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Identify the general facts of the McLaren F1
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 Volkswagon'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
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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