Into Orbit - CAR drives the McLaren F1 for the first time: CAR+ archive, June 1994

Published: 19 September 2015

My mind is blown. My soul corrupted. Absolute power has cast its spell. Solo or ménage a trois, I don’t mind. Put me back in the middle, behind the central wheel of the world’s fastest driving machine. I need more, another fix. Two days on the loose in McLaren’s three-seater megacar, and I’m hooked. You would be, too. The 627-horsepower F1, which humbles all previous slingshot exotics, is just what design director Gordon Murray pledged it would be: the ultimate motoring experience, the closest sensation to a street-legal grand prix car. Forget Porsche’s 959, Ferrari’s F40, Jaguar’s XJ220, Bugatti’s EB110. They’re overweight, underpowered pussycats compared with McLaren’s BMW-powered blockbuster. The F1 not only trounces them emphatically, but does so with spine-tingling sound effects.

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By Roger Bell

The archetypal road tester, CAR magazine staple in the 80s and '90s

  • Into Orbit: We road test the McLaren F1, CAR magazine, June 1994