It’s another round of opinions, facts and debates as Doug DeMuro on YouTube hosts a chat with fellow gear head Kennan to discuss a topic most of us wouldn’t think to explore.
The McLaren F1 is a performance machine from the 90s that was a real record-setter, a top trumps card and wall-poster-hero that, thanks to its 240-mph top speed gained instant notoriety and a place in the supercar hall of fame.
Doug posits that perhaps it is a little overrated, trying to look past the reputation and status to see if it is really worth its price tag, fame and place in the car world.
Why The McLaren F1 Was Such A Good Car
There are different factors the team need to pick apart in the video, where they both admit to the greatness of the McLaren F1 but concede that it is also a flawed car.
Gordon Murray also said the same, despite him working with a team of ultra-talented engineers to make this road car as light, advanced and perfect as possible. In the quest for lightness and speed, funds got used up and some smaller details set aside. Things DeMuro and Kennan say, like the rear taillights from a bus, or BMW switches. There are other things too, but the absence of a purpose-built exotic engine is another.
BMW’s 7-Series V12, modified and displacing 6.1-liters in the McLaren F1 made 618 hp, but it was a necessary step to bringing to fruition the 90s monster that went on to win Le Mans.
It’s 240 mph top speed was an accolade that would stick for 10 years, and its exterior style and 3-seat setup made it like nothing else. But other 90s cars were also fast, quirky and expensive.
Why The McLaren F1 Was Not Such A Good Car
The duo, piecing together the mystery discusses other 90s cars like the Bugatti EB110, Vector W8, Jaguar XJ220 and many more, and why they didn’t claim the same cachet as the F1.
Winning Le Mans got done previously by the Jaguar XJR-15, and it doesn’t have the same reputation as the McLaren F1; if the F1 hadn’t won Le Mans and was the fastest car in the world, it may not have gained the status it boasts today.
They talk about the fact that it was BMW-engined supercar that used taillights from a bus, and how it is funny that a Le Mans win and 240-mph top speed made it into a hero.
But the conclusion they reach is one we suspected all along: it is the F1’s unique blend of style, quirkiness and infamy that caused it to become an icon, along with its top speed.
A pure, naturally-aspirated car that could take to the public road and win Le Mans. The McLaren F1 is worth an average of $20,000 today and only around 63 are in circulation, making it an extremely valuable 90s supercar.