For two whole weeks, an all-electric car held one of the most coveted titles among auto manufacturers: the NIO EP9 had become the fastest car around the Nürburgring. But today, British manufacturer McLaren has let out that its hybrid P1 LM — the street-legal version of its track car, the P1 GTR — has broken the EP9’s record by two seconds and the Lamborghini Huracán Performante’s time by almost nine. Video of the 6:43.2-second lap can be seen above.
The most important thing to know, though, is that all of this back-and-forth comes with extreme caveats. For one thing, there’s a good argument to be had over whether Chinese manufacturer NIO’s 1,342-horsepower supercar can be considered a production car in the first place. Same with the McLaren, for that matter, since the P1 LM is an extremely limited edition version (read: five of them) of an already limited edition version of their P1 hypercar.
But if you feel like slicing up all that red tape, McLaren’s hybrid is now the fastest. An all-electric car is second. And the ol’ combustion V10 Lamborghini is third.
Of course, like the incessant fight over which car goes 0–60 mph the fastest, there is always going to be a faster car. McLaren (or Lamborghini, if you’re a Nürburgring purist) will only hold on to this title for so long before it’s inevitably taken away, especially because there’s more competition in the market than ever before. (I mean, look no further than NIO, which only came into existence just three short years ago.)
That said, if you’re a manufacturer looking for a number to flaunt, I think Nürburgring is still worth chasing. Sure, having the fastest 0–60 mph time might be a simpler concept with much broader appeal (you don’t tend to see Nürburgring times in dealership materials), but there’s much less headroom left in that fight. There’s still more ground to be gained at Nürburgring, especially because the human element matters so much more there. Of course, that’s another thing NIO is trying to crack — just three months ago, the EP9 lapped Circuit of the Americas without a driver, and it only went 30 seconds slower than with one behind the wheel.