Designed by legendary Formula One car designer Gordon Murray and released in 1993, the F1 set the world record for the top speed of a road car at the time -- 231mph. The F1 LM was created to celebrate and honour the five racetrack-only F1 GTRs that won the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans race in France. While only 100 F1s were ever made between 1993 and 1998, the LM is even more exclusive. Like the the GTRs, there were only five made and these were all painted a bright orange -- papaya orange -- to pay homage to the memory of the Bruce McLaren, the famous motoring engineer, designer and racing driver who's racing cars were painted in the same colour.
In the eyes of critics and car fans alike, the 1993 McLaren F1 is the greatest supercar of all time. Despite tough competition from the record breaking Bugatti Veyron, this British supercar regularly finds itself at the top of many a car critic's favourites list. The F1 LM variant took the outrageous performance and handling characteristics of this supercar and enhanced them on its release in 1995, making it the most powerful F1 available for the road.
The LM is the road-going version of the Le Mans-winning GTR. It boasts the GTR V12 engine which generates 680 hp -- the regular F1 generated 627 hp -- and can hit 0-60 in 2.9 seconds, go from 0-100 in 6.7 seconds and has been recorded going from 0-100-0 in 11.5 seconds. Featuring a six-speed manual gearbox, the LM has a top speed of 225mph -- lower than the standard F1 because of the downforce created by the LM's larger spoiler -- and generates 520 pound-ft at 4500rpm. The engine has a bore and stroke of 86.0 mm x 87.0 mm and features a compression ratio of 11.0:1
The McLaren features 18 inch magnesium wheels to save on weight; they are in fact 76 kgs lighter than those on the F1.
Front tires are 275/35ZR 18 and the rear tires are 345/35ZR 18.
What makes the F1 so unique is its centrally-positioned carbon fiber seat that the driver sits in while on either side and slightly back from the driver are seats for two passengers. The driver is strapped in with a F1-sourced six-point harness seat belt. This setup means that the driver is center in the car with no distractions and has ample leg, hip and arm room for exploiting the car's huge talents.
The F1 LM can carry 23.8 gallons of fuel and is able to average 15mpg. The car's dimensions are 4365 mm in length, 1820 mm in width and 1120 mm in height. Its wheel base measures 2718 mm.
While only five F1 LMs were made and sold to the public, a sixth exists; this was used as the prototype for the F1 LM and is owned by McLaren CEO Ron Dennis. It is believed to be worth in excess of $4 million. To buy the LM back in 1995 would have cost $1,250,000; making the McLaren one of the few cars that has actually increased in value over time.
- Photo Credit Rippled black and white chequered flag image by Christopher Dodge from Fotolia.com
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