One of the world's most powerful sports cars to win racing championships, the McLaren F1 still delivers exceptional performance. However, this car actually gets serviced with a decades old computer.
Even with the onslaught of emerging and advanced technologies, McLaren Automotive taps on the old, yet reliable Compaq LTE 5280 laptop to work with the supercar, reports ExtremeTech. Compaq computers have been around since 1989, from which the term "notebook" was coined, as its models closely resembled a paper notebook in size.
The McLaren F1 has also been out since 1992, at a hefty $800,000 price tag. That time, car enthusiasts do not really mind the staggering cost the car came with, owing to its 630 hp plus highly advanced specs. The company built 106 McLaren units, of which a hundred are still existing today. Also, the McLaren F1 has raised its value to up to $10 million per piece. (If you're really rich, why not, right?)
The 1990s car design, however, makes the supercar stick to its ancient roots. Amid every upgrade imagined by McLaren's Automotive Unit, owners need to go to McLaren everytime the car needs some fixing. And diagnosing whatever problems the F1 car has, the Compaq LTE 5280 is its only lifeline.
The reason this particular laptop is essential to the F1's being is because of a CA card that connects them together, according to TechWorm. The Conditional Access card, which is running DOS, acts as an interface between the car and the Compaq's software. Today's modern computers use special USB or smart keys fitted with unique access codes to hack into sensitive data.
The Compaq LTE 5280 may just fall under the $300-worth PCs of old; however, it is the only model that comes with a custom CA card, which the McLaren F1's integrated computer can communicate with. Each time the surviving F1s need help, the Compaq LTEs are always ready to do its job.