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From the grid to the showroom (Picture: Richard Pardon/Daimler AG)
Big fan of Formula 1? Then you’ve no doubt spent a lot of time fantasising about what it would be like to race in some of those cutting edge cars careering around the world’s racetracks.
Well, commercial car companies have started taking notice, and integrating racing elements into their products.
We check out five F1-inspired hyper-cars packing state-of-the-art technologies that are being transferred from the grid to the showroom.
The McLaren Artura is the first unlimited production PHEV
If you’re an F1 fan, you may have seen the name McLaren Artura emblazoned on the rear wing of Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo’s racing cars this year.
There’s been a nine-month delay in the Artura coming to market, largely due to the global semi-conductor shortage and some software niggles.
But it’s coming – McLaren say July. Replacing the 570 in their line-up, this car is a game-changer for the supercar industry as it’s the first unlimited-production PHEV.
Ferrari and Lamborghini, which are working on similar hybrid solutions in this segment, will be keeping a close eye.
Engine: 3.0 twin-turbo V6 with single-motor electric plug-in hybrid system
0-62mph: 3.0 secs
Top Speed: 205mph
The Ferrari SF90 is the quickest and most powerful Ferrari road car ever (Picture: Richard Pardon)
The Prancing Horse’s current flagship, the SF90 does away with a traditional V12. Instead, it boasts a revolutionary package of V8 and PHEV motors (one on each front wheel and a third between the engine and gearbox) with a combined output of nearly 1,000 horsepower.
The result is the quickest and most powerful Ferrari road car ever. In addition, the exhaust is made from Inconel super-alloy, like it’s F1 cousin, to withstand enormous temperatures.
The aero is so sophisticated that Ferrari has patented its floor vortex generators and F1-inspired Drag Reduction System (DRS) wing. It’s 4WD up to 130mph, but then all the power goes to the rear wheels – so watch out in the wet!
Engine: 4.0 twin-turbo V8 with 3-motor electric plug-in hybrid system
0-62mph: 2.5 secs
Top Speed: 211mph
The Mercedes-AMG One was developed in part by Lewis Hamilton (Picture: Daimler AG)
Developed in part by Lewis Hamilton, the carbon-bodied ONE is Mercedes’ attempt to build a Formula One car with a number plate.
The hybrid powertrain is a slightly de-tuned version of the one that was in their 2016 championship-winning F1 car and has an 11,000rpm limit.
The gearbox is also a variation on the F1 machine’s. Just 275 will be built, and all have been sold already. One will go to Sir Lewis. Give it a few decades and I reckon Hamilton’s car may vie for the status of most valuable hypercar in the world.
Engine: 1.6 turbo V6 with 4-motor electric plug-in hybrid system
0-62mph: 2.2 secs
Top Speed: 217mph+
Price: £2.4 million
Aston Martin Valkyrie
The Valkyrie is the wildest customer car Aston Martin has made
Designed by F1’s Adrian Newey and developed by both the Red Bull Racing and Aston Martin teams, the 1,200kg Valkyrie is the wildest customer car Aston has ever produced.
From the outset, the philosophy was to design an F1 car if you had complete freedom in the regulations, yet one which is also road-legal.
The 1,000bhp V12 is naturally-aspirated – so it sounds amazing – and is boosted by a 160bhp F1-developed Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS). The carbon bodywork is capable of producing an unparalleled 1,814kg of downforce at high-speed, meaning you could effectively drive it on the roof of a tunnel.
That commute under the Thames at Dartford could be interesting.
Engine: 6.5 V12 with KERS hybrid system
0-62mph: 2.6 secs
Top Speed: 250mph
Price: £2.5 million
Gordon Murray Automotive T.50
The GMA T.50 is inspired by the 1978 Brabham (Picture: Richard Pardon)
While not technically an F1 manufacturer, GMA’s mastermind Gordon Murray is one of the sport’s most respected alumni.
The 75-year-old ex-technical director of Brabham and McLaren saw his cars winning a total of ten championship titles. He went on to design the iconic 1995 McLaren F1 road car, which sold recently for £16 million.
The T.50 is its spiritual successor, resurrecting the central driving position flanked by two passenger seats. At 986kg it’s lighter than anything else on these pages by some margin. Inspired by 1978’s Brabham BT46B, it uses a rear-mounted fan to suck it to the tarmac and is a unique recipe of new and old technology.
This edition of 100 cars sold out within 48 hours to a mix of wealthy enthusiasts and those hoping to flip it in a few years.
Engine: 4.0 V12
0-62mph: 2.8 secs
Top Speed: 217 mph
Price: £2.832 million