The car features a 6.1-litre 60° V12 BMW V12 engine and it was conceived as an exercise in creating what its designers hoped would be considered the ultimate road car.
The McLaren F1 was the first production to use a complete carbon fiber chassis and body. Such lightweight construction, combined with the BMW S70/2, 620 horsepower engine, helped the McLaren achieve 240.14mph in its XP5 pre-production trim. The success didn’t stop on the road however, with special GTR versions winning Le Mans outright in 1995 and taking two FIA GT World Championships.
The Mclaren F1 has a top speed of 231 mph, restricted by the rev limiter at 7500 rpm. The true top speed of the Mclaren F1 was reached in April of 1998 by the five-year-old XP5 prototype. Andy Wallace (racer) piloted it down the 9 km straight at Volkswagen’s Ehra test track in Wolfsburg, Germany, setting a new world record of 391.1 km/h (243 mph) at 7800 rpm. As Mario Andretti noted in a comparisson test, the F1 is fully capable of pulling a seventh gear, thus with a higher gear ratio or a seventh gear the Mclaren F1 would probably be able to reach an even greater top speed (something which can also be observed by noticing that the top speed was reached at 7800 RPM while the peak power is reached at 7400 RPM).
The McLaren F1 was the fastest “production” car ever built (having achieved a top speed of 240.14 mph) until 2005 when the Koenigsegg CCR recorded a speed of 388 km/h (241 mph), a record which has in turn been broken by the Bugatti Veyron, with a top speed of 407 km/h (253 mph).
Only 100 cars were manufactured from 1994 to 1998, 64 of those were street versions, 5 were LMs and the rest were GTR models. After the initial production run 100 cars, McLaren have continued to maintain and add custom appointments to customer cars. Treatments such as new aerodynamic packages and custom interiors have been ordered by customers and McLaren has been happy to comply for right price.