How the Mclaren F1 Copied Toyota

The Mclaren F1 held the title for fastest production car for years at 242 mph before being eclipsed by the bonkers Bugatti Veyron. The Mclaren F1 was a no-compromise racer with a central seating position. With limited adjustments it won the Le Mans 24hours in 1995 with 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 13th placings.

1995 Mclaren F1


One of the central features of the car was its central seating position and also its dihedral doors. Gordon Murray, the F1s designer, drove past a Toyota Sera everyday, and eventual borrowed one to study.The 1.5 liter inline four-cylinder in the Sera compared to the BMW built 6.0L v12 in the Mclaren made the irony of their shared door designs obvious. The Sera was desinged for the Japanese market but was soon imported by international fans of the funky design. The 2+2 coupe weighed in at only 930 Kg and had a respectable 108 bhp.

1990 Toyota Sera

The Mclaren F1 also borrowed from aviation design, and had a lift-up flap over the starter button, like a WW2 fighter. Similarly the starter engine was deliberately delayed for 2 rpm so the driver would hear the starter engine, a factor that Murray had enjoyed in his air-cooled Porsche 911.

The other practice of having the needles sweep the dials was suggested by Ron Dennis,and has since been copied by many manufacturers.

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