1990s – McLaren F1

The McLaren F1 is still the world’s fastest naturally aspirated production car, capable of a 390.7km/hr top speed, powered by a 627bhp 6.1-litre V12 sourced from BMW. The first production car (for a given value of “production”, since only 64 roadgoing models were made) to have a carbon fibre monocoque and employing the sort of less-is-more aerodynamics so popular today, the McLaren F1 is a remarkably simple car, but meticulously engineered to be so.

Yes, it doesn’t have electronic driver aids, a fancy all-wheel-drive system, adaptive suspension or power steering, but the F1’s attention to detail borders on the obsessive. The engine bay is lined in gold to provide better heat insulation, its central driving position provided the driver with the best possible vantage point and the seat upholstery was made thinner to save weight. The perfect roadgoing supercar, as some critics called it, was equally at home on the track. Racing versions, dubbed F1 GTR, won on its debut at Le Mans in 1995, sweeping four of the top five spots.

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