“There is no supercar before it – or since – that has such purity of purpose.”
Those were the words of James Elliot, group editor of Classic and Sports Car magazine when describing the sheer greatness of the McLaren F1. It’s hard to believe that the F1 is 24 years old today, after making its world debut in 1992. It’s powered by a BMW-made 6.1-litre 60-degree V12 engine which produces 618 hp at 7,400 rpm and 651 Nm of torque at 5,600 rpm.
The world’s most uncompromising supercar is the brainchild of Gordon Murray, and weighs a staggering 1,138kg. It was the first production car in the world to feature a full carbon-fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) monocoque and accommodates three occupants, including the driver. Because the engine generates so much heat, Murray resorted to using a gold foil as engine heat shield.
The F1 remains to this day as one of the purest, single-purposed supercar ever built, because it didn’t come with airbags, ABS or any form of driver assistive systems. It sprints from 0 to 60mph (97km/h) in 3.2 seconds and maxes out at 323km/h. These numbers may be the norm today, but during its time it was many years ahead of the pack.
There were 11 finalists in the running for the coveted title, with big names such as Mercedes 300SL ‘Gullwing’, Lamborghini Miura, Lamborghini Countach, Bugatti Veyron and McLaren P1 among the mix. Through a worldwide public voting system, the McLaren F1 bagged over 30 percent of the 17,000 votes casted.