McLaren

Every time, it appears, 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 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, it looks like the Hennessey Venom GT will certainly steal the fastest car crown. Hell, 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 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 almost all of the design, testing and advancement is, every hypercar shares something in common: they all have got the McLaren F1 as the inspiration 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 it 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 vehicles that includes the Ferrari F40, the Porsche 911 GT1 and the Jaguar XJ220. Last Monday, 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, this looks like a good time to appear back and see what made the McLaren F1 a truly great car and a focal point of automotive background.

It all begins, as many tales like this do, with racing, particularly with Formula One. In 1988, McLaren’s Formula One team won 15 out of 16 races. Not really a bad starting point for creating the world’s most effective car. Anyway, after that season, McLaren Cars Ltd of Woking, England thought it a sensible move to expand past racing in to creating a road car. Being the same McLaren who also just won 94 per cent of their Formula One competitions, the vehicle 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 developing a car. Not really for McLaren. Because of the success in race, they had nearly 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. tapped technical director Gordan Murray and designer Peter Stevens to make the McLaren F1 a reality. Keeping in brain the need to produce satisfactory power while still keeping 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 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 percent 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 compared with how 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 with a triple plate clutch. As the engine was high revving (reaching greatest extent torque at 7, 400 rpm) it 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, 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 changes with the marketplace price for precious metal.

Thanks to THE CAR, 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 a few. 2 seconds, zero to 100 in 6. 3 seconds, 0-200 in 28 seconds and run the quarter mile in eleven. 1 seconds at 138 mph. The McLaren F1 hit a world 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 using carbon dietary fiber, Kevlar and magnesium throughout the vehicles body to save 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 human body’s connection points were built out of aluminum and magnesium. To top it all off, Peter Stevens’ body design attained 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 very 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 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 four piston calipers most around and a computer 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 offered for the race circuit. Only 106 F1s were constructed, 69 of the standard, 6 F1 LMs, 3 F1 GTs and 28 F1 GTRs. The standard F1s formerly 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 may be still offering service and maintenance on all F1s. A good example of an F1 can sell at auction intended for over $3 million. In 2010, Gooding as well as Company Pebbled Beach Auction marketed a 1994 F1 for $3, 575, 000.

Murray and McLaren achieved their 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 not be the fastest, however it was the first. Certainly on my bucket set of cars to test drive. Hmmm, I wonder if The writer Leno will let me borrow his. Happy birthday McLaren F1.

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