A handful of the top cars that are built on formula one technology.
The fastest men on four wheels are preparing to start the 2013 Formula One championship at Albert Park in Melbourne this weekend. The mega-million dollar circus not only attracts the top tier of racing drivers, it's also a testbed for the fastest cars to wear numberplates.
So even if you’re not one of the elite group of 22 F1 drivers, you can still experience some of F1’s technological thrills on the road. Although you’ll have to be among a pretty elite group of people who can afford our Top Five F1 cars for the Road.
Revealed just last week at the Geneva motor show, is the closest machine to an F1 car that’s ever been produced.
Its carbon fibre construction is based on the same principles as an F1 machine, its body panels feature active aerodynamics that were developed in the team’s high-tech wind tunnel to produce maximum downforce and its 588kW V12 engine is assisted by a 120kW electric motor and battery pack that borrows technology from the Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) that Ferrari has developed since it was introduced to F1 racing in 2009.
The net result is that the LaFerrari can rocket from 0-100km/h in less than three seconds and reach a top speed of more than 300km/h – both of which are line-ball with an F1 car in terms of performance.
Ferrari even claims that both its current grand prix drivers, .
As with its superseded F1 cars, Ferrari is only planning to sell the LaFerrari to a select group of its wealthy car collectors – including up to seven Australians - with a pricetag of about $2 million each.
As far as Formula One rivalries are concerned, and Ferrari is the F1 equivalent to our tribal Ford-versus-Holden stoush. And the automotive arm of the British-based grand prix outfit was never going to back away from a roadgoing battle with the Prancing Horse.
It trumped its Italian rival when it last year, and .
Apart from their polar opposite appearances – the McLaren’s space-age curvy style is in stark contrast to the Ferrari’s sharp-edged angles – both claim to the offer similar levels of eye-popping performance by borrowing the latest F1 technology.
to produce a total of 674kW and uses the secondary powerplant to assist in acceleration much like an F1 car with a push-button on the steering wheel. Its massive rear wing also tilts backwards at high speeds while in a straight line to reduce drag and increase top speed, much like the Drag Reduction Systems (DRS) currently used by F1 cars on the main straights.
Unlike the Ferrari, the P1’s battery pack can recharged via a household power and the car can run on the electric motor only at city speeds for up to 10km.
As with Ferrari, McLaren says that both former champions Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton, who has switched to this season, were involved in the car’s development. It also plans to build a limited run of its P1 in left-hand drive only with each costing over $2 million, and is
With 182 Grand Prix victory trophies in its cabinet, McLaren has long been a technological pioneer in Formula One.
In 1981, it was the first team to build an F1 car with the now ubiquitous lightweight, high-strength carbon fibre monocoque. A decade later it became the first company to transfer that technology to the road with its first road car, the aptly-named F1.
The radical three-seat supercar – which featured a central driving position with a staggered passenger seat on each side – was the epitome of lightweight automotive engineering that included a specially-crafted set of titanium tools and tailor-made luggage to fit in its side-mounted compartments.
Powered by a 6.0-litre -built V12 that featured pure gold leaf insulation in the engine bay, it also held the mantle of being the fastest car in the world for more than a decade with its 390km/h top speed only beaten when the arrived in 2005.
between 1992 and 1998, 72 of which were able to be road registered and still command more than $1million at auctions today. Only one McLaren F1 is believed to exist in Australia.
Okay, you don’t need to spend a squillion bucks to taste F1 technology.
featured a V10 engine that it claimed directly borrowed lessons learnt through its involvement as an engine supplier to the Sauber and Williams F1 teams.
Although it arrived the year after Formula One mandated that all grand prix cars would be powered by V8 engines, the M5’s V10 featured a number of F1-style technologies that helped it produce 373kW and become the world’s fastest four-door sedan at the time. The engine had eight individual throttle bodies, a lightweight engine block and a two-stage engine mapping computer that allowed it be driven around town without its full potential, or full-blast on a race track.
Even though it was clunky, it also had seven-speed robotised manual gearbox that featured a launch control function and allowed to sprint from 0-100km/h in 4.4sec.
If you’re looking for an .
With prices for original, mint-condition models now commanding less than $40,000, Japan’s original Ferrari fighter still offers F1 thrills for the same price as a modern hot hatch.
It was the first production car to be built around a lightweight all-aluminium monocoque – helping it achieve a benchmark kerb weight of 1350kg at the time of its launch in 1990 – and its mid-mounted 3.0-litre V6 featured titanium conrods, forged pistons and Honda’s VTEC variable valve timing system, all of which were a result of technologies developed through its F1 engines that helped power McLaren to its championship-winning ways in the mid-to-late 1980s.
Its suspension also featured F1-style double wishbones with lightweight forged control arms.
A number of F1 drivers also played a part in its development, including Japan’s Satoru Nakajima and legendary Brazilian Ayrton Senna.