Every time, it seems, 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 cross. Pagani has the new Huayra. Koenigsegg provides the Agera. And, Ascari has the KZ1R. Bugatti is usually up to about 12 variations within the Veyron. Each is more powerful than the last. Now, this appears like the Hennessey Venom GT can steal the fastest car crown. Terrible, there’s even a $1 million electrical hyper car out there called the Rimac Concept One.

With each new model, each new new bit of technology and each new idea, manufacturers are trying to eek away 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 design, testing and development is, every hypercar shares something in common: they all possess the McLaren F1 as the inspiration and impetus for 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, which was 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 Monaco F1 Week. In honor of this momentous occasion, this appears like a good time to look back and observe what made the McLaren F1 a truly great car and a centerpiece of automotive history.

It all starts, as many tales such as this do, with racing, especially with Formula One. In 1988, McLaren’s Formulation One team earned 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 sensible move to extend past racing into creating a street car. Being the same McLaren who also just won 94 pct of their Formula One races, the car had to have the greatest power-to-weight ratio to date but still retain daily driver usability.

Normally, that kind of refusal to compromise is a non-starter when it comes to creating a car. Not really for McLaren. Because of the success in racing, they had nearly 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. tapped technical director Gordan Murray and designer Peter Stevens to help 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 M 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 known as for, but that was offset in part 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 over head cams with adjustable valve timing, a chain cam drive to maintain reliability and was mounted to a six-speed transmitting using a triple dish clutch. As the engine was high revving (reaching max torque at 7, 400 rpm) this 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, a great heat reflector. A little less than an ounce of gold was used in each car. I actually wonder if the cost of the F1s fluctuates with the market price for gold.

Thanks to THE CAR, McLaren achieved their goal of having the industry’s greatest power-to-weight ratio, 550 hp/ton. In comparison 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 showed in the car’s speed. The F1 could accelerate from 0-60 in a few. 2 seconds, 0-100 in 6. three or more seconds, 0-200 in 28 seconds and run the quarter mile in 11. 1 seconds in 138 mph. The McLaren F1 strike a global record best speed of 243 miles each 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 usage of carbon dietary fiber, Kevlar and magnesium (mg) throughout the vehicles body to conserve weight. The McLaren F1s ranged in weight from two, 341 pounds to 2, 509 pounds, according to model. The F1 was the first production car to use a complete carbon fiber reinforced plastic monocoque chassis. The body’s connection points were constructed out of aluminum and magnesium. To top it almost all off, Peter Stevens’ body design achieved 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 incredibly 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 maximize visibility.

Formula A single 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 all around and a pc handled handbrake gives the F1 handling and performance commensurate using its speed.

The McLaren F1 was offered in three street legal variations, the standard 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 28 F1 GTRs. The standard F1s initially sold for about $970, 000 with all 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 almost all F1s. An illustration of this an F1 can sell at auction to get over $3 million. In 2010, Gooding and Company Pebbled Beach Auction offered a 1994 F1 for $3, 575, 000.

Murray and McLaren achieved their particular goal. The F1 is an stubborn speedster and a successful daily driver. As the granddaddy of all hypercars, the McLaren F1 is still an amazing thing. It may well not be the fastest, but it was the first. Certainly on my bucket listing of cars to check drive. Hmmm, We wonder if The writer Leno will allow me borrow his. Happy birthday McLaren F1.

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