McLaren chairman Ron Dennis has made some pretty bold claims for the company’s P1 supercar, including setting “a new benchmark” for supercars and posting a lap time for Germany’s Nürburgring Nordschleife of under seven minutes. Currently, the production car lap record for the Nürburgring stands at 6:57, as set by the Porsche 918 Spyder only last month.

Back in summer, a mysterious McLaren P1 prototype, the XP2R, was seen racing around the ‘Ring and is alleged to have clocked a time of 7:04. Prior to the 918 Spyder’s run, that time would have given the McLaren the record but now it has to shed more than seven whole seconds off the time if it’s to be the benchmark, as Dennis boldly claimed.

Well, the XP2R recently headed back to the ‘Ring in what could be a new record attempt.

McLaren has revealed to CAR that the XP2R, which is simply a rebuilt prototype, most likely rebuilt to production spec, is at the German track for “final damper tuning and calibration.” But with the P1 already in production, could this simply be a ruse?

McLaren is yet to announce a specific ‘Ring time for the P1, claiming only that it will go under the seven minute mark. Theoretically, the P1 should be able to outmatch the 918 Spyder. It weighs about 600 pounds less than the Porsche and has an additional 16 horsepower to play with. It also develops more than 1,300 pounds of downforce at speed and was designed with input from McLaren’s Formula One operations. However, the Porsche does have the benefit of an all-wheel-drive system.

Just don’t expect the P1’s final time to come in anywhere near the 6:33.26 figure that made headlines back in May. The official presentation slide that showed the time was simply a bit of fictional inspiration for the P1’s development team.  

Stay tuned for an update.


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