Even after years of being around, the McLaren F1 still deserves the respect of being one of the first modern-day supercars to grace us with its presence.

Everything about the F1 inspires conversation, but this time around, we leave noted auto enthusiast Jay Leno to give us the lowdown on one of the F1’s most important features: its engine.

Professor Leno has his own F1 and it needed a new fuel pump, which made it pretty easy to access its 6.0-liter V-12 engine because, believe it or not, you have to yank out this powerplant to access the pump. In so doing, Leno gives us the lowdown on what makes this particular engine well suited to satisfy the rage of the McLaren supercar and allow it produce all of its 618 horsepower.

Considering that the F1 first made headway 20 years ago, you can make a definite case that the 618 horsepower it produces without any turbochargers is still a benchmark few other vehicles can be proud to say they’ve met these days.

That’s saying a lot, adding only to the mystique of the F1 and its capabilities as a track-capable supercar capable of hitting 62 mph in just over 3 seconds, while hitting a top speed of just a shade under 250 mph - back in 1998.

And to Jay Leno’s credit, his willingness to show us the inner guts of the McLaren F1’s engine is something that’s well appreciated.

Click past the jump to read about the McLaren F1

McLaren F1

You can make a case that the McLaren F1 is the godfather of the modern-day supercar. Few cars can lay claim to that title, making this British exotic one of the most iconic cars in history.

Back then, it was capable of doing things no other car in the world could even come close to replicating. From its unique design that featured an odd 1+2 seating configuration, all the way to its mammoth engine that can produce 620 horsepower and hit a top speed of around 240 mph, the F1 was, without question, ahead of its time in more ways than one.

Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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