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McLaren F1 debuted 20 years ago this week

Wed, 30 May 2012 00:00:00 -0700

It’s 20 years this week since the iconic McLaren F1 made its debut at The Sporting Club in Monte Carlo.

There were many reasons why we thought McLaren would preview the new F1 to a select audience at last week’s Monaco Grand Prix, not least of which was that it’s 20 years since the first McLaren F1 was revealed to a select audience in the Principality. But it was not to be.

But despite the lack of a new F1 at Monaco, the 20th anniversary of the first public (well, semi-public) viewing of the McLaren F1 is worth a note or two.

The original McLaren F1 was the first road car to feature a carbon fibre chassis and, for a very long time, the quickest road car in the world – with a 241mph top speed –  and still the quickest naturally aspirated road car ever built.

The F1 was never really planned to be a limited run car, but by 1997 McLaren were struggling to sell the F1 at its $1,000,000 price tag and were forced to sell at least one of the last cars for just $400k, and decided to end production after just 64 road cars. Now, you’d be paying over $4 million for a good F1.

It’s nice to look back, but it’s better to look forward. The new McLaren F1 is almost with us - despite its lack of an appearance at Monaco – and we’re hoping that McLaren have built a car that can stand beside the original F1 as the ultimate road car.

We’re sure its looks will be dramatic – the new F1 won’t be generic in the way the MP4-12C is – and we’re expecting McLaren to deliver a new F1 that’s the quickest accelerating road car in production, even if they don’t feel the need to fight the Veyron for the, rather pointless, top speed trophy.

The next episode in the McLaren F1 story should be the all new F1. Soon, we hope.



By Cars UK