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The fastest McLaren ever built, capable of 250mph!

26 October 2018

McLaren Automotive reveals details of the McLaren Speedtail – its first ‘Hyper-GT’ with just 106 being made at a price of £1.75 million…plus taxes.

McLaren Speedtail (Credit: McLaren)

“McLaren has never built a vehicle like the Speedtail before. As our first ‘Hyper-GT’, the Speedtail is the ultimate McLaren road car; a fusion of art and science that combines an astonishing maximum speed with an iconic central-driving position and a truly pioneering approach to bespoke personalisation. A ground-breaking hybrid powertrain sits within a lightweight carbon fibre body reminiscent of sleek ‘streamliners’ that once set world speed records, while the luxurious three-seat cockpit offers a sublime combination of an incredible driving experience, unmatched individualism and innovative materials never seen before in a road-going vehicle,” Mike Flewitt, Chief Executive Officer, McLaren Automotive.

As the most powerful and most aerodynamically drag efficient McLaren, the Speedtail can exceed the 243mph record peak speed of the McLaren F1, a feat made possible by intense collaboration between McLaren’s design and engineering teams to deliver a peerless blend of aerodynamic, powertrain and dynamic excellence. It is also significant that this is the first of 18 new cars or derivatives that McLaren will introduce as part of its Track25 business plan.

The teardrop-shaped cockpit and aerodynamically optimised body are the foundation for the aerodynamic drag efficiency, with innovative features such as carbon fibre front-wheel static aero covers, retractable digital rear-view cameras (in lieu of mirrors) and patented active rear ailerons furthering contributing to the ultra-low drag achieved.

The Speedtail model is built around a bespoke McLaren Monocage carbon fibre structure and benefits from lightweight engineering throughout, including an all-carbon fibre body, aluminium active suspension and carbon ceramic brakes. The powertrain is a pioneering petrol-electric hybrid developing a combined 1,050PS to support the performance.

McLaren Speedtail (Credit: McLaren)

A speed of 250mph is achieved in a unique Velocity mode, which has been developed specifically for the Speedtail. Velocity mode optimises the hybrid powertrain for high-speed running, while also tailoring the angle of the active rear ailerons. Additionally, the digital rear-view cameras can be retracted to further improve drag. Furthermore, the Velocity Active Chassis Control can lower the Speedtail by 35mm, leaving the highest point of the vehicle just 1,120mm from the road surface.

The hybrid powertrain enables a relentless increase in vehicle speed regardless of engine rpm and the low weight of the Speedtail – only 1,430kg dry – hastens this ability. The straight-line acceleration of the Speedtail sets a new benchmark for a McLaren, 0-186mph achieved in just 12.8 seconds; McLaren Automotive’s previous Ultimate Series hybrid, the McLaren P1, could reach this speed in 16.5 seconds. A bespoke P-ZERO tyre designed for the Speedtail’s extreme speed has been developed with McLaren technology partner, Pirelli.

A Speedtail driver’s seat is positioned – literally – at the centre of the cockpit. This creates an unparalleled sense of space and a perfectly balanced view out of the windscreen. The custom-made carbon fibre seat, inspired by the seat of the iconic McLaren F1, offers the support and comfort appropriate for a ‘Hyper-GT’ car. Entry into this very special driving position is aided by a newly created directional leather finish that makes it easy to slide into the seat but then subtly holds the occupant in place while they drive. The central seat is flanked by two passenger seats that are integral to the carbon fibre monocoque.

Ahead of the driver is a state-of-the-art control system, with high-definition displays and touchscreens that sweep across the dashboard and remove almost every button and switch traditionally found in a car. The controls to start the engine, turn on the Active Dynamics Panel and engage Velocity mode – as well as those to open the windows and doors – are in panels above the driver’s head. These controls and the other switches and dials are milled from aluminium, and then hand-brushed and polished.

Working in collaboration with expert Swiss watchmaker, Richard Mille, McLaren used pioneering horology techniques to develop a world-first in the automotive sector: Thin-Ply Technology Carbon Fibre (TPT). The material is comprised of countless ultra-thin carbon layers just 30 microns in depth, each positioned at a 45° angle. The surface is then delicately milled to expose a stratified, shimmering construction that resembles flowing water. This fusion of cutting-edge technology and design with precision engineering is truly unique, and can be integrated into areas of the Speedtail such as the overhead control panel, gearshift paddles and steering wheel clasp. TPT is also used in the McLaren badge on the front of the Speedtail design model, with both this badge and the Speedtail name formed in 18-carat white gold, the letters being individually pressed, clipped and polished.

The limited production of the Speedtail has given McLaren the opportunity to push colour and materials design into unchartered territory and owners will experience an unprecedented journey of vehicle personalisation, leading up to the beginning of 2020 when the first deliveries of this rarest of Ultimate Series McLaren will take place.

More information about the McLaren Speedtail can be found at: cars.mclaren.com/ultimate-series/mclaren-speedtail.

Video courtesy of McLaren


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