UK car and automotive news and reviews

A look at the McLaren F1

The McLaren F1 sports car was made by McLaren and Gordan Murray.  This amazing car set the world speed record for production cars on March 31, 1998, when it hit 386.7 km/h.  It held this record until 2005, when the Bugatti Veyron took the title.  The McLaren F1 was at first simply an exercise—the creators wanted to put together the ultimate road car.  However, the car soon became a reality, and today, 106 McLaren F1s are in existence: 64 standard versions and 42 variants, including a single LM prototype.  The McLaren F1 was produced between 1992 and 1998.

Gordon Murray used a tried and true formula for the McLaren F1: high power and low weight.  He used materials like titanium, gold, Kevlar, and carbon fibre; in fact, the F1 is the first car to make use of carbon-fiber monocoque.  These materials were quite expensive and drove the cost of the car up.  He came up with this idea after attending the 1988 Italian Grand Prix.

The McLaren F1 first appeared in May of 1991 in Monaco.  However, while it looked amazing, it did not feature indicators on the front, so it was not street legal.  Because of this, McLaren had to make a few changes to the car so that it could be driven.  However, the McLaren F1 passed crash testing quite handily, proving it to be a very safe car.

When it comes to being the world’s fastest production car, the McLaren F1’s top speed was clocked at 391 km/h.  There’s a chance that it could actually go faster if it had a higher gear ratio.

Model collectors have long enjoyed building the McLaren F1 kit produced by DDR Motorsport.  Die-cast models of the McLaren F1 are also available, and since most of them are no longer produced, they have become very sought-after by model car collectors.

McLaren F1 Specifications

Top Speed 387.6 km/h
Acceleration 0 to 97 km/h in 3.2 seconds
Horsepower 550
Engine 5.7 L 48V V12
Body style two-door, three-seat coupe
Length 4287mm
Width 1820mm
Height 1140mm
Wheelbase 2718m
Curb Weight 1140kg

McLaren F1 photos and pictures

McLaren F1 photoMcLaren F1 rear photo

McLaren F1 photo with doors openPhoto of the McLaren F1 enginePhoto of the McLaren F1 interior

Be Sociable, Share!

No related posts.

5 Responses to “A look at the McLaren F1”

  1. Wow talk about drooling,
    This is my dream car! Yeah I can see why you chose her. Stop by my site and showcase your car.

  2. nice! i’m gonna make my own blog

  3. I realize blogs are somewhat unprofessional by their nature, but there are really a lot of mistakes and misinformation here. I’ll try to address them in the order they occurred and be as clear as possible to set the record straight.

    It was the Koenigsegg CCR that took the top speed crown away from the McLaren F1 on February 28, 2005 at a speed of 387.37 km/h achieved at the Nardo Ring in Italy. Because of the constant radius of that track and the banked surface, it was said that the CCR could have actually gone faster on a straight and flat road like the F1 used in Germany for its top speed run.

    The Veyron took the title away from the CCR a few months later at that same German track with a speed of 408.47 km/h, on April 19, 2005. Since then, the title has changed hands once more, and now rests with the SSC Ultimate Aero at a speed of 413 km/h achieved during testing on September 13th, 2007.

    Koenigsegg has released a more powerful version of their car called the CCX and claim it is capable of 419 km/h, but this figure has yet to be officially verified.

    Back to the F1 – of the 42 additional variants you mention, the breakdown was 28 F1 GTRs – 9 built in 1995, 9 more in 1996 with slight changes to boost performance, and another 10 for 1997 which featured the radical longtail bodywork and further improvements under the skin.

    There were a total of 6 F1 LMs – the one prototype you mentioned and then 5 production versions for customers. There were also three F1 GTs – a true road car featuring the longtail bodywork of the 1997 GTRs and a more luxuriously finished interior.

    The remaining 5 cars out of that total of 42 were the original prototypes for the F1 road car. Gordon Murray is the current owner of the 3rd prototype built, and it is the earliest F1 still in existence today.

    Moving on, the first production McLaren F1 was completed in December 1993. The first running prototype using the F1 chassis had been built one year earlier. When you talk about production years for the F1, it should be 1993 through 1998.

    The styling mockup of the F1 was shown in Monaco May of 1992, not 1991. That car, known officially as the “Clinic Model” did have front indicators, but they were mounted within the side view mirror housings and in some markets this would not have been legal, hence why they were relocated to the more traditional location on the nose of the car.

    Unveiling the “Clinic Model” was just one step in the overall development process of the F1, and it wasn’t expected to represent their final product in each and every way. In fact, it had no drivetrain fitted as all of the mechanicals for the car were still being sorted. There was still a lot of work to do at that point but unveiling the Clinic Model allowed them to officially promote the car, and also pave the way for testing of real prototypes without the worry of spy photographers getting the scoop on their design.

    Model collectors would not enjoy building the kit from DDR Motorsport because that is an actual 1:1 scale, full-sized kit car. It would need a garage, not a shelf with a glass display case.

    There are resin models of the F1 from Provence Moulage, Studio27, and Modeler’s in addition to many diecast offerings, some of which are still being produced today.

    In your specifications section you list the HP at 550, when it was actually 627 for the standard F1 road car. You also list the engine as a 5.7L V12, when they really measured 6.1L.

    The final error comes in the photo section, where the image in the middle of the top row is of a Pagani Zonda F and not a McLaren F1.

    I don’t mean to be harsh, but there is a lot of misinformation about the McLaren F1 in circulation and I do my best to find ways to correct it. I really love these cars and want to do what I can to promote their interest to others, but it needs to be done accurately.



  4. touché – I stand corrected. Thanks for the extra info.

Leave a Reply