As a car enthusiast there is always one question that is asked in conversion—what is your favorite car? I have been asked this question countless times by so many people and my answer has never changed. Of course, the Lamborghini Murcielago, Enzo Ferrari and Maserati MC12 come to mind, but one super-car stands tall above the rest—the 1995 McLaren F1 LM.
Produced by the legendary racing company McLaren, the F1 LM is an extremely limited-edition version of the already insane F1 and F1 GTR. The F1 LM has modifications from the track only F1 GTR to make it street-legal.
It all started in 1992 when Gordon Murray designed and produced the original McLaren F1 that would be allowed on public roads. McLaren had already more than proven itself on the track, but could it compete with Ferrari and Lamborghini which were already having great success producing street cars? Well, the answer was yes. It did more than compete; it absolutely tore up any competition. From 1992 to 1998 only 106 F1 cars rolled off the assembly line in Woking, Surrey, England; only five F1 LM’s were produced. Before we even get to the performance specs, the production number instantly adds huge value to the car.
The more “common” McLaren F1 boasts incredibly impressive design, power and handling. BMW and the M Sport division built Murray a custom 6.1L V12 engine called the BMW S70/8. Producing 627 horsepower and 480 lb-ft of torque the F1 will reach 60 mph in a blistering 3.2 seconds, 100 mph in just 6.3 seconds and will top out at 248 mph. As one can imagine, these are unheard of numbers in the nineties, and the vehicle quickly became the worlds fastest street-legal car and held the title until 2005. The naturally aspirated engine sits in Carbon Fiber body panels surrounded by gold foil for heat insulation. A reported 16 grams of gold was used in each McLaren. The limited F1 LM uses the same engine as the track-only F1 GTR; a naturally aspirated V12 producing 680 horsepower and 520 lb-ft of torque. The F1 LM will scream to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds, 100 mph in 5.9 seconds and has a max speed of 243 mph. The top speed is lower on the the LM due to added aerodynamic drag.
Pop-open the enormous gull-wing doors and you’ll be quite surprised when you notice where the drivers seat is. Murray designed the cars to have the drivers seat in the middle of the car; this gives the driver a more complete F1 racing experience. It not only positions the driver in the same spot as if in a real F1 car, but it allows for much better views of the road in front. Sitting just behind and to the side of the drivers seat are two passenger seats. Yes, this astonishing super-car has room for three passengers. To make things even more intense, it’s recommended both the driver and passengers wear headphones to allow communication to the other passengers during a ride. This is due to the monstrous noise the engine makes. To save weight, little to no insulation was used to keep out the V12’s roar.
All five McLaren F1 LM’s produced were painted Papaya Orange to honor Bruce McLaren and the color of his race car. There is in fact a sixth version of the LM called the XP1 LM (also painted in Papaya Orange) that is owned by McLaren and remains in the factory. The car was original promised to Lewis Hamilton, McLaren’s F1 team driver if he won two world championships. Hamilton left the company in 2013 to join Mercedes-Benz after winning one world championship. Rumors have it that the car today is valued at over $4,000,000.
This super-car came far from stripped down; Murray wanted to give drivers comfort as well as performance. Each vehicle came with a specially designed lightweight 10 disc Kenwood sound system that was specifically made to tailor to the buyers music preferences. The cars do not have a radio however because Murray said that he himself barely ever listened to it. The cars also surprisingly come with air conditioning, window defrosters, electric windows and remote control locking. Inside the cabin the lucky owner will find button releases for outside panel access, a storage compartment,and courtesy lights. Also included is a gold plated tool kit, high performance headlights and reverse/fog lights.
Upon purchasing the record-setting vehicle each buyer received a custom edition Tag Heuer Chronometer wristwatch. Each car was specifically produced to the buyers’ needs and wants. McLaren flew out all the buyers to have the seats custom fit to the their body types. The seats are also non-adjustable because they too are specifically set for the driver’s ideal driving position. This of course makes finding a used F1 that much more difficult if you plan to drive it (which I hope you would).
The value of the McLaren F1 and F1 LM have skyrocketed above its original price tag of just under $1,000,000. In 2008 a McLaren F1 was sold for about $4,000,000 and in 2012 at the Pebble Beach Concourse d’Elegance chassis number 066 was sold for a record breaking $8,400,700. Although it is difficult to find an owner willing to give up one of these masterpieces, many have been offered for sale fetching from $4,000,000 all the way to $10,000,000 and above for the F1 LM. McLaren will not release the names of the owners to the public but it is known that famous designer Ralph Lauren has a collection of the cars in his personal garage. There is no doubt that the price of these cars will continue to grow in the future.
Today, it is extremely rare to see one of these monsters on public streets. I have only seen three in person and yet this has been my favorite car since I was young. My first sighting came over ten years ago at the New York International Auto Show when Mercedes-Benz had a black F1 on display. A few years a later I spotted the insanely rare F1 LM in its beautiful Papaya Orange crossing over the George Washington Bridge here in New York/New Jersey. My latest sighting came on the Long Island Expressway here in New York as a white F1 flew by just a few years ago. Unfortunately, all three sightings came and went so fast that I was unable to snap a picture. All pictures shown throughout the article have come from CarZach fans who have generously sent them over to CarZachdotCom@Gmail.com. I encourage you to send in any sightings you have!
Contrary to popular thought that McLaren would never put out a “newer” F1, they did. The McLaren P1 debuted in 2012 and was limited to just 375 units. All units were sold out by November 2013 at a price of $1,350,000. In my opinion, the F1 and F1 LM will never be replaced. No matter how advanced technology gets a super-car will never be produced so pure and beautiful as the F1. I would love to hear your opinions on whether or not the P1 can truly be considered an F1 replacement. Feel free to comment on the article, tweet us, Instagram us or send us a direct email to CarZachdotCom@Gmail.com.
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McLaren, the famed racing group, has quickly integrated itself into making high performance street cars. Starting with the legendary McLaren F1 in the 1990’s, the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren in the early 2000’s and now the McLaren MP4-12C.
McLaren has recently announced that the MP4-12C will cease production as of 2014. Don’t worry though- McLaren already has the replacement 650S ready to go and the highly exclusive, million-dollar P1 has begun delivery to some very lucky clients.
The 12C was in production from 2011 to 2014, making it a very quick run. No formal production numbers have been released by the British company, but in 2011 it is estimated that 1,000 vehicles were sold in nineteen different countries, including 500 to the United States.
McLaren took the super-car world by storm with the release of 12C. The car features stunning angles that only years of wind tunnel testing could produce. McLaren had not put out its own street car since the end of F1 production in 1998 and enthusiasts began to wonder if McLaren’s street days were over. In 2009, Frank Stephenson was hired by the automotive group to head the 12C design team. After years of testing, the 12C was born.
Sitting on a carbon MonoCell, the chassis weighs just 176 pounds. Extensive Carbon Fiber was used throughout the vehicle to reduce weight. The total product is a car hitting the scale at only 2,868 pounds. In the legendary F1, a three-person seating style was used; the driver in the middle and two passengers slightly behind and off to the side. The 12C went back to the conventional two-seater sports car but the interior is purposely narrower than most cars, bringing the driver closer to the center. McLaren, thoughtfully calls the cockpit of the car the “Driver Zone”.
Powering the 12C is a 3.8L V8 Twin-Turbo engine that originally produced 592hp. In October of 2013 the company decided to add some extra thrust. Offering free installation for all current McLaren owners the engine was retrofitted to produce a monstrous 616hp. All new models from 2013 on would come standard with the power upgrade. The exotic also features a seven speed dual-cluth automatic transmission. Of course the driver can manually shift gears using the paddle shifters located behind the steering wheel. This allows for faster and more precise gear changes.
With all that horsepower the 12C will sprint to 60mph in just 3.1 seconds and will scream to a top speed of about 207mph. McLaren also offers a spider version of the vehicle which comes with an automatic removable hard top. The coupe version will run the buyer a mere $239,400 while the spider goes for $265,750. A small price to pay for a truly amazing vehicle. You will be hitting the gas station a bit often as the exotic gets just 15mpg city and 22 highway; but hey, it’s a sexy car.
McLaren certainly did not hold back with this exquisite exotic. Drive around anywhere and you’ll be sure to find yourself the center of attention. When the famous McLaren doors rise up towards the heavens the vehicle will show off it’s beauty. There is truly not one bad angle on this car, and not one bad color choice either. My personnel favorite being Volcano Yellow.
With the sad news that the MP4-12C will halt production following the 2014 model year, McLaren is not letting anyone down. They have already released the replacement- the 650S. In fact, some are already out on public roads being tested. The replacement offers more power, and other upgrades. The coupe is set start at $265,400 and the spider at $280,225.
The king of super-cars in my opinion will always be the McLaren F1. It is my all time favorite exotic car. Although just 106 were made from 1992 to 1998, this $2 million dollar vehicle tops the list of all street-cars. In tribute to the king, McLaren recently unveiled the P1. At $1.5 million each and top speed of 218mph this is a legend in the making. Only 375 units will be made and all have been sold.
If you or anyone you know happens to drive or see a 12C, F1, SLR, 650S or P1, tweet in your pictures and videos to @CarZachdotCom on Twitter. Follow us on Instagram @carzachdotcom and be sure to subscribe via email on the left hand side of the screen or simply click “follow” in the top left corner.
Fast, fun and affordable. Three words that have endless meaning in the car world. When my father decided to buy a new car a few years ago, I of course jumped all over the situation and found him all kinds of cars. He wanted something that was fast, fun, and of course affordable. Another requirement was a sunroof and manual transmission. In the end, the search came down to two vehicles- the Honda Civic Coupe SI or the Volkswagen GTI.
The decision was simple once we visited the Volkswagen dealership. It was instant love. The SI was out of the picture and my dad was now a proud new owner of a 2012 Volkswagen GTI.
Purchased for about $27,000 the GTI came with a sunroof, 6-speed manual transmission, touch-screen radio, bluetooth connectivity, 18 inch alloy rims with low-profile tires and unique plaid seats. Under the hood sits a turbo-charged Audi engine that produces about 211hp (although its only marked at 200hp). The duel chrome tipped mufflers let off a soft growl as soon as the ignition is turned on. The GTI is offered in a 4-door but this model is the 2-door, which in my opinion has a meaner look. On the grille of the vehicle is the iconic red stripe with the GTI badge proudly displayed between the stripes. The GTI badge is also shown on the trunk of the car. The VW logo stands out both in the front and rear of the vehicle, which I think it is perfectly placed. Look through those unique 18 inch alloy rims and your eye catches sexy red brake calipers.
Open up the doors and the first thing you’ll notice are the plaid cloth seats. This is a feature that has been passed down from each generation of the GTI. For the people who aren’t into plaid, black leather is also available. Personally, I think the seats are beautiful and help give the car a distinct look. The bucket seats are very comfortable and very sporty looking. All the stitching is red which adds to the true sports car feel. The 6-speed manual transmission is simple black leather that leads up to a steel-colored shifter knob. The touch-screen radio is the same you get in any Audi. The steering wheel, which is flat bottomed is absolutely stunning. Black leather, and outlined in red stitching it is truly sexy. In fact, it is the same steering wheel that has been used in Lamborghini Gallardo’s. The backseat has plenty of room for passengers and also has the plaid seats. The added optional Bose stereo sounds pristine!
Clutch down and turn the key. The GTI comes growling to life. A few revs even sound pretty nice. First gear is extremely powerful making for an almost immediate shift into second gear. The car weighs just over a ton so acceleration is excellent. Anyone in the car is thrown back against the seat has the FWD quickly gains traction and launches the car. The engine gets louder and louder making for a pretty good exhaust note. The driver can conquer all 6-speeds pretty quickly.
On winding roads the GTI really shines. With sport tuned suspension the vehicle easily handles turns at speeds of 40mph+ and remains completely flat. The low profile tires are glued to the asphalt and anyone inside the car is not roughly tossed around. The cornering in this vehicle feels as if you were driving in a Porsche. No turn is too hard to handle for the GTI. My dad often loves to take out the car on winding roads and put the suspension to the test- and it never fails.
On an open road in upstate New York, my dad and I decided to open up the GTI. Starting in 6th gear at about 65mph we floored it. With absolutely no turbo-lag the car rocketed forward and seamlessly reached about 115mph before we braked. The speedometer goes up to 180mph which is pretty impressive. The digital speedometer kept skipping numbers as the car reached higher speeds. The vehicle handled with such ease and if this had been an open-track, the GTI would have easily topped the 115mph mark. This car is completely stock, but there are many offered upgrades, some which give the vehicle 500+ horsepower!
Today the GTI has about 10,000 miles on it. It has been driven from Long Island to Tennessee with great ease. It has handled the snow of New York, and even a crazy ice storm in Arkansas. The vehicle is reliable and has never had an issues and VW offers great maintenance deals. The GTI is the perfect car for someone looking to add some fun to their daily driver. With a price tag starting at just $25,000 the GTI is extremely affordable for all power and superb handling it gives. Credited car magazines such as MotorTrend have said that the GTI is much better value than the more expensive R version. I would highly recommend the GTI to anyone. It has quickly become one of my favorite cars to drive and be a passenger in.
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Another Monday but this one is filled with three beautiful Lamborghini Gallardo’s! Personally, I would love to take the yellow beast out for a spin. The weather is slowly warming up here in New York and the exotics are slowly creeping their way out of garages. Stay tuned this week for a great article on a very “speciale” Ferrari!
Thank you to Experience Auto Group Ferrari-Maserati Long Island for allowing me to photograph some great cars! Be sure to follow them on Twitter @FerMasLI. Follow @CarZachdotCom on Twitter for the latest updates!
As an exotic car enthusiast who doesn’t own any exotic vehicles, it leaves me with a lot of hopeful dreams for the future. Last year, while on a vacation in Mexico I had an opportunity to get behind the wheel of the exclusive Audi R8. Here in the USA these high-performance vehicles rarely get the chance to have someone really put the pedal down and show off their power. Luckily, I was behind the wheel on a closed track and was able to reach speeds up to 100mph. It was a bit challenging to go over 100mph due to the lay-out of the course, which featured a very small straight away and a few different turns.
In 1997 Audi purchased the all ready highly regarded exotic car producer Lamborghini. Since then, Audi has put some of its excellent engineering into Lamborghini streetcars. In 2007, Lamborghini returned the favor and put some their engineering into the car that would now be known as the Audi R8. To date, more than 50,000 units have rolled off the production line as the vehicle continues to be a high selling, powerful exotic.
Today a 2014 Audi R8 will set a buyer back anywhere between $124,000-$173,000 (depending what on trim levels). The model I had the privilege of driving was the Audi R8 Base Coupe, which costs $124,000. The vehicle has a 4.2L V8 engine that muscles out 430hp. The car will rocket to 60mph in just 4.3 seconds. As the price increases, the more power becomes available such as the 5.2L V10 that boasts 550hp.
Besides the sleek exterior, the interior is truly exquisite. The seats were a beautiful red leather and surprising very comfortable for an exotic. The dashboard was clean, well-lit and certainly made the driver know they were in an exclusive vehicle. Visibility out the front windshield and two side windows was great and would definitely make for easy road driving. I did not have the opportunity to check out how the view out the back, as I did not need to reverse the car for any reason. The steering wheel was light and very easy to maneuver which allows the driver to make those quick turns. The vehicle was an automatic, but did have the option to use paddle shifters (I did not).
Starting up the car was truly music to my ears. The V8 had an extraordinary rumble that not only gets the drivers adrenaline pumping but would certainly let on-lookers know that this baby can go. With my seatbelt fastened and my silly racing helmet on I tapped the gas. Wow. The AWD instantly lurched the car forward. Having to watch out for my friend driving the Ferrari 360 Modena I nervously tapped the breaks and came to instant halt.
With the go ahead, I put the pedal to the floor and launched onto the track. The V8 screamed as the car accelerated heading into the first ‘S’ curve. With no issue at all the car flew out of the curve and continued to annihilate the open pavement ahead. Through the tighter turns the R8 remained perfectly flat and never gave any sign of over or understeer. It seemed like the tires would never stop hugging the road on every turn.
Soon enough, my three laps of heaven was over and I was told to slow down and pull over. The R8 handled like a true super-car should. The V8 let out beautiful music but was never too loud that it would be an annoyance to the driver or passenger (I could never get annoyed at that). What Audi had done was put forward their very best in engineering and Lamborghini provided the heart of the beast (the engine). It was an experience of a life time in a car that many only dream of sitting in. When the time comes to buy my first exotic, the R8 would be very high up on my list. It was a great car, with out of this world performance!
Enjoy the video below of my thrilling drive!
Be sure to follow carzach on Twitter @CarZachdotCom! As always, feel free to share your thoughts and opinions! Stay tuned as some big features are to come such as a peek at the Ferrari 458 Speciale and a 500hp Dodge Challenger!
Well here it is everybody- my daily driver! It is a 2004 Volvo S60 2.4. Now as an exotic car enthusiast this obviously is nothing to boast about. The car carries a basic 2.4 liter engine that produces 168hp. The car was purchased right off the showroom floor ten years ago and is the most basic model for the S60. Yes, I know nothing too exciting and certainly nothing to be compared with the exotics in previous posts.
Volvo, a Swedish company has always been known more for their innovative safety rather than design and performance. The company was started in 1927 and produced just a few hundred vehicles a year. Since then the company has grown and now produces many vehicle models. Volvo also builds 18-wheelers, construction vehicles, luxury busses and even sail boats. Today, Volvo sits in the entry-level luxury vehicle category although strong, and successful efforts are being made to compete with Mercedes, BMW and Audi.
My car features affluent leather seating that helps make trips of all durations pleasant. The driver seat has great electronic memory, and at a push of a button will adjust both the seats and mirrors to the drivers pre-set position. I find this very useful when I return to the driver seat after another family member has been driving. Also, the stock radio has been replaced by a simple JVC unit. This was done about a year ago, as the original tape deck in the car stopped working and would no longer accept an MP3 connection.
The car has about 138,000 miles on it, but upkeep hasn’t been too stressful. There have a been a few costly repairs, the most recent was for about $1,000 and will most definitely be the vehicles last major fix. I do find that lightbulbs seem to constantly die out; but they are a quick, cheap, do-it-yourself fix. Of course, like any 10-year old vehicle there are the average dings and dents but the car was never in any serious accidents. The S60 was purchased for just over $28,000 in 2004. Kelly Blue Book has valued the car at about $1,200 for a trade-in.
The car drives pretty well, especially in the snow. My favorite feature of the car is the “W” mode the vehicle is equipped with. What this button does is slow down the acceleration of the car making sure that the front tires (FWD) do not spin to fast on ice. I find that driving in the snow is often easy. The car does slide around on occasion but traction control swiftly corrects any issues. The car does not have any sort of rear-window wiper, which sometimes makes visibility difficult under certain conditions. I am very surprised of how well it handles the bad weather. I very rarely find myself stuck or sliding, I always feel that I am in complete control.
In dry conditions the car handles like any luxury vehicle should. The ride is pretty tranquil and outside noises are well silenced. On hot summer days, the AC works fast, cooling off the often scorching hot black leather seats. The sunroof and moonroof allow for great airflow and do not cause any unnecessary noises. In the winter, the two-level heated seats for the driver and passenger offer great warmth as does the powerful heating system. I’ve noticed that the car does have a heavy steering wheel compared to other vehicles I have driven. The car will do 0-60 MPH in a sluggish 7 seconds but I find that once the car is up to speed (about 40MPH) it swiftly responds when more power is needed. The engine even gives a nice growl as it accelerates up to speed.
The back seats are just as opulent as the front. Leg-room is not to great, depending on the seating position up front. Although the car seats three in the back I find that it’s better off with only two people. The trunk is absolutely massive and can fit multiple suitcases, camping gear or even an inflatable kayak with ease! The headlights offer unique “mini” wipers that help keep them clean anytime windshield wiper fluid is being used.
In summary, this 2004 Volvo S60 has stood the test of time and miles. The car continues to start perfectly, and rarely has any concerning issues. The car gets decent gas milage about 18 City and 21 Highway. I would most definitely recommend a Volvo for anyone wanting a well-priced luxury vehicle. If you’re in the market for a first car, or luxurious used vehicle, I would again recommend a Volvo at any milage. The new Volvo’s are a bit more pricey at $32,000 but are very delightful and even powerful. I definitely see where Volvo is competing with top luxury brands. They offer great vehicles for often less money than other competitors! Stop by any Volvo dealer and check out their new line up; you won’t be disappointed!
Lets roll back to 1999 when the super car company Ferrari stopped production of the beloved 355 and brought to life the 360 Modena. The Modena went on to have a very successful 5 year model run with a production line of about 17,500 units! Ferrari made 3 different models of the 360- the 360 Modena, the Spider and the Challenge Stradale.
The 360 Modena and the 360 Modena Spider were identical except that the Spider was missing its roof. The Challenge Stradale was the most extreme model. This special edition model was 242 pounds lighter with a bonus 25 horsepower making a total of 425hp, compared to the regular 400hp in the Modena. In the rear of the car lay a 3.6 liter V8 engine which gave off a pitch perfect exhaust note every time.
The super car was named in honor of Modena, Italy– the hometown of the late Mr. Enzo Ferrari. The number 360 represents the supercar’s 3.6 liter engine. The prancing horse is able to launch to 60 mph in just over 4 seconds, making it very difficult for others to catch up.
Unlike most exotics at the time, the 360’s interior was just as striking as the outside. The car’s plush leather seats made long distance rides more enjoyable. The Stradale was completely stripped down of everything except the AC, making this model better off for quick runs. If you’re looking for a car with good rear window visibility then you may want to research another car. All Modena models have a very limited view of what they leave behind in the dust. One of the most notable features on the horse was the F1-like paddle shifters that swiftly change gears in just milliseconds. And of course a manual 6 speed transmission was still available for the old school.
The whole fleet of Ferrari’s had a top speed of around 180mph (the Challenge went 189mph), which for the late 90’s was groundbreaking. At the time, one could become an exclusive Ferrari owner if they dropped around $155,000 on this high-end vehicle. If you just so happened to have an extra $34,000 lying around, then you could obtain the Challenge Stradale. If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t want to spend a lot of time at the pump, this car, or any Ferrari for that matter, is not for you… the car gets just 11mpg city and 16mpg highway. Yes, I know that’s enough to drive any Prius driver crazy!
Yes, this is me (below) driving a 360 Modena around the track at speeds over 100mph! Turn up your volume and listen to the music at the bottom of the page!