Every day time, it seems, newer and faster cars are appearing on the automotive scene. Ferrari just debuted the V-12 hybrid LaFerrari. Porsche is shortly to turns out the 918 Spyder hybrid. Pagani has got the new Huayra. Koenigsegg has the Agera. And, Ascari has the KZ1R. Bugatti is definitely up to about 12 variations around the Veyron. Each is usually more powerful than the final. Now, this appears like the Hennessey Venom GT will steal the speediest car crown. Heck, there’s even a $1 million electric 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 out every bit of horsepower, torque and performance to make their cars simply that bit quicker and better than everyone else’s. But, regardless of what the ending consequence of the almost all of the design, testing and advancement is, every hypercar shares something in accordance: they all possess the McLaren F1 as the inspiration and impetus to get their existence.
Whereas the Lamborghini Miura is the progenitor of all supercars, the McLaren F1 took everything that is “supercar” and ramped up. This is the granddaddy of hypercars. This blew its contemporaries out of the water, that was simply no small feat. The F1 originates from a generation of cars that includes the Ferrari F40, the Porsche 911 GT1 and the Jaguar XJ220. Last Mon, the McLaren F1 celebrated its twentieth birthday. On twenty-eight May 1992 McLaren unveiled the F1 at a start party at The Sporting Club in Monaco during Monte-carlo F1 Week. In honor of this momentous occasion, it looks like a good time for you to look back and discover what made the McLaren F1 a truly great car and a focal point of automotive history.
It all begins, as many stories such as this do, with racing, particularly with Formula One. In 1988, McLaren’s Formula One team received 15 out of 16 races. Not really a bad starting point for creating the world’s fastest car. Anyway, after that season, McLaren Cars Ltd of Woking, England believed it a wise move to expand past racing in to creating a street car. Being the same McLaren whom just won 94 percent of their particular Formula One contests, the car had to have the highest power-to-weight ratio to date but still retain daily driver usability.
Normally, that type of refusal to compromise is a non-starter with regards to creating a car. Not for McLaren. Because of the success in race, they had nearly endless funds to spend on development of the F1. Oddly enough, that same attitude led to the car that dethroned the F1, the Bugatti Veyron, a little over the decade later.
McLaren Cars Ltd. tapped technical director Gordan Murray and developer Peter Stevens to make the McLaren F1 a reality. Keeping in mind the need to produce sufficient power while still keeping reliability, Murray opted to equip the F1 with a naturally aspirated V-12.
After shopping the project to Honda and Toyota and being rejected by both, BMW and their famed Meters Division took an interest and designed the 6. 1 liter 60 degree V-12. The engine, designated BMW S70/2 produced 618 equine and 480 ft/lb of torque. The BMW engine was 14 pct more powerful than Murray’s original specs called for, but that was offset in part the engines weight. At 586 pounds, it was 35 pounds heavier than 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 keep reliability and was mounted to a six-speed transmitting with a triple dish clutch. As the engine was high revving (reaching maximum torque at 7, 400 rpm) it produced a fair amount of warmth. 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. A little less than an ounce of gold was used in each car. I wonder if the cost of the F1s fluctuates with the market 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 evaluation 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 hit a global record top speed of 243 miles per hour. To this day, it is still the speediest naturally aspirated production car in existence.
That amazing power-to-weight ratio was made possible through the use of carbon dietary fiber, Kevlar and magnesium (mg) throughout the cars body to save weight. The McLaren F1s ranged in weight from 2, 341 pounds to 2, 509 pounds, based on model. The F1 was the first production car to use a complete carbon fiber reinforced plastic monocoque chassis. The body’s attachment points were constructed out of light weight aluminum and magnesium. To top it almost all off, Peter Stevens’ body design accomplished a drag coefficient of 0. thirty-two, as compared to the Veyron and Ultimate Aero TT both at 0. 36.
Completing the hypercar look of the car, the F1 features swan-wing doors and very very unique and awesome luggage compartments in front of the rear wheel arches. 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 manipulated handbrake gives the F1 handling and performance commensurate with its speed.
The McLaren F1 was come in three street legal variations, the standard road car, the F1 GT and the F1 LM. The F1 GTR version was provided for the racing circuit. Only 106 F1s were built, 69 of the standard, 6 F1 LMs, 3 F1 GTs and twenty-eight F1 GTRs. The standard F1s actually sold for about $970, 000 with all the LMs and GTs being somewhat more costly. Because of McLaren’s dedication to this car, they are still offering service and maintenance on almost all F1s. A good example of an F1 can sell at auction to get over $3 million. In 2010, Gooding and 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, however it was the first. Certainly on my container list of cars to try drive. Hmmm, We wonder if Jay Leno will let me borrow his. Happy birthday McLaren F1.
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