The McLaren F1 is rightfully considered one of the greatest cars ever built, but bringing the British supercar to life did require some innovative thinking.
During a recent episode of Chris Harris’ ‘Collecting Cars’ podcast, the experienced automotive journalist and Top Gear host sat down with the former director of McLaren’s race and road cars, David Clark.
While working for McLaren, Clark was the man tasked with selling the iconic F1 when it was new and also had the opportunity to get up close with its development.
One of the most interesting pieces of information shared by Clark is how the vehicle’s 6.1-liter, naturally aspirated V12 that was built by BMW was actually shoehorned into an E34-generation M5 Touring for testing.
Eager to put the powertrain through its paces without bolting it into the shell of a McLaren F1 prototype, the development team chose the M5. They used this single prototype to fine-tune the S70 V12 engine and ended up extracting 627 hp and 479 lb-ft (649 lb-ft) of torque from it.
Another tidbit revealed by Clark to Harris is that the actual McLaren F1-powered M5 Touring test mule still exists but is currently stored in BMW’s secret collection of prototypes. It has never been shown to the public, but if BMW ever does decide to open the doors to its collection, you can rest assured that some people would be willing to pay a huge sum of money to acquire it.