McLaren's first road-going production car, the F1 is famous for setting a production car top speed record in 1998, with a top speed of 240 mph (386 km/h), surpassing the RUF CTR2's old record of 217 mph (349 km/h) in 1995. Only 106 total units of the McLaren F1, including special variants, were produced. In 2012, the McLaren P1 was unveiled and put into production between 2013 and 2015 as the F1's successor.
The engine compartment is lined with gold. The driver’s seat is located in the center of the car. More than twenty years after it was first introduced, it’s still the fastest naturally aspirated car in the world. That’s why when most people are asked to name the greatest road car ever built, the McLaren F1 is what instantly springs to mind. It should; the F1 was designed and built to be just that, with no expense spared and no compromises made. The brainchild of Gordon Murray, a renowned designer of innovative racecars, the McLaren F1 defied conventional thinking by pioneering such technologies as a full carbon fiber monocoque chassis weighing just 220 lbs., a first for a road car. Backed up by a highly modified BMW V12 making 627 horsepower, the F1 is as fast as it was expensive—nearly a million dollars when new. While being fast would have been enough to drop jaws, the F1 is also an eminently drivable car—so much so that the F1, which was never intended to race at all, was modified slightly and went on to win the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans race outright. Only 64 were made, so don’t expect to see one in your nearest used car lot.
It is one of the supreme supercars of all time, and it’s still the fastest naturally aspirated car ever created. Conceived by Gordon Murray to bring Bruce McLaren’s dream of a McLaren road car to life, the McLaren F1 took over 30 years to reach fruition.
Designed by Gordon Murray and Peter Stevens, the McLaren F1 features a BMW-sourced 6.1L (6,064 cc) naturally aspirated V12, codenamed S70/2. It produces 627 hp (468 kW) and 480 ft·lb (651 N·m) of torque. Power is sent to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual transmission. The McLaren F1 was also the first production road-going car to use a complete carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) monocoque chassis structure. The McLaren F1 is also unique in that it features a central driving position: the driver is in the center, ahead of the fuel tank and engine, with the two passengers slightly behind and on each side.
The McLaren F1 can reach 60 mph (97 km/h) in 3.2 seconds, 100 mph (161 km/h) in 7.7 seconds, 120 mph (193 km/h) in 9.2 seconds, 180 mph (290 km/h) in 20.3 seconds, and a top speed of 231 mph (372 km/h) with the rev limiter on. With the rev limiter raised to 8,300 rpm, the top speed is raised to 240 mph (386 km/h). In McLaren's famous top speed run, McLaren measured a peak speed of 243 mph (391 km/h) and a lower speed of 237 mph (381 km/h), thus averaging to 240 mph (386 km/h).
The McLaren F1 is among one of the best performing non-pre-tuned cars from the 1990s, capable of doing 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 3.4 seconds, very fast for a car from the late 20th century. The F1 also stands as the fastest non-hybrid, naturally aspirated car in the series, hitting up to 244 mph (393 km/h), which also slightly exceeds its real life top speed. Due to the lack of interior accessories and the use of a carbon fiber reinforced polymer monocoque chassis structure, the F1 is lightweight, a trait common in all McLaren cars that helps facilitate smooth cornering. The active rear wing acts to create downforce to allow for smooth cornering and fast braking, which is actually somewhat lacking when compared to similar cars like the Mercedes-Benz AMG CLK GTR.
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