If you have a car with any kind of sporting intentions, it’s essential that you test it on Germany’s “Green Hell,” the Nürburgring Nordschleife, to establish its credibility. In the past few months, Lexus, Dodge and Chevrolet have all thrown down impressive lap times around the ‘Ring, which gives a manufacturer much needed bragging rights, even if the time isn’t record-setting.
Take the McLaren MP4-12C for example. No one doubts that the car is fast, but exactly how fast hasn’t been well established. Most agree it’s faster than McLaren’s legendary F1 supercar, while being a whole lot more forgiving to drive at the limit. The YouTube video below gives you pieces of McLaren’s claimed MP4-12C Nürburgring lap time, but it doesn’t show the entire lap from start to finish. Worse, the lap time shown at the end of the video, 7:28, doesn’t seem to be documented anywhere else.
We’ll give McLaren the benefit of the doubt and accept that the MP4-12C did run from bridge to gantry in 7:28. That makes the MP4-12C faster than a Porsche Carrera GT (by seven-tenths of a second), but eight seconds slower than a 2012 Corvette ZR1 on Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires. It’s also four seconds off the pace of a new Nissan GT-R, which explains why McLaren may not be celebrating their lap time achievement.