The F1’s chief designer, Gordon Murray, had been working on a one-plus-two seating configuration since 1969. Twenty years later, his innovative arrowhead concept came to fruition in the F1.
Power, pace and peerless quality, the legendary McLaren F1 is a technological masterpiece. The fastest production car of its time. The finest sports car of its generation. For many, the greatest supercar ever built.
Months of modelling and wind tunnel testing contributed to a drag coefficient of 0.32 – making the McLaren F1 one of the most aerodynamically efficient sports cars ever built.
A computer-controlled rear airbrake ensures the F1 maintains a constant centre of pressure when braking hard.
Clever packaging and distinctive layout created another unique benefit. It became the first supercar with room for two passengers.
Formula 1-style flat underbody and diffuser system integrates into the overall design to improve downforce and provide critical engine and brake cooling.
No spoilers. No wings on struts. Absolute stability at high speed. These were the immutable aerodynamic principles the F1 was designed on. To create traction-enhancing load without adding mass, the team also applied the latest ground force techniques to the car.
Lighter and stronger than aluminium, the F1 was the first road car with a carbon fibre chassis.
The world’s fastest road car needed the world’s most advanced braking system. The computer-controlled Airbrake balances load across the car and ensures the F1 maintains poise when braking hard.
Driven To Innovate
From the Formula 1 inspired telemetry to the pioneering carbon chassis, the F1’s innovative technologies were decades ahead of its time. Some of the most influential engineering highlights, like the carbon fibre tub, dihedral doors, flat underbody and Airbrake are still signature features on today’s McLarens.
The dihedral doors are an elegant solution to a complex problem. Beautiful, simple, practical, their wide opening design makes it easy to access the central driving position.
Developed for the track and honed for the F1, the on-board diagnostic computer continuously monitors and logs a myriad of metrics to identify and diagnose faults.
ALL CONQUERING SEASON
Waiting at Milan airport after the ‘88 Italian Grand Prix, four McLaren luminaries discussed the company’s future. Before their flight was called, the executive team agreed McLaren would design and build the finest road car in the world. Bold and uncompromising, this decision changed automotive history.
It’s no coincidence that the F1 was conceived during our all-conquering 1988 Formula 1™ season. Built on a carbon fibre chassis and driven by Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost, our MP4/4 race car won 15 out of 16 races. It dominated Formula 1™ and set new standards on the track. Designed and built without compromise, the McLaren F1 would do the same on the road.
ENGINEERED TO PERFECTION
Brilliance takes time. It took four years to meticulously plan, design and build the all-conquering F1. Beautifully engineered and exceptionally quick, the F1 broke numerous world records during the ‘90s, and it remains the fastest naturally aspirated road car ever built. Only 106 cars were made in a limited production run, making the F1 one of the most exclusive cars in the world today.