How The McLaren F1 Became The World’s Fastest Car In 1998

This year marks the 25th anniversary since the birth of the McLaren F1 and the British supercar maker reminds us how this mythical piece of kit managed to set new standards back in 1998.

McLaren released a video with Andy Wallace, Le Mans winner and the man behind the wheel of the record-breaking F1, to talk about his experience during the top speed run.

Back then, McLaren took the F1 to the Ehra-Lessien proving ground in Germany to find out just how fast the F1 can go.

Andy Wallace drove the XP5 prototype which managed a two-way average of 240.1mph (386.4km/h) and a peak top speed of 243mph (391km/h), with the rev-limiter being raised to 8,300rpm.

Its top speed record managed to stay unbeaten up until 2007, when the Bugatti Veyron managed a 253.81mph (408.47km/h) at the same venue. Even by today’s supercar standards though, the McLaren F1 remains one mighty fast machine, with 0-60mph taking just 3.2 seconds and 0-124mph (0-200km/h) in 9.4 seconds.

Its BMW-sourced 6.1-litre V12 makes 627hp and 480lb-ft (651Nm) which combined with a curb weight of 2,509lbs (1,138kg) gave the McLaren F1 a power-to-weight ratio of 550hp/tonne. To this day it remains the fastest naturally aspirated car in the planet and one of the most sought-after classics in the market, with prices at the moment being around the $10 million mark.


  • Kaisuke971

    The best car ever made.

    • baofe

      Sorry that honor goes to the Nissan Micra

    • Six_Tymes

      I agree. many other people would also

  • Ilbirs

    A model unequaled even by today’s McLaren and Gordon Murray at his best, with a center driving position and two surrounding seats to take one passenger more than the average supercar, all this without being too wide for this capability or even for a supercar, a segment in which huge widths are expected and tolerated:

    We also see a timeless shape that could be released today and people would still say “wow”, specially considering all the rationality that comes along with the project specially considering how exhaggerated are current cars. Wheel size of this beast? 17 inch all around and it’s great. Yes, there are current rides way slower than a F1 riding on factory’s 18 or even 20 for the sake of the visual impact of these bigger rims no matter how much unsprung weight is added or how bigger must be the wheel wells to accomodate those huge things, all this leading to bigger cars that in practice aren’t that roomier than its predecessors with those usual 13 to 15 inch wheels. I miss times when features in a car, even the strange ones, weren’t there by accident and we could notice and love the amounts of reason put in the project.

  • Bash

    this is an engineering masterpiece of pre-2000 era, as of the Veyron is the engineering masterpiece of the present days..

    • Kaisuke971

      Is it really when VAG refuses to give Koenigsegg access to the Nardo ring because they know they have good chances to beat their records ?

      • Bash

        really!? , I didn’t know about that.. when was that?

  • Six_Tymes


  • Carenthusiast

    At 6:42, one of the guy says 291km/hr when Andy had done 391…..Lol.

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