The McLaren F1 has become the most expensive car sold at auction in 2021. The car is one of the most prized collector cars for its rarity and place in auto history, became the most expensive car auctioned last year and the most expensive McLaren F1 ever sold. It was sold for US$20.5 million at Pebble Beach.
The McLaren F1 is the creation of Gordon Murray, one of the greatest automotive engineers of all time. One of the reasons why the F1 is highly desired is its engine: a 6.1-litre naturally-aspirated V12 engine developed and built by BMW.
Developing the BMW V12 is a story of its own. Murray himself did not have enough budget to develop his own engine for the F1, so he sought out some of the best engine builders in the world to do it instead. Murray has a list of requirements for the engine and wasn’t willing to compromise on any. He went to Honda, but the brand rejected him and then turned to Paul Rosche at BMW M — who is also a friend of Murray — who took on the challenge.
The requirements were that the engine needed to be a V12, naturally aspirated, has at least 100 horsepower per litre, and has high revs. The BMW M team managed to tick all of Murray’s boxes, and the free-breathing V12 they had created has been lauded as a masterpiece and one of the best engines of all time.
The F1 is considered by many to be the first hypercar and, with just 106 built between 1992 and 1998, is among the most prized vehicles in the world. This particular example is finished in a Creighton Brown paint job, which is offset by an elegant light brown and tan interior and has just 243 miles on its V12 engine.
If you’re interested in learning more about hypercars, the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles will be a treat. The museum is currently hosting a two-part exhibit titled, “Hypercars: The Allure of the Extreme”. The first part of the exhibit is running until September 22 featuring a Bugatti Veyron 16.4, and McLaren Speedtail. The second part will run from September 17, 2022 to May 14, 2023.
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