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McLaren

Every day, it appears, newer and faster cars are appearing on the automotive scene. Ferrari just debuted the V-12 hybrid LaFerrari. Porsche is soon to roll out its 918 Spyder crossbreed. Pagani has got the new Huayra. Koenigsegg has the Agera. And, Ascari has the KZ1R. Bugatti is definitely up to about 12 variations on the Veyron. Each is definitely more powerful than the last. Now, this looks like the Hennessey Venom GT can steal the quickest car crown. Terrible, there’s even a $1 million electric powered 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 end result of the all of the style, testing and development is, every hypercar shares something in common: they all have got 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 it up. This is the granddaddy of hypercars. It blew its contemporaries out of the water, which was no small feat. The F1 originates from a generation of vehicles 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 start party at The Sporting Club in Monaco during Monte-carlo F1 Week. In honor of this momentous occasion, this looks like a good time to appearance back and observe what made the McLaren F1 a truly great car and a focal point of automotive history.

It all starts, as many tales such as this do, with racing, particularly with Formula One. In 1988, McLaren’s Formulation One team won 15 out of 16 races. Not a bad starting point for creating the world’s speediest car. Anyway, after that season, McLaren Cars Ltd of Woking, England thought it a wise move to extend past racing into creating a street car. Being the same McLaren who also just won 94 percent of their particular Formula One races, the car had to have the greatest 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 developing a car. Not really for McLaren. Because of their success in racing, they had almost endless funds to spend on advancement of the F1. Oddly enough, that same attitude led to the car that dethroned the F1, the Bugatti Veyron, a little over a decade later.

McLaren Cars Ltd. drawn on technical director Gordan Murray and developer Peter Stevens to help make the McLaren F1 a reality. 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 horse 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 thirty-five pounds heavier than Murray’s specifications.

The dry sump BMW 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 using a triple plate clutch. As the engine was high revving (reaching maximum torque at 7, 400 rpm) it produced a reasonable amount of temperature. To guarantee insulation between the engine and the carbon fiber bay and monocoque, Murray lined the engine compartment with gold foil, a great heat reflector. 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 goal of having the industry’s greatest 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 three or more. 2 seconds, zero to 100 in 6. three or more seconds, 0-200 in 28 seconds and run the quarter mile in 11. 1 seconds at 138 mph. The McLaren F1 hit a world record best speed of 243 miles per hour. To this day, this is still the fastest naturally aspirated production car in existence.

That amazing power-to-weight ratio was made possible through the application of carbon dietary fiber, Kevlar and magnesium throughout the cars body to conserve weight. The McLaren F1s ranged in weight from 2, 341 pounds to 2, 509 pounds, according to model. The F1 was the first production car to use a complete carbon dietary fiber reinforced plastic monocoque chassis. The body’s connection points were constructed out of aluminium and magnesium. To top it almost all off, Peter Stevens’ body design attained 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 incredibly extremely unique and amazing 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 almost all around and a pc manipulated handbrake gives the F1 handling and performance commensurate using 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 constructed, 69 of the standard, 6 F1 LMs, 3 F1 GTs and twenty-eight F1 GTRs. The standard F1s formerly sold for about $970, 000 with the LMs and GTs being a little more expensive. Because of McLaren’s dedication to this car, they may be still offering service and maintenance on all F1s. An illustration of this an F1 can sell at auction for over $3 mil. In 2010, Gooding & Company Pebbled 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. This may well not be the fastest, but it was the first. Definitely on my container set of cars to check drive. Hmmm, We wonder if Jay Leno will allow me borrow his. Happy birthday McLaren F1.

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