From the man who designed the iconic original.
The announcement of a new supercar used to be quite a big deal a few decades ago, mostly because they were a rather rarer breed than they are today and extracting big power out of an internal combustion engine was still something of an art.
Fast-forward to 2019 and the sheer number of mega-horsepower supercars on offer has taken a bit of the excitement out of the whole thing. Sub 2-second 0-60mph times, no problem. Almost 2,000 hp of hybrid power, sure. Performance levels have become so high that the term hypercar has long been used to refer to this new generation of four-wheeled missiles.
Yet, with each successive model, we move further away from the attributes that made a supercar super in the first place. Chasing massive horsepower has turned the modern hypercar into a digital machine that cannot afford to let the fallible human have more than the most rudimentary of inputs.
Road and Track caught up with McLaren F1 designer, Gordon Murray at the Geneva Motor Show and he seems to be of the same opinion, "I truly believe nobody's done another McLaren F1 since the F1," Murray said. "And that's because it was such a single-person focused design, lightweight, [focused] on driver feedback and feel, the V-12 sound, the feedback in the steering. . . and the attention to the detail of the engineering. It's not a criticism that nobody's done that, but if you're making 700 LaFerraris, you can't do that. You have to use production bits. So, I thought it was about time somebody did another McLaren F1.”
That somebody turns out to be Murray himself. he feels that electrification is making true lightweight cars increasingly difficult to build and whereas a modern supercar that weighs under 3,300 pounds is considered light, Murray plans to make his F1 successor come in at under 2,200 pounds.
He let on that the car would once again use naturally aspirated V12 power as well as a manual gearbox, although he wouldn’t say who the supplier might be. The body will sit atop a carbon monocoque with a central driving position and the dimensions will be slightly larger than that of the originals.
This news is sure to get a lot of the original McLaren F1 fans very excited, and Murray says that while the car is not slated to begin production until next year, his company is already working on selling them. Expect a hefty price tag and very limited production numbers.
With so many modern supercars moving away from the basics of what makes a car fun to drive, perhaps now is just the right time to introduce another analog masterpiece in the vein of the original F1. And who better qualified for the task than the man who built the original?