- Acceleration 0 to 60: 3.2 sec
- Braking 60 to 0: 127 ft
- Quarter Mile: 11.1 sec
- Slalom: 64.5 mph
- Skidpad: 0.86 g
- Engine: 6.0 liter DOHC V12
- Power: 680 hp
- Torque: 520 lb-ft
- Transmission: 6-speed manual
- Wheelbase: 107.0 in
- Curb weight: 2,341 lbs
- MPG: (who cares)
- MSRP: $1,307,000 est.
Damn, this is the royalty of all exotics in history. As I was driving by East Hampton in front of Guild Hall, I spotted this masterpiece.
The McLaren F1 is more than just a fast car. This is a car that has made its stable mark in automotive history. Blessed with some of the most impeccable engineering in its time, it is a watershed moment for the automotive industry.
It all started when a car designer by the name of Gordon Murray, the same guy who designed Formula 1 cars for both Brabham and McLaren. Its blueprint was quite simple: it is light, it is streamlined, and it incorporates a host of proprietary technologies that most super car manufacturers took literally decades to match.
It may seem odd that the braking and slalom statistics are underwhelming, but it is important to remember that this car is from the early 1990s. During that time period, even the most expensive Italian supercars were barely achieving 0 to 60 times of under the high 4-second range. When you consider the automotive market demographic that the F1 was conceived in, it is easier to fully appreciate the F1’s amazing abilities. The Mclaren may come off as a visually un-noticeable car, but in reality, this British hot-rod performer will outrun virtually any modern supercar, despite its tremendous age.
Bugatti Veyron Comparison:
The truth is that the Bugatti Veyron really doesn’t compare to the Mclaren. The Bugatti shares almost no qualities with Murray’s masterpiece. I like to view the Bugatti as a car developed from a minimalist approach, where the Bugatti was developed from an immoderate approach. The Bugatti contains ten radiators whereas most cars have one. Bugatti puts 16 cylinders with 4 turbochargers to produce 1001 horsepower in its Veyron, and they would have to, because the Veyron weighs 4410 pounds! As a result, the Veyron is very planted and drives very well, but you can feel the immense weight and it ultimately feels like a very fast Bentley GT.
When you experience the Mclaren’s lack of weight and naturally aspirated V12 power, you get a visceral feeling of speed and handling. The F1 actually feels faster than the numbers would suggest. This is a feeling that is becoming less apparent in many modern sports and supercars, which mimic the Veyron much more than the F1. The Veyrons abundance of technology may make it technically faster, but it also makes it less inspiring to drive. That is why I would choose the F1 over the Veyron all day long.