Europe in a 333kph McLaren 12C

Never mind him, history fans, enjoy 8,500rpm and 625bhp in the McLaren V8. A couple of seconds ago, coming through a second-gear 90-degree left doing only about 4,000rpm, the turbos were already spooled up and tipping me back in the seat with the torque. The road is sun- dried but February-cold, wearing a thin coat of slightly greasy salt against the impending snow flurries, and the rear tyres soon break through its possibilities of traction in the bend. Sure, the surprisingly supple suspension ekes out the very most of it, but a little stabilising intervention from the electronics chips in. Then the road goes straight, the tyres get purchase and the big, red needle swings past the vertical, the point at 6,000-odd where it becomes a new kind of engine – far faster and louder, grasping greedily towards 8,500 and wired with a narcotic jolt of hysterical, caffeinated edginess.