It’s taken them long enough, but British exotic supercar manufacturer McLaren has now released new, unseen footage of the McLaren F1 top speed record run.

Back then it topped out at 240.1mph – 386.4 km/h – and almost two decades later it’s actually still the record holder for the fastest naturally aspirated production car. McLaren is looking back to its small but brilliant road heritage – for example we saw the amazing F1 GTR Longtail head home once more, and now we’re treated to unseen before footage of a record achievement. Back in 1993, McLaren’s third experimental prototype (XP3) topped out at 231 mph (371 kph) in Italy at the Nardo facility – but they wanted even more. Half a decade later, in 1998, the XP5 was taken to VW’s Ehra-Lessien test track in Germany for another attempt – with Le Mans-winner Andy Wallace at the helm.

[Video] McLaren shows the F1 top speed run behind the scenes 3

McLaren has now made fans happy by revealing new footage of the record-breaking attempt from 1998, with the F1 XP5 initially reaching 241.1 mph (388 km/h) and then with the driver asking the engineers to loosen the rev limiter for a bid to “pump the speed a little bit up,” Wallace returned with 242 mph (391 km/h). The driver commented, “I still say this is the best car ever built ever and probably it will never be beaten.” The top speed record was the average between two top speed runs so the official figure was established at 240.1 mph (386.4 km/h), still the best for a production model powered exclusively by a naturally aspirated engine.


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