V-12, aluminum block and heads

Bore x stroke:
3.38 x 3.41 in (86.0 x 87.0mm)

Compression ratio:


Power - 618 bhp @ 7400 rpm
Torque - 479 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm
Redline: - 7500 rpm

Transmission: - 6-speed
Final-drive ratio:
2.37:1, limited slip

Wheelbas: - 107.0 in
Track, F/R - 61.7/57.9 in
Length - 168.8 in
Width - 71.6 in
Height - 44.9 in
Frontal area - 19.2 sq ft
Ground Clearance

5.1 in
Curb Weight - 2579 lb
Weight distribution, F/R:
Fuel Capacity - 23.8 gal
Oil Capacity - 6.3 qt

Type - unit construction with 2 rubber-isolated 
Body material - aluminum honeycomb and carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic

Front -ind, unequal-length control arms, coil springs, anti-roll bar
Rear - ind, unequal-length control arms, coil springs, anti-roll bar

Turns lock-to-lock - 2.8
Turning circle curb to curb - 42.6 ft

Front - 13.1 x 1.3-in vented disc
Rear - 12.0 x 1.0-in vented disc

Front -  9.0 x 17 in
Rear -  11.5 x 17 in
Goodyear F1
Front -  235/45ZR-17
Rear -  315/45ZR-17

The McLaren F1 is capable of 0 to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds and a top speed in excess of 240 mph. This makes it the fastest production car in the world.

During development work, McLaren driver Jonathan Palmer drove F1 prototype XP3 around Italy's 7.5 mile Nardo test track at 231 mph. But for the tight nature of the track, the car could have gone even faster. Early in 1998 this record was broken at Volkswagen's test track with a recorded speed of 241 mph.

Powering the McLaren is a quad cam, 48-valve, 6.1-litre BMW V12 engine with variable valve timing. It produces a staggering 627 bhp.

The F1's engine uses competition inspired dry sump lubrication. More complex than a conventional wet sump, it shaved vital inches from the oil pan, allowing the engine to be mounted lower.

One of Murray's key concerns about the F1 was weight and how to keep it to a minimum. His target was 1000kg, although the eventual kerb weight rose to 1100kg.

Everywhere you look on the McLaren, attempts have been made to reduce weight. Like the front and rear wishbones which are machined from solid aluminium alloy; or the wheels, constructed out of magnesium alloy.

McLaren Cars built five F1 prototypes before assembling 001, the first car. There was XP1 (experimental prototype 1), destroyed in a fire after three months; XP2, used for crash testing; XP3, used for durability testing and the 231 mph Nardo run; XP4 responsible for gearbox validation work; and XP5, a marketing department car.

One key design feature of the McLaren F1 is the positioning of the driver - in the middle, with two passenger seats aft of either side. That makes everything equi-distant from the wheel.

The F1 uses sophisticated double wishbones at the front and rear to give superb handling characteristics, but an absorbent ride, too.

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