Mar 01, 2013– London, UK (Techreleased) – As part of the year of celebrations for the 50th anniversary at McLaren, the British sportscar maker will compliment the world debut of the production-intent McLaren P1™ at the Geneva Motor Show, with a nod to the brand’s unrivalled heritage with the addition of the legendary McLaren F1 LM being displayed. This will be the first time that this particular example, owned by McLaren, has been shown outside the UK.
The car being presented, codenamed XP1 LM, is the one-off prototype built ahead of the five production examples of the F1 LM – each honouring one of the McLaren F1 GTRs that finished the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1995 in dominant fashion. This was the debut year for McLaren at the famous French endurance race and, of the seven cars that entered, to have five finish was a significant achievement in itself. However, as with the Formula 1 team, the teams running the McLaren F1 GTRs were not just there to make up the numbers. They were there to compete, and they did so in style, claiming overall victory, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 12th. Still, to this date, the McLaren F1 GTR is the only car to have ever won the 24 Hours of Le Mans on its debut.
‘Not a race replica but following the specification of the Le Mans-winning F1 GTR, the chassis, engine and transmission virtually identical, being modified only enough to make them road usable’
The McLaren F1 LM was a more extreme version of the F1 road car, and even more than the GTR on which it was based. With a version of the race-spec 6.1-litre V12 BMW engine from the F1 GTR, but without any race restrictors, the F1 LM produces more power – 680bhp in total. The styling is heavily derived from the race-winning car, with the front bodywork and rear wing are based on those of the GTR, and full underbody ground effect with a Le Mans-inspired diffuser to optimise downforce. Weight-saving measures are extreme as well, with the F1 LM actually tipping the scales 60kg lighter than the race version. The XP car, along with three of the five production models, is finished in the historic Papaya orange paintwork, in homage to the early Bruce McLaren racing cars.
In 1999, XP1 LM joined the standard McLaren F1 road car in the record books, when Andy Wallace set a new 0-100-0mph standard of 11.5 seconds at RAF Alconbury.
Acceleration was such that, from a standstill, 60mph was reached in less than 4 seconds, 100mph within 7 seconds, on to a top speed of 225mph. While this is lower than the ‘standard’ McLaren F1 due to the GTR-derived rear wing which increases drag, the improved levels of downforce give considerable advantage to cornering performance.