Twenty five years ago, McLaren, Gordon Murray and Paul Rosche made history. Together, they developed quite possibly the finest driving instrument ever created — the McLaren F1. Back in 1994, Autocar was the publication that recorded all of the F1’s performance metrics. So when you read about how fast the F1 is, it’s because of Autocar. Twenty five years later, Autocar drove the car yet again, side-by-side with a McLaren 720S, to see if it still lives up to the legendary status it gained all those years ago.
Why does this matter to BMW enthusiasts? If you didn’t already know, the McLaren F1 houses a 6.1 liter naturally-aspirated V12 engine that was developed by BMW M and the legendary Paul Rosche. That engine is a huge part of why the F1 is so brilliant. Its 627 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque allow the 1,138 kg (2,508 lbs) featherweight to nail 60 mph in a 1994-recorded 3.2 seconds. What’s crazier is to think that it would be quicker today if it had modern rubber.
It’s not just all engine and no handling, though. The McLaren F1 steers, handles and goes with a purity and clarity that no modern car can dream of. Even the McLaren 720S that tested along side of it, as incredible as it is, isn’t as telepathically sharp as the F1. There’s just no way it can be, nor anything else. But you shouldn’t take it from me. Go read Autocar’s re-review. It’s a fantastic love-letter to one of the very greatest cars ever made. Hell, the F1 might be the very best driving car ever made.
The best part of all of this? Gordon Murray, the F1’s mastermind, is at it again. His upcoming GMA (Gordon Murray Automotive) T.50 is on its way and its also going to be a mid-engine, carbon fiber, naturally-aspirated V12-powered supercar with a manual gearbox and rear-wheel drive. According to Murray, it’s going to be the best supercar ever made. After the F1, it’s hard to doubt him.