Supercar

Here's Why The McLaren F1 Had A Center Driver's Seat

Coming from iconic car's designer, the one and only Gordon Murray.

The McLaren F1, launched 25 years ago, "was purely Formula One Technology applied to a road car," as its designer, the legendary Gordon Murray, perfectly stated. McLaren has just released this short, but immensely interesting four-minute video featuring Murray discussing his iconic creation all these years later. Murray explains that before he began the design process, he went and out drove every supercar of the time, and realized that their three-pedal boxes were somewhat offset. He wanted to eliminate that.

Also, he felt the driver of a car of this caliber needed to feel special, like an F1 driver. This resulted in the F1’s center driver seat. Another interesting fact Murray reminds us is that the F1 utilizes ram intake pressure that forces air into the engine, just like on Formula 1 cars.

This feature is what allowed the F1 to hit the rev-limiter during its top speed trials, which resulted in a 242 mph maximum speed. Murray’s experience up until the McLaren F1 was in racing cars, so he simply applied that knowledge to a road car. Interestingly, neither he nor McLaren had any specific performance goals in mind. They just knew the car would be fast. Nor did they plan in advance its then million dollar price tag. It just sort of worked out that way. Murray’s account of probably his best-known design project is fascinating, and any McLaren and supercar fan ought to check it out.

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