McLaren’s 1992 F1 entry was the MP4/7A, a variant of this model dubbed the MP4/7b, featured a fresh new experimental active suspension system. Tested later in the year at the Portuguese Grand Prix, it failed in reliability and was no used for further races in the 1992 season.

1992 presented a formidable challenger for McLaren Honda in the form of the Williams - Renault partnering.

McLaren used the MP4/6 chassis, designated MP4/6b for a lightly modified Honda RA122E engine, used just for the first two races of the 1992 season. Under huge pressure from pre-season testing success of the Williams - Renault, McLaren brought forward the use of all-new MP4/7A for the Brazilian Grand Prix, one month early from the expected for Spanish Grand Prix (4th race)

This was also to be the first McLaren to use a semi-automatic transmission, a McLaren-designed electro-hydraulic unit with semi-automatic activation. TAG Electronic Systems (a technology partner with McLaren) helped with the development. This system allowed the driver to keep a foot on the pedal without lifting, since the throttle cable was replaced with an electronic sensor. It also controlled engine speed automatically during gear changes.


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Type: RA122E

Year: 1992

Number of cylinders: 12

Configuration: 60° vee

Weight: 150 kg

Capacity: 3493

RPM: 15000

Power: 850-880 bhp

During the 1992 season, Honda announced that they would end their engine supply programme that had existed since 1984. This was due to Honda's desire for a new challenge after dominating in Formula One, with Honda deciding to move to the CART championship in North America.

However, engineers at Honda decided to launch their own separate project by attempting to build a full Formula One car, something Honda had not done since the 1960s. Honda at the time encouraged engineers to create their own projects in an attempt to motivate and boost morale. Funds from Honda's motorsports budget were specifically put aside each year for engineers to be able to realistically create these projects. These projects were however not backed by Honda Motor Company, and the engineers actually had to work on their personal projects on their own time.

Honda to end engine supply programm.


F1 McLaren MP4/7 Honda RA122E (1992)