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McLaren F1 LM

McLaren F1 LM in Automobilista 2

Arguably the first hypercar ever built - before the term was truly coined. And yet the McLaren F1 is insane even by today's standards.

About the Car

McLaren F1 was designed by Gordon Murray in the late 1980s and entered production in 1992. In total, 106 cars were manufactured when production ended in 1998. It is considered as one of the greatest cars ever made.

Murray's design concept aimed to combine low weight and high power. These days high performance road cars tend to be surprisingly heavy, often the same amount as typical European family cars. The F1 weighs more or less the same as a modern Miata which is 30 to 40% less than typical supercars. Back in 1992 it wasn't much lighter than competition, but still a fair bit lighter. However they also ended up with a similar power output as a modern supercar. This combination makes the F1 an order of magnitude faster than other supercars in its day.

Unlike modern supercars or hypercars, the F1 is rather simple. It has no ABS and traction control. It uses a traditional H-shifter gearbox and clutch pedal. The driver is fully responsible.

It does pack a few supercar-like features including butterfly doors, a gold-plated engine bay cover and on-board diagnostics before they became standard. Also its diagnostics can be remotely accessed by McLaren in the UK which was sci-fi back in 1992. The driver sits in the center of the cockpit with two passenger seats on each side, mounted a bit further back. The F1 is then very unique among sports cars.

McLaren F1's gold-plated engine bay
16g of gold was used to cover various parts inside the engine bay. It helps reflect heat and keep key parts cool... enough. Photo: Jalopnik

Sim driving notes

The McLaren F1 has more power than it can realistically put down through its rear tires. So the most difficult part is keeping the rear in check on throttle. Its enormous amount of torque will surprise you coming out of slow corners so be gentle with it. It might still squirm on 3rd and 4th gear with full throttle and steering input.

Other than that it's a perfectly balanced agile sports car that responds quickly and corners well. You can utilise some throttle oversteer coming out of corners - if you dare.

Also keep in mind that braking distances will be a lot longer than usual due to its straight-line speed.