McLaren F1 GTR 'Longtail': 20 years of the most radical, and most exclusive McLaren F1


McLaren F1 GTR ‘Longtail’ chassis 020R, the property of McLaren Group.

now 20 years old, came the first of the spectacular McLaren F1 GTR ‘Longtail’ of the factory british. After the success of the previous year, in which a McLaren F1 GTR became the overall winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1995, in Woking decided to evolve the mighty GT, transforming it so much that they were forced to both again.

As many mythic patterns before the McLaren F1, to adapt to the circuits of the championship of Resistance as Le Mans, McLaren had to find aerodynamic support where it had not, having to extend the body backwards, to ensure availability of more surface area on the body and thus to achieve greater stability in straight.

One of the first to test this new version of the competition was the ex-pilot of Formula 1 JJ Lehto, one of the pilots of the winning team of 1995. His description of the new vehicle, the sensations that we had already in the first contact, leaves it up to the clear improvement of spectacular performance of the new version of ‘Longtail’.


The F1 GTR ‘Longtail’ piloted by JJ Lehto in 1997.

“The first time I rode the F1 GTR ‘Longtail’ was in a session of test at Monza at the beginning of 1997. Without any kind of adjustment or specific configuration, the car was already around 8 seconds per lap faster that the model that was piloted in 1996. I Felt like jumping out of the Formula 3000 to Formula 1! The downforce was on another level, the brakes were better, the vehicle was lighter and the engine produced more power. It was immediately clear that the car was a big step forward in all areas..” JJ Lehto.

The racing version of the McLaren F1, the F1 GTR, it was very competitive from its debut, in 1995. But in 1996, his rivals took good note for the next season, so that by 1997 at McLaren decided to go a little bit further, creating officially designated as the F1 GT, but that the story has finished baptizing as version ‘Longtail’.

The design work was done by the great Gordon Murray, the father at the technical level of the McLaren F1 street. Beginning the design during 1996 to be able to have it ready at the beginning of 1997, the new F1 GT was not a simple redesign streamlined the F1 GTR.


His tail extended earned him his nickname not official.

The redesign work was profound. So much so, that for McLaren and, above all, the FIA, was not a mere evolution, but a new model, which in addition to be able to be approved sporting should have versions of street, which will be manufactured only 3 units.

For the manufacture of these 3 copies of street were employees of the chassis-conventional F1 for the street, and although by rules only had to assemble one, which also could not be sold, the brand received orders for the manufacture of other two F1 GT, which had numbers of frame standard F1 standard.

The first of these was the prototype named XPGT, in the possession of the british brand still, while the remaining racks 054 and 058, fell into the hands of private collectors, thus being the F1 most rare of all production of the model, counting with a weight 20 pounds less and the aesthetics of the ‘Longtail’.


The F1 GT are the rarest of the production of the McLaren F1.

The racing version was more radical, losing 135 pounds with respect to its predecessor, despite the obvious larger size. From the carbon-fibre monocoque of F1, it had a new gearbox and sequential improvements in the section on suspension and brakes, but the most important was the gain of downforce thanks to the radical design of your body.

To do this, Gordon Murray not only added inches to the rear, was also wider and the front area was elongated. Each and every one of the corners was duly studied in the wind tunnel.

These new 10 specimens of races of the F1 GTR ‘Longtail’ were not created from the existing F1 GTR of 1995 and 1996, but were built expressly for the purpose.


This copy was second in Le Mans 1997.

The first copy was completed on 18 November 1996, with the number of frame 19R, at the same time that the 3 copies of production. The second copy of the competition, with number of frame 20R is delivered to the team Gulf-Davidoff, and is the wonderful example that illustrate these images of study offered by McLaren.

This won second step of the podium all at Le Mans 1997 and is currently the property of the british brand and its current value is enormous.

Another example of the F1 GTR Longtail was sold by Gooding and Company Scottsdale 2014 by 5.280.00 dollars. Of frame number 021R, this ran under the colors of team BMW Motorsport, obtaining the victory in the race in Hockenheim and Helsinki with JJ Lehto and Steve Soper at the wheel, with a total of 4 podiums in 5 races.


Today, all the F1 GTR are museum pieces.

While in Monterrey 2015, a copy of the F1 LM was impressive figure of 13.75 billion. This issue, frame number 073, really was born as a McLaren F1 standard, in fact it was the penultimate F1 street manufactured, but its original owner returned him to the factory for conversion to the new and aggressive specifications LM.

therefore, this was not an F1 LM, but one of the two F1 standard that the factory british rebuilt later.

therefore, the exclusivity and history inherent of the few F1 GTR ‘Longtail’ existing make currently, each and every one of them are real museum pieces.