Every day, it seems, newer and faster cars are appearing on the automotive scene. Ferrari just debuted the V-12 hybrid LaFerrari. Porsche is shortly to roll out its 918 Spyder cross. Pagani has the new Huayra. Koenigsegg offers the Agera. And, Ascari has the KZ1R. Bugatti is definitely up to about 12 variations on the Veyron. Each is usually more intense than the final. Now, it seems like the Hennessey Venom GT can steal the most effective car crown. Terrible, there’s even a $1 million electrical hyper car on the market called the Rimac Concept One.

With each new model, each new new bit of technology and each new idea, manufacturers are attempting to eek away every bit of horsepower, torque and performance to make their cars just that bit faster and better than everyone else’s. But, whatever the ending consequence of the almost all of the style, testing and development is, every hypercar shares something in common: they all possess the McLaren F1 as the motivation and impetus intended for their existence.

While the Lamborghini Miura is the progenitor of all supercars, the McLaren F1 took everything that is “supercar” and ramped up. It is the granddaddy of hypercars. It blew its contemporaries out of the water, that was no small feat. The F1 comes from a generation of cars that includes the Ferrari F40, the Porsche 911 GT1 and the Jaguar XJ220. Last Monday, the McLaren F1 celebrated its 20th birthday. On twenty-eight May 1992 McLaren unveiled the F1 at a release party at The Sporting Club in Monaco during Monte-carlo F1 Week. In honor of this momentous occasion, this appears like a good time to appear back and see what made the McLaren F1 a truly great car and a centerpiece of automotive background.

It all begins, as many tales such as this do, with racing, particularly with Formula One. In 1988, McLaren’s Method One team earned 15 out of 16 races. Not a bad starting point for creating the world’s quickest car. Anyway, after that season, McLaren Cars Ltd of Woking, England believed it a sensible move to expand past racing into creating a road car. Being the same McLaren who just won 94 per cent of their Formula One competitions, the car had to have the highest power-to-weight ratio to date but still retain daily drivers usability.

Normally, that sort of refusal to compromise is a non-starter with regards to designing a car. Not for McLaren. Because of their success in race, they had almost endless funds to spend on advancement of the F1. Oddly enough, that same attitude led to the vehicle that dethroned the F1, the Bugatti Veyron, a little over the decade later.

McLaren Cars Ltd. drawn on technical director Gordan Murray and developer Peter Stevens to make the McLaren F1 a real possibility. Keeping in brain the need to produce satisfactory power while still maintaining reliability, Murray elected to equip the F1 with a naturally aspirated V-12.

After shopping the project to Honda and Toyota and being rejected simply by both, BMW and their famed Meters Division took an interest and designed the 6. 1 liter 60 level V-12. The engine, designated BMW S70/2 produced 618 equine and 480 ft/lb of torque. The BMW engine was 14 per cent more powerful than Murray’s original specs called for, but that was offset simply the engines weight. At 586 pounds, it was 35 pounds heavier as opposed to the way Murray’s specifications.

The dry sump THE CAR S70/2 has an aluminum block and head, quad overhead cams with adjustable valve timing, a chain cam drive to maintain reliability and was mounted to a six-speed transmitting having a triple plate clutch. As the engine was high revving (reaching maximum torque at 7, 400 rpm) this produced a fair amount of temperature. To guarantee insulation between the engine and the carbon dietary fiber bay and monocoque, Murray lined the engine compartment with gold foil, an excellent heat reflector. Just a little less than an ounce of gold was used in each car. We wonder if the cost of the F1s changes with the marketplace price for precious metal.

Thanks to BMW, McLaren achieved their particular goal of having the industry’s best power-to-weight ratio, 550 hp/ton. In assessment to today’s hypercars, the Ferrari Enzo reached 434 hp/ton, the Bugatti Veyron reached 530 hp/ton and the SSC Ultimate Aero TT bested it with 1003 hp/ton. And, that ratio demonstrated in the car’s speed. The F1 could accelerate from 0-60 in 3. 2 seconds, zero to 100 in 6. three or more seconds, 0-200 in 28 seconds and run the quarter mile in eleven. 1 seconds in 138 mph. The McLaren F1 strike a global record top speed of 243 miles per hour. To this day, it is still the speediest naturally equiped production car in existence.

That amazing power-to-weight ratio was made possible through the application of carbon dietary fiber, Kevlar and magnesium (mg) throughout the vehicles body to save weight. The McLaren F1s ranged in weight from 2, 341 pounds to 2, 509 pounds, depending on model. The F1 was the first production car to use a complete carbon fiber reinforced plastic monocoque chassis. The human body’s attachment points were constructed out of aluminium and magnesium. To top it most off, Peter Stevens’ body design accomplished a drag coefficient of 0. 32, as compared to the Veyron and Ultimate Aero TT both at zero. 36.

Completing the hypercar look of the car, the F1 features swan-wing doors and extremely extremely unique and awesome luggage compartments in front of the rear wheel curve. The F1 also has an uncommon 3-seater configuration with the driver in the center to increase visibility.

Formula 1 inspired suspension, 235/45ZR17 front tires, 315/45ZR17 rear tires, Brembo vented and cross-drilled brake discs (332 mm in the front and 305 mm in the rear) with 4 piston calipers most around and a computer managed handbrake gives the F1 handling and performance commensurate with its speed.

The McLaren F1 was are available three street legal variations, the regular road car, the F1 GT and the F1 LM. The F1 GTR version was provided for the race circuit. Only 106 F1s were built, 69 of the standard, 6 F1 LMs, 3 F1 GTs and twenty-eight F1 GTRs. The standard F1s initially sold for about $970, 000 with the LMs and GTs being a lttle bit more expensive. Because of McLaren’s dedication to this car, they are still offering service and maintenance on all F1s. A good example of an F1 can sell at auction intended for over $3 mil. In 2010, Gooding & Company Pebble Beach Auction sold a 1994 F1 for $3, 575, 000.

Murray and McLaren achieved their particular goal. The F1 is an uncompromising speedster and a successful daily driver. As the granddaddy of all hypercars, the McLaren F1 is still an amazing thing. It might not exactly be the fastest, but it was the first. Certainly on my container list of cars to try drive. Hmmm, I wonder if Jay Leno will allow me borrow his. Happy birthday McLaren F1.

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