McLaren already testing next-generation F1 road car

October 19th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

With McLaren’s MP4-12C now on sale through the company’s growing global sales network its on to the next project for the brand. The next new car in development is the successor to the now legendary McLaren F1. If recent reports coming out of the UK prove true the first prototypes of this much anticipated machine are already being tested in various regions of Europe.

Nicknamed the Mega Mac, the new F1 is ambitiously being built to beat all other performance exotics that are available right now including the top dog Bugatti Veyron. Ferrari, Porche and Pagani aren’t running scared just yet but they are certainly on alert. To beat the pack McLaren is looking at a 5.0-litre V8 powertrain similar to the MP4-12C’s motor, it will be mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox and produce a power output of around the 600kW mark.

With that sort of grunt expect the 0-100km/h sprint to be covered in around 2.9-seconds and a terrifying top speed. The Mega Mac chassis will be a carbon-fibre monocoque design with F1-style pushrod suspension and plenty of electronic aides to keep the beast on track. There will be a raft of high-tech equipment including a built-in video camera for recording high-speed shenanigans. Continue reading “McLaren already testing next-generation F1 road car” »

Red Bull F1 car drives the world’s highest road

October 14th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The Red Bull racing team is just one point away from taking the 2011 F1 World Championship but that doesn’t mean there isn’t time for some leisure activities. The highly resourced and highly funded team has a demonstration squad of workers and cars which travel to all corners of the globe.

The latest promotional stunt took the Red Bull crew to India where they decided to scale the world’s highest road. Neel Jani, a Swiss driver of Indian ancestry, drove the 2005 RB1 that was converted for use by the demo team up Khardung La. The famous Tibetan mountain pass goes through the Himalayas and is widely regarded as the highest-altitude drivable road in the world. This made for some challenging conditions for an F1 team which is used to operating much closer to sea level.

The chosen route saw Jani and the RB1 ascend more than 7,000 feet – from 11,000 above sea level to 18,830 feet above. Along the way the car passed the famous Thiksey Monastery and the Shanti Stupa shrine, both important sites to Buddhists around the world but not areas where you’re likely to find fans of either F1 or Red Bull energy drink. Continue reading “Red Bull F1 car drives the world’s highest road” »

Hulme Supercars sending F1 concept into limited production

August 9th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

After a successful driving debut at last month’s Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK, kiwi carmaker Hulme Supercars has announced it will be taking orders and pushing ahead with production of its Hulme F1.

The Hulme CanAm was one of only 55 invited supercars on display at the prestigious event held on the country estate of Lord March. Paul Radisich, double World Touring Car Champion, drove it up the famous Goodwood Hill in front of thousands of spectators.

After receiving interest from potential customers and experts in the Supercar industry, the decision was made to build the Hulme F1 – the hard top concept first displayed at Goodwood back in 2006.

Hulme Supercars is looking to get the car classed as a limited-production vehicle in Europe which means the supercar could be sold freely across the continent. Continue reading “Hulme Supercars sending F1 concept into limited production” »

First details on McLaren’s “Mega Mac” F1 successor

May 17th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

There’s been rumours and speculation floating around about McLaren’s new top spec F1 successor since the release of its MP4-12C last year. Now, thanks to fresh reports, key details have been divulged and McLaren’s tasty new supercar dubbed the “Mega Mac” sounds like an absolute monster.

Aimed squarely at the world’s top supercars like the Bugatti Veyron and Pagani Huayra the Mega Mac plans to defeat them all and jump straight into number one spot. To achieve this it will use a 595kW (799 hp) 5.0-litre V8 motor which has been developed in collaboration with Ricardo. The huge amounts of power will be put to the ground through a Graziano seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Keeping light is vital and the car will feature a carbon fibre Monocell, similar to that seen on the MP4-12C. Interior appointments will also put function before luxury in pursuit of a low kerb weight.

With the emphasis on total power and light weight, performance will be nothing short of breathtaking. Early indications expect the coupe to match the Lamborghini Aventador in the 0-100kph sprint, hitting three figures in just 2.8 seconds. While that’s a few tenths slower than the Bugatti Veyron, the Mega Mac will generate more momentum as it goes reaching the 200 mph (321kph) mark in just 20 seconds flat, a full 2 seconds quicker than the Veyron. Continue reading “First details on McLaren’s “Mega Mac” F1 successor” »

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG ready for F1 Safety Car duty

March 1st, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

There are very few times that safety is ever cool, but one of those is motorsport safety cars and as we stand on the edge of another F1 season it’s time for a new example to be revealed. This year’s safety machine comes again from Mercedes-Benz but is now in the form of the 2010 SLS AMG, which replaces last year’s SL 63 AMG.

The SLS AMG safety car will make its debut at the Bahrain season opener on March 12 and will take part in all 19 scheduled races. Who is the lucky devil who gets to pilot it? The man for the job is 38-year-old German Bernd Maylander and will be on standby with the Merc in the pit lane throughout the entire race. Maylander, is a former DTM race car driver so he should know a moves to keep the F1 cars honest on the track.

In specification terms the safety car features the same engine, power transmission, suspension and brake system as the standard-production SLS AMG but it’s been fitted with a unique LED roof light system. It also comes with F1 livery and carbon-fibre exterior mirrors.

A special number plate will feature at the rear with “Safety Car” lettering and 700 LED lights will offer additional safety in darkness or wet weather. A sneaky reversing camera will allow the driver to keep a closer eye on the F1 race cars behind via a cabin mounted monitor.

As in the last two years, Mercedes-Benz is offering its C 63 AMG Estate wagon as the official F1 medical car.

Puma pitcrew builds Ferrari car out of clothes

December 20th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham
The Puma Pitcrew really knows how to work their magic. Watch as they transform a Ferrari display into a motorsport masterpiece in 47 seconds flat

The Puma Pitcrew really knows how to work their magic. Watch as they transform a Ferrari display into a motorsport masterpiece in 47 seconds flat

McLaren at Le Mans: The Pursuit of Perfection – part 4

December 20th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Documentary about the McLaren F1 campaign at Le Mans.

McLaren at Le Mans: The Pursuit of Perfection – part 3

December 20th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Documentary about the McLaren F1 campaign at Le Mans.

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