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Covering Sports cars & Supercars

The Design of Speed

1997 McLaren F1 GT

📸: Norbert Aepli

So we're cheating a little on our Turn of the Century concept in order to include what must be recognized as the greatest road car of the 20th Century, the unbelievable McLaren F1. Unfortunately for our discussion, McLaren stopped production of the car in 1998, so there are technically no 1999 models to feature. We decided to cast our admiring gaze on the 1997 GT model, which was created to homologate McLaren's race car for the new rules of the FIA GT racing series. The GT has many internal differences from the standard F1, but the most obvious external clues are the "longtail" spoiler added to increase downforce without adding too much drag.

McLaren built only 3 of the F1 GTs, keeping one and selling two to customers.

📸: Courtesy

Lest we not forget the totality of this beast, the McLaren F1 was recorded at top speeds exceeding 240 mph. That it was able to achieve this with a normally aspirated BMW-sourced 6.1 liter V12 speaks volume about the overall efficiency of the vehicle as designed by Gordon Murray and Peter Stevens.

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