Car of the Week 9
Manufacturer : McLaren Automotive
Release Date : 1991
The McLaren F1 is a sports car designed and manufactured by McLaren Automotive. Originally a concept conceived by Gordon Murray, he convinced Ron Dennis to back the project and engaged Peter Stevens to design the exterior of the car.
The car features numerous proprietary designs and technologies; it is lighter and has a more streamlined structure than many modern sports cars, despite having one seat more than most similar sports cars, with the driver’s seat located in the centre (and slightly forward) of two passengers’ seating positions, providing driver visibility superior to that of a conventional seating layout.
It features a powerful engine and is somewhat track oriented, but not to the degree that it compromises everyday usability and comfort. It was conceived as an exercise in creating what its designers hoped would be considered the ultimate road car.
Chief engineer Gordon Murray’s design concept was a common one among designers of high-performance cars: low weight and high power. This was achieved through use of high-tech and expensive materials like carbon fiber, titanium, gold, magnesium and kevlar. The F1 was the first production car to use a carbon-fibre monocoque chassis.
Gordon Murray insisted that the engine for this car be naturally aspirated to increase reliability and driver control. Turbochargers and superchargers increase power but they increase complexity and can decrease reliability as well as introducing an additional aspect of latency and loss of feedback. The ability of the driver to maintain maximum control of the engine is thus decreased. Murray initially approached Honda for a powerplant with 550 bhp (410 kW; 558 PS), 600 mm (23.6 in) block length and a total weight of 250 kg (551 lb), it should be derived from the Formula One powerplant in the then-dominating McLaren/Honda cars.
When Honda refused, Toyota, then planning an entry into Formula One, had a 3.5 V12 engine being tested in a Lotus chassis. The company was very interested in having the engine fitted into the F1. However, the designers wanted an engine with a proven design and a racing pedigree.
The normal McLaren F1 features no wings to produce downforce (compare the LM and GTR editions); however, the overall design of the underbody of the McLaren F1 in addition to a rear diffuser exploits ground effect to improve downforce which is increased through the use of two electric Kevlar fans to further decrease the pressure under the car. A “high downforce mode” can be turned on and off by the driver.
At the top of the vehicle, there is an air intake to direct high pressure air to the engine with a low pressure exit point at the top of the very rear.
Under each door is a small air intake to provide cooling for the oil tank and some of the electronics. The airflow created by the electric fans not only increase downforce, but the airflow that is created is further exploited through design, by being directed through the engine bay to provide additional cooling for the engine and the ECU. At the front, there are ducts assisted by a Kevlar electric suction fan for cooling of the front brakes.
There is a small dynamic rear spoiler on the tail of the vehicle, which will adjust dynamically and automatically attempt to balance the centre of gravity of the car under braking – which will be shifted forward when the brakes are applied. Upon activation of the spoiler, a high pressure zone is created in front of the flap, and this high pressure zone is exploited—two air intakes are revealed upon application that will allow the high pressure airflow to enter ducts that route air to aid in cooling the rear brakes. The spoiler increases the overall drag coefficient from 0.32 to 0.39 and is activated at speeds equal to or above 40 mph (64 km/h) by brake line pressure.
The F1 remains as of 2011 one of the fastest production cars ever made; as of July 2010 it is succeeded by very few cars including the Koenigsegg CCR, the Bugatti Veyron, the SSC Ultimate Aero TT, and the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport. However, all of the superior top speed machines use forced induction to reach their respective top speeds – making the McLaren F1 the fastest naturally aspirated production car in the world
Gran Turismo 5 Car Description
The McLaren F1 is a super sportscar developed by the F1 constructor McLaren , released in 1991 .
The car was designed by F1 car designer Gordon Murray , to bring to life the yet unfulfilled dream of the late Bruce McLaren – the founder of the company – to create a McLaren for the road.
Having gullwing doors and monocoque structure that made its weight extremely light at 1140kg, the car is a revolutionary model with an unending list of special features . One of the more notable points is the incredible attention to weight distribution for optimal driving performance .
Positioning the driver´s seat at the centre of the car , 2 passangers are positioned behind to the left and right to create a unique triangular 3 seater layout . Even the boot is positioned on the inside of the wheelbase to centre the weight .
The 6.1L V12 BMW engine produces 618BHP and is mid mounted . They opted for a naturally aspirated engine even though super sportcars at the time depended on turbos , for overall better response and driving flexibility.
As a result , the McLaren F1 was praised worldwide as being the fastest roadgoing super sportscar in the world , but was still practical for everyday use .
With its stunning speed and driving performance, there were many customers who wanted to race the car , and in response they began delivery of the race spec F1 GTR. With great success in races like the 24Hours of Le Mans, the McLaren F1 created its own epoch.
Sources : Wikipedia and Gran Turismo 5 ( pictures from Gran Turismo 5 photomode )
Videos about the McLaren F1 ´94
-GTOR Route X Lap
-Top Gear McLaren F1
Car of the Week Route X Timetable
1-( Week 9 ) McLaren F1 ´94 – 5:11.884