Sport Cars

Check out the fantastic McLaren P1 XP2R, the Experimental Prototype 2

A lot has been written about the Nürburgring Nordschleife since it first took part. The fabled 20.83-kilometer route winds through Germany’s Eifel Forest and has regularly captivated both amateurs and professionals alike, who have tried to tame it and push for that extra tenth of a second. Mine, Fuchsrohre, Schwedenkreuz and Flugplatz are just a few of the more than 150 curves that drivers have to face as they set off from the starting portal. An exclusive club awaits a select few.

The McLaren P1 is the first of the so-called “holy trinity” and carries several impressive accolades. “Mr McLaren” Ron Dennis underlined the sheer power and capability of the limited-edition hypercar at its launch in 2013, proclaiming that joining the sub-7 minute club was a prerequisite for confirming the car’s performance; Designed to be “the fastest car on the road and track.” Brave words, especially given the very strong competition from Maranello and Stuttgart at the time. But just ten months later, McLaren confirmed that its attempt to join had been successful. The car that reached this milestone was one of the company’s prototypes, P1-‘XP2R’, and the success was simply part of the performance benchmarking. No further details were confirmed other than confirming that the task – along with all other performance targets in the development program – had been completed. And then the internet forums erupted.

Now, a decade after McLaren Automotive announced the groundbreaking prototype, XP2R, has emerged under the guise of a private collection entrusted to the Sub7 Collection team. Named after the automotive industry’s most prestigious club, Sub7 Collection manages and sources some of the world’s most exclusive cars on behalf of its customers. From targeted management of private vehicle collections to sourcing and step-by-step assistance in selling or purchasing high-quality premium super and hypercars, Sub7 Collection will work with customers looking to acquire individual vehicles to building and maintaining bespoke collections. The Sub7 Collection is led by Jamie Weir, who, alongside his extensive experience in the prestige and exclusive automotive market, played a key role in customer management of the McLaren P1 program during his time with the brand.

The perfect flagship for the launch of the Sub7 collection, the McLaren P1 was one of the founding fathers of the exclusive Sub 7 Minute members club. Widely considered the pinnacle of McLaren Automotive’s modern projects, the model was limited to just 375 production models, supported by a small number of test and validation prototypes. After this production was completed, selected customers were offered the opportunity to purchase a very small number of special vehicles that had played an important role in the development process.

XP2R, or as it was originally called eXperimental Prototype 2, was one of the first development mules in the groundbreaking project. Before the public unveiling, initially carried out in racetrack camouflage, XP2R conducted extensive testing including vMax trials, tire testing with Pirelli, braking system acceptance with Akebono, active aerodynamics, race mode and damper tuning. In June 2013, the vehicle received its fully painted bodywork as the program became more widely known and appeared again at the Nürburgring while it went through the final stages of the development program and aimed for the lap time trial.

As real racing cars have become more and more attractive in recent years, especially if they offer real racing pedigree, XP2R presents itself as one of the most unique and discussed stories of a particular road car in recent years. At the end of its “working life” it was fully returned to service by McLaren Automotive. It is exactly as it completed its demanding development program – featuring a stunning Supernova Silver metallic body and stealth wheels – and still bears its “Prototype Vehicle” moniker. XP2R now comes with an extensive set of replacement parts, including a second set of carbon fiber bodywork. These spare parts and bodywork were used to create a complete silhouette vehicle that sits alongside the car in the owner’s private collection. This second model is nearly identical to the original prototype, but features the different colored calipers that were worn out during the development program.

So what does it take to achieve Sub-7 status? The unique challenge of the Nordschleife is that the car has to drive at an average speed of more than 180 km/h. On average. Not an easy task, especially considering that some of the tighter and twistier corners drop speeds into double digits, severely impacting the average. To complete the task, the driver’s utmost commitment and trust in the car is required throughout the entire lap.

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