Fascinating McLaren F1 facts known by few
1. Ron Dennis suggested that the analog needles sweep the dashboard dials on start-up. This effect has now been imitated by many manufacturers.
2. The F1’s central air intake was an engineering challenge. According to head designer Gordon Murray:
We had to design a water separator, trap and drain to avoid filling the engine with water when following a truck in the rain.
3. Two washers of different thickness were available to the F1 design team. Because of weight reduction goals, designers had to justify using the thick one.
4. The leather used in the McLaren F1 interior was sliced to half its original thickness. This saved 5 kilograms.
5. The dihedral doors of the McLaren F1 are a central part of its drama. Remembers Murray:
The final design was fixed with Bruce Mackintosh and myself late one night when we mocked up the doors in a wireframe on the seating buck. It was necessary to remove part of the roof and part of the floor to give the driver access to the central seat so a conventional door wouldn’t work.
6. Eight potential partners were selected for the McLaren F1 stereo system. Five of them declined when McLaren gave them a 50% weight-reduction target. At the end, only Kenwood remained, and built its components at half the weight and cut the number of buttons from 30 to five.
7. Starting the McLaren F1 is an impressive ritual. The inspiration for the lift-up flap over the starter button came from a World War II fighter firing button. According to Murray:
I really wanted the start to be an event. We cancelled the electronic signal to the starter for two full rpm so that the driver could hear that starter engage (something I remember being special in my air-cooled 911 Porsche). I had to delay the start because a 60-degree V12 is a perfect firing-up machine.
- Car Magazine
- McLaren Automotive
- Wikipedia: McLaren F1