GIF: Top Gear

“I’ve never driven a car that feels like it’s thinking its way around the circuit,” Top Gear’s Chris Harris says after ripping the LeMans-winning Porsche 919 around a race track.

The unbelievably powerful LMP1-H race car, described in this video as a spiritual successor to the almighty Porsche 917, is such a big deal to drive that Porsche’s people wouldn’t even let Harris climb in until he spent some time practicing on the simulator.

Just driving the car in virtual reality seems like a lot of work, and you can tell Harris is busting his ass behind the wheel once he’s finally allowed to cut loose on an actual tarmac despite what he says about the simplicity of it all.

“It’s so clever. What’s remarkable is, through all of this cleverness, transpires, the really rather lovely simple driving experience.” The takeaway seems to be that the 919 is so dialed in that even a driver of Harris’s talents can’t get near the car’s limits in a few short laps.

“G-forces are a bit extreme for an old man like myself,” he explains, but summarizes the car as “a mind blowing performance, really.”

Porsche team driver Neel Jani sums the 919 up a little differently: “If you don’t understand it, it can quite quickly work against you.”

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We’ll have to take their word for it, since none of us are going to be allowed to bring this multimillion dollar historical missile out of the barn ever. But it’s a wild thing to behold in this video.