Many things go into making a car a sports car, but chief among the factors that separate standard autos from sports cars is speed. Speed is not the sole measurement by which a sports car can or should be judged, but great acceleration and top end speed are factors that are always considered by sports car enthusiasts. While there are cars that can reach 60 mph quicker, the overall fastest production sports car in the world is the McLaren F1.
The McLaren holds all known records for speed among publicly available, street legal sports cars. Its 6.1liter V12 engine (which was designed by BMW) provides an awesome 627 bhp. To put that number in perspective, 627 bhp is more than double the power output of the engine found in one of the world’s most famous sports cars, the Astin Martin DB5.
Various sources have tested the McLaren F1. All have been able to push the vehicle to speeds in excess of 230 miles per hour. Some have reached speeds over 240 miles per hour in the F1.
The world’s fastest sports car is quick off the line, too. It can go from a standstill to 60 miles per hour in only 3.1 seconds, an amazing clip. It took only slightly more than 6 seconds for the car to achieve 100 mile per hour rates from a dead stop. The McLaren F1’s body was constructed from carbon fibers; an automotive innovation and it boasted gull-wings similar to the Lamborghini Countach and Delorean DMC12.
The F1 was originally offered in 1993. Production seems to have stopped in 1998. According to one noted source, only around 100 McLaren F1’s were ever produced-and only 65 were designed for road use, making it not only the fastest sports car ever, but one of the most rare, as well. It is considered among the most exotic of all exotic sports cars.
The 100 F1’s in existence are sure to fetch more than their original price tag if offered for sale today. That is of particular interest because the McLaren F1 was not cheap to begin with. The limited production sports car listed at one million dollars new. The car’s seats were custom molded to fit their owner’s physique perfectly and every purchaser was given a custom made Tag Hueur watch engraved with the F1’s chassis number. Purchasers were also rewarded with a gold-plated titanium tool kit. As of the late 1990s, there were only seven F1’s in the United States, two of which were maintained in Ralph Lauren’s private collection.
The McLaren F1 is a notable sports car for a variety of reasons. It’s rare nature, high cost, unique story, construction innovations and gorgeous design alone would make it a noteworthy piece of automotive history. When one also considers the massive power supplied by the V12 power plant and the resulting acceleration and speed, the McLaren F1 is elevated to the status of legend.
In a world that values speed almost above all else, the McLaren F1 was, and remains, the fastest.