleife.
Later in the same video, at 8:30, McLaren’s boss admits that he’s broken the Top Gear test track record by some 10 seconds, though we’ve yet to see video evidence of this. The current lap record of 1:13.8 was set this season by the Pagani Huayra, which may or may not have been using cheater tires.
A lap of under 1:04 would be impressive indeed, but Dennis’ claims don’t stop there: at 8:52, he promises a lap of the Nürburgring Nordschleife in under 7:00, territory that was previously owned by the road-going-racer Radical SR8 (6:55) and its faster brother, the Radical SR8 LM (6:48).
The fastest traditional car (equipped with a roof) around the ‘Ring is the Gumpert Apollo Sport, which turned a lap in 7:11.57, followed by the Dodge Viper ACR, which lapped in 7:12.13. Shaving 12 or more seconds off those times will make the P1 impressive, indeed.
Until the McLaren P1 throws down head-to-head against the La Ferrari, all of the performance claims in the world amount to little more than bench racing. Both automakers want to lay claim to the title of “world’s fastest,” but in the end only one will deliver the goods.