McLaren F1: A Legend of Motorization

In 1963, New Zealander Bruce McLaren founded McLaren Motor Racing. In 1966, the team was introduced to Formula 1. The cooperation of McLaren with the world’s largest automobile industries led to the construction of the some of the greatest cars in history. The major drivers of Formula 1 have worked with the team since then, while the team has grown to be the absolute leader on the tracks of Formula 1. Bruce McLaren died at the age of 32, when on June 2, 1970 the back of the car he was driving was cut off, resulting in his fatal injury.

In the early 1990s, the use of the expertise of McLaren for the manufacture of a passenger car was decided. Finding a powerful engine and designing an impressive vehicle was a prerequisite for the implementation of that bold project. The manufacture of the ultimate supercar would prove that McLaren is not randomly at the top of Formula 1.

McLaren gave its new creation the name “F1,” predisposing that the DNA of F1 contained identical cells with those found in Formula 1. The birth of the first F1 came in 1992 and could be described as a reincarnation of Bruce McLaren who suffered this needless death. The founder of the historic McLaren came back to life through the fastest road car that anyone had ever seen.

1996 McLaren F1 2

The futuristic design of the F1 was based on several points in the design philosophy of Formula 1 cars. The designer, Gordon Murray, was responsible for the visual spectacle offered by F1. Although the F1 came in production 21 years ago, it looks like it just came out yesterday from a highly modern factory.

Its aerodynamic design eliminates air resistance. The role of the ground effect system is crucial, where air passes beneath the chassis of the car with the smallest resistance possible. Reducing the weight of the F1 was achieved thanks to its exclusive carbon fiber build. We must emphasize here that the F1 is widely known as the first car manufactured entirely of carbon fiber. That extremely durable and lightweight material helped it weigh only 1,140 kg (2,513 lbs).

The doors of the F1 open upwards just as befits such cars. The famous McLaren pilots Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton would certainly feel very intimately behind the wheel of such a car. The existence of two more seats would probably be the only thing that could spoil the familiar environment. The bucket driver’s seat is positioned in the center, while another two seats are located behind it on the left and right side. The subversive seating configuration maximizes driver’s field of vision. Despite its sporty character, the F1 has the necessary amenities such as air conditioning, electric windows and even a CD player.

McLaren F1

The BMW Motorsport Division equipped the F1 with one of the best naturally aspirated engines available at the time. Weighing only 260 kg (573 lbs), it also used the Vanos variable timing system. The powerful engine acted like a volcano that erupted every time the driver turned the ignition key. It made the earth shake, thanks to that powerful V12 engine. However, it doesn’t release hot lava, but rather 627-hp that are reared by the 6.1-liter engine.

In the mid-mounted engine, leaves of gold were used for better sound insulation and resistance to high temperatures. The F1 sported a manual 6-speed transaxle gearbox and a launch from 0-100 km/h (62 mph) is done in just 3.3 seconds. In March 1998, the F1 broke all records, including the heralding barrier of 372 km/h (231 mph).

The unrealistic performance highlighted the F1 as the fastest mass-production car of the time. Today, the naturally-aspirated engine of the F1 is still considered one of the strongest ever manufactured. It retained its title until 2005 when Bugatti Veyron took the crown, reaching 408 km/h (253 mph).

McLaren F1 GTR

The racing action of the F1 is quite rich. The McLaren F1 GTR was the racing version, where its greatest victory came at the 24 Hours LeMans. Seven F1 GTR’s were thrown in the struggle for victory, and when the race came to a finish no one could believe what had happened. McLaren had achieved 3rd, 4th, 5th and 13th place with F1 GTR.

F1 production began in 1992 and ended in 1998, with a total of 106 copies manufactured. Nowdays, the F1 is considered a collectors item and aspiring aficionados spend immense amounts of money to obtain one. What we can say with certainty is that there won’t be a car made like the F1 in quite some time. The legend that was created around the name of F1 is definitely unmatched.

PHOTOS: See more of the McLaren F1

This article was written by passionate Greek auto-writer George Psarras

Most Viewed

  • Sunny Leone does a Zeenat Aman; wears transparent saree!
    Sunny Leone does a Zeenat Aman; wears transparent saree!

    T-series' upcoming film EK PAHELI LEELA has been creating buzz for quite some time now. …

  • When Sonam Kapoor Crashed Out On The Sets Of Prem Ratan Dhan Payo
    When Sonam Kapoor Crashed Out On The Sets Of Prem Ratan Dhan Payo

    Seems like Actress Sonam Kapoor is having her hectic schedules these days. She is been shooting in Gujarat with actor Salman Khan for their next film of Sooraj Barjatya’s Prem Ratan Dhan Payo. Take a look at the photographs of Sonam Kapoor, she just crashed out, looking so comfortable, she took a quick nap on the sets of Prem Ratan Dhan Payo. Sonam Kapoor has been attending various events and award shows and equally she is managing her shooting of her upcoming movie Prem Ratan Dhan Payo with …

  • Oops! Sonakshi Sinha Does It Again!
    Oops! Sonakshi Sinha Does It Again!

    Sonakshi Sinha never goes out looking for trouble, because trouble usually finds her. The actress broke her hand again! Sonakshi Sinha took to her Instagram account and posted a picture of her injured hand, wrapped in pink bandage. Last night, on Friday, Varun Dhawan threw a Badlapur success bash and the actress, like a good and supporting friend, made it to the party, even with her broken hand. …

  • Age gracefully, don't cover the lines: Kareena Kapoor
    Age gracefully, don't cover the lines: Kareena Kapoor

    New Delhi, Feb 27 (IANS) Bollywood's fit and fabulous Kareena Kapoor is on her way to turn 35, and she's clear about not attempting to be 22! She feels the key to ageing gracefully lies in letting the "lines" be, especially when it comes to men. I hate it when I look at somebody and know that they have tried to cover the lines," Kareena told IANS in an interview on a recent visit to the capital. Looking svelte in a golden shimmering gown, exuding a rare glow and charm, Kareena shared her …

  • Yahoo Movies Review: Dum Laga Ke Haisha
    Yahoo Movies Review: Dum Laga Ke Haisha

    Dum Laga Ke Haisha continuously makes you smile. This is a film with a big heart and you’ll also love watching this one for the kind of nostalgia it evokes. …

  • Dum Laga Ke Haisha Star Bhumi Pednekar Has Lost Weight!
    Dum Laga Ke Haisha Star Bhumi Pednekar Has Lost Weight!

    Bhumi Pednekar made her Bollywood debut opposite Ayushmann Khurrana in Dum Laga Ke Haisha doesn’t actually look even tiny bit close to her character from the movie. The reason why we didn’t see Bhumi come in front of media to interact, as her character and role in the film was kept a secret from audiences. …

  • Ab Tak Chhappan 2 Movie Review
    Ab Tak Chhappan 2 Movie Review

    AB TAK CHAPPAN 2 is an 80s plot with a 90s twist with director Aejaz Gulab trying to give it a current flavor. It doesn't work. Nana Patekar is at his blistering best... …

  • Alia Bhatt Finally Reveals Her Relationship With Sidharth Malhotra
    Alia Bhatt Finally Reveals Her Relationship With Sidharth Malhotra

    Sidharth Malhotra and Alia Bhatt are the new and much talked couple in the Bollywood. Recently at the launch of a show actor Sidharth Malhotra caught the photographer and asked him to give his camera. He started taking Alia Bhatt’s picture. On this situation during the music awards event, Alia Bhatt was questioned about the on going relationship with Sidharth as she has been spotted with him at different events and places together. …