Gordon Murray the designer of the Mclaren F1 also designed the Bradham Alfa - Romeo also know as the "fan car". Which won its first and last race, The Grand - Prix in 1978, it w3as immediately banned cause it out did all the other cars. Gordon also designed the world champion Bradham BMW of 1983.
Gordon's dream was to beat the world, regardless of the cost. His target was to make the F1 as compact as possible, but at a practical weight (2205lb) and be powered by an atmospheric engine for immediate response and develop 550 hp. For this he turned to BMW.
The BMW V12 engine is bored out to 86.0 mm. The max power of the engine is 627 hp at 7400 rpm. Gordon only requested 550 hp, so he wasn't disappointed to get an engine that was 122 hp more than he expected, and was just 120 kilo's over weight.
The heat generated by its large engine and its catalytic exhaust system is a problem, the heat - isolating material is extensively used to protect the cockpit and various ancillaries. Facing it with heat - reflective material, has increased the efficiency of the isolating material. The most efficient of which is gold. The engine bay is lined with gold at a coast of $100,000.
Murray wanted the Mclaren F1 to be the fastest road car in production history. To do this he would have to beat the competition. In the 60's Lamborghini and Ferrari set forth to take the speed record. Lamborghini using the Miura and 365 GTB 14, then using the countash and Ferrari using testarossa and 288 GTO. When the 80's came around, the competition became harder; there was a new record at 196 mph, 15 mph faster than the previous record. The new record was set by Porsche using there 959. Both Bugatti and Jaguar soon set the new record at 212 and 213 mph. They thought that the Mclaren F1 was going to set it at 220 - 225 mph. When they tested the Mclaren it set the record at 241 mph.
The Mclaren F1 is probably the most exotic of the exotics, and definitely one of the best looking.