|MCLAREN DESIGN & PRODUCTION
Gordon Murray the designer of the McLaren F1 also desighned the bradham Alfa-Romeo "fan" car. Whitch won its first and last race Grand-Prixin 1978, it was immediately banned cause it out did all the other cars. Gordon also designed the worled champion Brabham-BMW of 1983.|
Gordons Dream was to beat the world, regardless of the cost. hia target was to make the F1 as compact as possible, but at a practical weight (2205 lb.) and be powered by a atmospheric engine for immediate response and develop 550 hp.
During that time McLaren was using honda motors for their race cars, so it seemed practical to use honda for the McLarens motor too. But they declined, they felt that they not spare the capacity to make such a motor. Murray then decided to go to BMW to make his engine. Paul Rosche his old freind was the one to build murrays engine. Paul designed jusat the engine an all-aluminum 6.1-liter, 48-valve, V-12 with developed 627 hp.
To reach the weight stadard with Murray set they made the body of Carbon-Fiber Composites, mainly in a aluminum honey-comb sandwich. Another example of saving weight it the Kenwood CD stereo system. The unit that the manufacturer proposed weighed 37.5 lbs. Murray would only accept half of that amount of weight. They toke the callenge of making such a stereo. The system they came up with was even better than the first and only weighed 18.7 lb.
The McLaren cars are divided in ti two small factories, each employing about 60 people. One of these locations was once occupied by John Barnard when he first word far Ferrari as a designer. That building is now deticated to manufacturing the McLaren F1's monobody. No big presses or small ones shaping the structure of the body or body componets, tailors manipulating patterns around which they cut carbon-fiber parts and bond them together or assemble aluminum and Nomex sandwiches. After assembly of various parts in highly accurate jigs, the body is cured at 260 Degrees Fahrenheit. The front end of the car is speciallt designed energy-absorbing structure, the McLaren is the only road-going car that survived a 30mph barrier crash without any structure damage.
From the work shop the Body is delivered to the best paint shop avalible, where a final later is spryed on with a vinyl-based protective coat, which is peeled of right before the car is delivered. It then goes to a highly skilled upholstery shop( which also works for Rolls-Royce and Jaguar).
The finished body is then delivered to the assembly shop, where the managment and technical offices are located is located. Assembly takes place in a single room that looks more like a living room than a work shop. Usually five cars in various stages of completment are located in this room. High quality carpets with a large McLaren script are provided for the workers where assembly work under the car is required. Huge front rubber mounts and rear extensions of the body structure supports the engine and transaxle unit, the entire rerar-doubled-wishbone-and-inboard-spring/shock-suspension being provided on the transaxle, as in Formula 1. The front suspension is along similar lines, but mounts on an aluminum subframe.
The engine and its carbon-fiber airbox are worth a good look before disappearing into the engine bay. Dispite its huge capacite, the engine is only 23.6 in. long and weight 586 lb. with all ancillaries. Magnesium castings are used for the dry sump, the cam carriers and covers, the oil pump and the housing for the variable intakes camshaft timing control. Intake control is by 12 individual butterfly valves, and the exhaust piping is a real work of art. It delivers the exhaust gases into four highly heat-resistant inconel catalysts, each with its own lambda-sond control, befor they reach the huge and very effective muffler. The entire exaust system doubles as a crushable structure in case of rear impact.
On the engine is the pure racing like carbon-fiber clutch contained in an aluminum housing. There is no fly wheel as in racing cars, which makes the engine extremly responsive.
Gordon insisted that the car should seat three with the driver in the middle to provide a real Formula 1 feal and evenly distrubute the weight. the car was designed to provide moderate aerodynamic downforce. The downforce provides proper balance between front and the rear and makes sure the car remains stable at hign speeds.
The detail work shows exactly how much thought went it to this car.
Here are some examples
The front suspension wishbone are pivited, on either side, on a rigid sub frame mounted to the aluminum-alloy front bulkhead by four rubber bushings that provide a fairly large amount of fore-and-aft compliance. but they are 25 times harder radically and are arranged in such away that casts off wind when braking is three or four times less than other exotic sports cars. Braking at 1g, tha caster angel is reduced by omly 1.02 degrtees.
Whenever the brakes are aplied, a small rear spoiler rises to move the center of aerodyamic pressure rearward and compensat for the destabilizing forward movement caused by brake dive. In its raised position, the spoiler also uncovers, on either side, a duct into which air is forced to cool the rear brakes. A swith on the dashboard enables the driver to raise the rear spoiler for extra grip if required, like in wet weather at high speeds.
Most of the downforce is generared by ground effect obtained by a flat floor that terminates in a diffuser. To increase the active mass of air flowing the car, two permanently running fans on either side of the car remove the boundary (slow flowing) later and discharge it into the engine for cooling.
The heat generated by its large engine and its catalytic exaust system is a problem, the heat-isolating material is extensivly used to protect the cockpit and various ancillaries. The efficiency of the insolating material has been increased by facing it with heat-reflective marerial, the most efficient of which is gold. This is quite extensively used, mainly in the engine compartment, at a cost of approximately $3500.
The laminated windsheild, specially developed by St. Gobain in Aachen, Germany, includes an efficient electrical heating system by a resistive plasma sprayed onto the inner face of the outsife glass laminate. This treatment also reduces heat entry by 20% and ultraviolet light by 85%.
From the moment the finished body reaches the assembly shop, work proceeds without stress. Everyone is given the time to do his job properly. Assembly takes 2250 man hours. Every car is built to order.