McLaren Speedtail Goes To NASA For High-Speed Tests

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Where else can you validate a supercar's 250-mph top end?

There's only so many places in the world where a supercar manufacturer can verify just how fast its new flagship can go. Some have used the Volkswagen Group's Ehra-Lessien test track in Germany. Others have had stretches of highway closed down so they could undertake their testing. But to stretch the legs on its new Speedtail, McLaren went to the same runways they used to land the Space Shuttle.

In the final stage of its development, McLaren brought a Speedtail prototype (dubbed XP2) to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. There it ran the latest member of its Ultimate Series to 250 miles per hour – not once, not twice, but more than 30 times.

McLaren
McLaren
McLaren
McLaren

Behind the wheel for the endeavor was McLaren's chief test driver Kenny Brack. The Swedish racer won the Indy Racing League title in 1998 and the Indy 500 in '99, and lapped the McLaren P1 LM around the Nürburgring in just 6:43.22. So he knows a thing or two about going fast, especially in Woking's finest.

McLaren isn't the first to use the shuttle runway at NASA's facility on Cape Canaveral to test their top speed. Hennessey did the same with its Venom GT, topping 270 miles per hour. And Genovation ran its electric-converted C6 Corvette Z06 up to 200 on the same runways. But those are both American companies.

McLaren
McLaren
McLaren

McLaren shipped its supercar to Florida from across the Atlantic. And now that it has, it can begin building the 106 examples that will be delivered to customers starting in February – a process which has now commenced at the McLaren Production Centre in Woking, England.

"It's fitting that the Speedtail's high-speed test programme concluded with multiple maximum-speed runs at a location strongly associated with pushing the boundaries of extreme performance and engineering excellence," said McLaren Automotive CEO Mike Flewitt. "The Speedtail is a truly extraordinary car that epitomises McLaren's pioneering spirit and perfectly illustrates our determination to continue to set new benchmarks for supercar and hypercar performance."

McLaren
McLaren
McLaren
McLaren

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