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McLaren P1-XP2R resurfaces ten years after Nürburgring lap

WORDS: ELLIOTT HUGHES | PHOTOS: MCLAREN AUTOMOTIVE

On September 27, 2012, McLaren Automotive held its first-ever press conference as a bone-fide supercar manufacturer, at the Paris Motor Show.

“We raised the supercar performance bar with the McLaren F1,” said then-CEO Ron Dennis. “Our goal with the McLaren P1 is to redefine it once again.”

The McLaren P1 arrived one year later in 2013, and was the first of the era’s hybrid hypercar ‘Holy Trinity’, which also included the Ferrari LaFerrari and Porsche 918 Spyder. In 2013, the P1’s goal was to make good on Dennis’ promise to raise the bar of supercar performance by achieving a sub-seven-minute laptime around the fearsome Nürburgring-Nordschleife circuit. 

December 6, 2023 marks exactly ten years since one of McLaren’s P1 prototypes, known as P1-XP2R (eXperimental Prototype 2), achieved an unspecified laptime of under seven minutes around the Green Hell. McLaren confirmed its achievement ten months later, while also confirming that all the other performance objectives in the development programme had been met. Impressively, XP2R set an average speed in excess of 111mph during its timed Nürburgring lap. 

P1-XP2R has resurfaced on the ten-year anniversary of its historic achievement

P1-XP2R has resurfaced on the ten-year anniversary of its historic achievement

The Porsche 918 Spyder was the only car from the Holy Trinity that ever had its Nordschleife laptime publicly disclosed, and also breached the sub-seven-minute threshold after Marc Lieb posted a time of 6:57 on September 4, 2013. It is speculated that the P1-XP2R set a similar laptime, because it develops 28bhp more than the 918 while producing more downforce (600kg total) and carrying 28kg less weight. 

XP2R was one of the first McLaren P1 development mules, and was first seen running on-track in camouflage livery before the model was officially unveiled. Subsequently, the vehicle underwent an extensive development programme, encompassing vMax speed attempts, tyre and brake testing, active-aerodynamic refinement, damper tuning and the enhancement of Race Mode functionality.

In June 2013, XP2R was refinished in silver as the P1 development programme became more public, and appeared at the Nürburgring one more time ahead of its timed run at the circuit on December 6. Following this, McLaren fully recommissioned the vehicle and had it painted Supernova Silver with Stealth alloy wheels and ‘Prototype Vehicle’ decals. 

Fittingly, P1-XP2R has resurfaced on the ten-year anniversary of its historic achievement, after passing into the hands of a private collector, and is being entrusted to the team at Sub7 Collection. The car is accompanied by an extensive set of spares, including a full set of carbonfibre bodywork that has been used to create a complete silhouette vehicle that sits alongside the car in the owner’s collection. 

P1-XP2R was one of 13 developmental prototypes that McLaren built between October 2013 and December 2015 to pave the way for 375 production-spec P1s. Today, the P1 stands as one of the most important models in McLaren Automotive’s 13-year history, and is valued between $1.1m and $2.3m by Hagerty – although, of course, P1-XP2R will be worth much more.

For more information about P1-XP2R and Sub7 Collection, contact info@sub7collection.com.