Supercars in detail: McLaren F1 – a compromise in the struggle for speed

How to build the world's best supercar? Ask Gordon Murray – it was his McLaren F1 for many years occupied the first place in the table records in acceleration and top speed. Now veteran ousted from the throne a few ambitious newcomers, but the British supercar there are still many loyal fans. Today we understand in the tangled history of this outstanding vehicle.

A bit about the creator

With Eun Scottish motorcycle racer, who emigrated to South Africa, Gordon Murray had dreamed since childhood own supercar. Mid-engine concept "car" has arisen in the years when Gordon was a student at a technical college in Durban. At the same time it was created and the first sketches supercar with a triple layout, where the pilot sat in the middle, but a dream come true is not reached – to build machines needed money, which Murray did not.

After college, Gordon began working in a local racing "stable", which picked up the necessary experience and went to England. First, an ambitious young man wanted to get a job at Lotus racing team, but after a chance meeting with Brabham designer Ron Tarka has agreed to offer to work in the latter.

Murray's team worked for about 20 years, the cars of his design won several championships in Formula, and the Gordon has become renowned for being never afraid of innovation or radical ideas, which contribute to the design of their cars. It then appeared, for example, Brabham BT46, use the "ground-effect" and equipped with a fan at the bottom (a reference to a formulaic TEAWARE KRINKINA), creating a vacuum of air to the rear wheels and increases the downforce of the car. Unfortunately, along with the air machine, fair competition dubbed "vacuum cleaner" to delay the asphalt dust and small stones, which are then thrown away with the force of the rear of the car in running behind the car. After winning VT46 on a single race, the FIA ​​banned the use of such management systems in the race under pressure from competitors' complaints.

In the photo: Brabham BT46 '1978

In 1987, Murray leaves Brabham at McLaren as technical director of the team. It was under his leadership, it was designed championship MP4 / 4 Ayrton Senna.

In the photo: McLaren Honda MP4-4 '1988

In 1988, Murray was able to show his sketches "civilian" car company director Ron Dennis, who wanted to get rid of the McLaren producer status only racing cars, and therefore agreed to develop a supercar. In 1989 he was created a separate division McLaren Cars Limited, which is engaged in the development of road cars, and almost did not cooperate with the racing department of the brand. It was his and led Murray, who was given carte blanche to any plans, ideas and developments.

1992 – McLaren F1

Begin to develop a supercar, Murray carefully thought out concept for a new car. According to his idea, the main goal was the weight of the machine exactly one ton, and the power of the motor should be around 500 liters. from. However, to meet at exactly 1000 kg Gordon could not – his car weighs 1140 kg, but still McLaren F1, and to this day is considered one of the lightest supercars in the world.

In the struggle for weight loss greatly helped CFRP. From it vykleili over five thousand parts of the machine: from the parts of the monocoque and finishing attachments. Where could use modern composite material – used light alloys and titanium. By the way, the last performed almost all the elements of the independent double wishbone suspension front and rear wheels. The driver's seat placed in the center, firmly securing it on the floor, and two passenger seats on each side are all the elements of the power structure of the body. So comfortable McLaren F1 is difficult to call – the vibration from the engine and any bumps immediately transmitted to the riders body. For the sake of weight reduction Murray gave up the power steering and brakes, is not here, and ABS and airbags.

However, even such a tough weight savings did not become a pretext for the total failure of passenger comfort: F1 is equipped with air conditioning, a powerful audio system and side windows, air vents with electric, upholstery made of leather and Alcantara, and on the floor – thick woolen carpets. The luggage compartment of the car a few: one large niche in the front, two more smaller – on the sides of the body, in front of the rear arches, and in each of them were branded leather bags.

Under a light and durable chassis and powerful engine is needed. First, Murray had planned to take a motor for his supercar from Honda, which has been the engine supplier for the racing team in years. But it turned out that from the options the biggest engine in the Japanese scale had a V6 configuration that hypercar seemed just undignified. Therefore, Murray turned to motorists BMW.

In the early 1990s, the Germans released the luxury coupe eighth series, the flagship version of which was equipped with a V12 engine displacement of 5.5 liters with the BMW M70 index, developing 286 hp. from. The eighth series was very expensive, and by the financial crisis has reduced demand for the car. He is not allowed to establish M8 release – assembled unit BMW Motorsport charged 550-strong version, and the rest live in a single copy. When asked in the BMW Murray, he was shown this very car. Engine liked Gordon, and he signed with the Bavarian firm contract for the supply of high performance motors to England.

Especially for McLaren, he was severely refined: Paul Roche, the head of BMW Motorsport division, increased working volume of the engine to 6.1 liters, modified cylinder heads and added reinforced pistons and crankshaft, which ultimately allowed to remove already 627 liters. from. without the use of any naturally aspirated. Completely made of light alloys, the V12 weighed only 266 kg, and that the engine is less overheated in a compact engine compartment, for thermal insulation applied gold leaf.

In tandem with the motor operated six-speed manual transmission, designed specifically for F1. The owners, by the way, complained of her temper: switch was quite difficult, the transmission could periodically take off, and many irritated increased noise shafts.

But the high-torque V12 makes the process of starting with a very simple place. To reach slowly racetrack, can already at 50 km / h to enable sixth gear, and V12, unwinding not exceeding 1500 revolutions / min easily move the holder in the desired location. At the same time in fifth gear motor quietly unwound up to 260 km / h, and on the sixth reached a top speed of 372 km / h, which remained an insurmountable barrier to competition for many years. As, however, and the acceleration time – up to "hundreds" the McLaren "catapulted" in 3.2 seconds.

However, the superiority was given the maximum speed at the cost of stability at high speeds. This stems from the profile of McLaren, drawn by Peter Stevens – most clean, not overgrown wing and spoilers, plus clearance of the F1 – not superkarovskie 130 mm, Murray left in favor of the daily operation of the machine. One of the test pilots in the first test even McLaren, said: "When I go to McLaren at speeds above 250 km / h on a perfectly flat line, it seems to me that this is not a straight line, and a hundred tiny treacherous bends!"

Is pressed against the rear axle to the road was called spoiler, extendable automatically at speeds above 180 km / h, but even from him, along with a fan at the bottom, increasing the ground-effect, a little confused. This is admitted even by Murray, who later supplemented kit car weight spoilers and rear wings, which, of course, reduced the maximum speed, but significantly increases the stability of the supercar.

1995 – McLaren F1 GTR

Murray developed as the F1 road car and not even thought about creating a racing version of the supercar. Only the numerous requests McLaren customers were able to convince the leadership in the sports car capabilities. Finally, consent was obtained, and Murray got behind the creation of a racing car, which later received the GTR prefix in the name.

The basis of the first car took one of the test chassis, which was subjected to minor refinements. The main body has grown more additional air intakes, which are placed in the baggage compartments in the front and sides, appeared on the rear bumper diffuser and rear wing have added a powerful variable angle of attack. Salon, in accordance with the requirements of the class BPR Global GT homologation pretty gutted, depriving air conditioning, audio system and side seats, and instead added to the mandatory rules of the competition and the safety cage system of automatic fire extinguishing.

Little has changed and chassis – in the suspension were adjustable springs and shock absorbers, brake discs are now carried out in carbon fiber, thereby improving their reliability and light-alloy wheels shod in racing slicks. But the changes in the power unit were minimal: a standard V12 derated to 600 liters. from. using the restrictor inlet and gearbox and all remained unchanged!

The first prototype of the night to run in the track at Magny-Cours, to find possible weak car seats and eliminate them. After the test cars were sold in the collection of the Sultan of Brunei. During the 1995 season, nine martial chassis was built for six teams, where many victories were won in the main of which – the first place in the overall classification, "24 Hours of Le Mans." Then GTR bypassed even special racing prototypes, putting the speed record on the line, the Mulsann – 281 km / h during qualifying. The success of the car at the races became more advertising, and the company decided to continue racing program.

Season 1996 F1 GTR met with a new sponsor – BMW Motorsport team. First of all, significantly changed the aerodynamics – front appeared developed splitter and feed became longer and get a better aerodynamic profile. Some elements of carbon fiber sample to facilitate the work done easily removable, and the drain six-step "mechanics" was replaced with a new one with reinforced gears and casing made from magnesium alloys. As a result, the new car has become easier once the predecessor to 38 kg.

However, the dominance on the slopes is not continued – although supercar and won again the race at Le Mans, having fixed on the line in qualifying Mulsann 330 km / h top speed, the main contender to win the Constructors Championship, became the Porsche 911 GT1.

1995 – McLaren F1 LM

For certification of a racing car for homologation rules require release version of the road car, which received index LM. In late 1995, five of these machines were built in honor of the five cars involved in the race. Although in sale of five cars, and there is one more – the chassis, which run in all major decisions, sparkling brand color Papaya Orange. The prototype is preserved in the collection teams and to the present day.

GTR Supercar used modification developments devoid of the restrictor inlet, safety cages and racing slicks. As a result, F1 LM powerful than the "regular" version of 41 liters. from. – It has in the arsenal of 668 liters. from. As in GTR, the gearbox is equipped with a magnesium crankcase, which allowed to reduce the total weight of the supercar to 60 kg: because in addition to this, he was deprived of sound insulation, electric windows and audio system, which helped to stop the overall weight of the car to 1062 kg.

Of course, and improved dynamic performance. From a place to passport "hundreds" of British dispersed evenly in three seconds, but the maximum speed is reduced – up to 362 km / h. The main reason for the decline, as it is easy to assume, was the change based on the GTR aerodynamic – with air instead of luggage niches on each side, a powerful rear wing carbon fiber with adjustable angle of attack, as well as other front splitter and side skirts, guiding the flow of air along the car.

Revised and chassis – suspension emptied of all gum silent blocks, replacing them with a more rigid aluminum ball bearings, increased in size ventilated disc brakes, wheels and full-time places were developed specifically for the car 18-inch magnesium wheels wrapped in Michelin MXX3 tires.

1997 – McLaren F1 GTR Longtail

In 1997, a series of BPR Global GT race was renamed FIA GT Championship. Along with this change and homologation requirements now allow designers more freedom of action. After receiving new technical input, after not too successful sports year at McLaren do a serious alteration of the body supercar.

From previous iterations kept only carbon fiber monocoque. All external panels have been re-profiled: the back of the lengthened by almost half a meter long and has become the front bumper, and the whole machine bristled developed splitter, rear wing and a powerful air intakes. As a result, the clamping force F1 GTR, nicknamed Longtail (Longtail), increased by 3.5 times in comparison with the first version!

BMW S70 engine lubrication system equipped with "dry" sump, and a full-time "mechanics" replaced sequential "shestistupkoy" Xtrac. Under the rules of homologation it was issued three McLaren F1 supercar from the GT top box, equipped with the same powertrain, but less developed bodywork.

Unfortunately, the 1997 season began for the team failure – only a few wins on the track, as well as low, compared to competitors from Porsche and the Mercedes, speed indicators (on the line Mulsann GTR lost in the speed of 911 over 10 km / h!) It led to the fact that the company refused to finance the cars participating in the 1998 championship. The remaining chassis delivered to the museums, and a few were sold Longtail wealthy collectors, who persuaded the company to carry out the modernization of public roads. To do this, the ground clearance of supercars increased by 60 mm, change the location of the fuel tank and removed the restrictor on the intake manifold, and the interior was ennobled leather trim, sound system, and even air conditioning.

Interesting Facts

  1. Total 107 McLaren F1 in various versions were produced from 1992 to 1997. "Basic" sold exactly £ 1 million.
  2. McLaren F1 in different versions certified in a variety of different racing games. Ride it can be in Test Drive Unlimited, Forza Motorsport, several parts of the arcade Need For Speed, simulator Gran Turismo series and many others.
  3. One of the owners of the supercar is an English comedian Rowan Atkinson, best known for playing Mr. Bean. His car is notorious for accidents actor who restored the favorite toy for two times.
  4. As compensation for the early termination of the contract with the racing stable of race driver Michael Andretti has received one of the issued supercars.
  5. To service the McLaren F1 supercar in the company are still using Compaq LTE 5280 laptop released in the mid-90s. After all, only with a computer running "Conditional Access Card" – software for accessing the encoded signal from the diagnostic systems of the machine. Now McLaren spend thousands of dollars in search and purchase of old computers that are compatible with of DDOS, which in the near future still want to replace, align interface with modern laptops.