The wait for the McLaren F1's spiritual successor is finally over.
Meet the McLaren Speedtail, the automaker’s first ever Hyper-GT combining the looks, luxury and comfort of a grand-tourer with the extraordinary performance of a hypercar, and the first of 18 new cars or derivatives to be announced under McLaren’s Track25 business plan.
Put simply, this is the fastest and most powerful road car McLaren has ever built capable of reaching a top speed of 250 mph, beating the record-breaking 243-mph top speed achieved by the iconic McLaren F1. Essentially, this is the spiritual successor to the fabled McLaren F1.
“McLaren has never built a vehicle like the Speedtail before,” said McLaren Automotive’s CEO Mike Flewitt. “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 personalization. A ground-breaking hybrid powertrain sits within a lightweight carbon fiber body reminiscent of sleek ‘streamliners’ that once set world speed records, while the first-ever 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.”
Like the P1, the Speedtail adopts a pioneering hybrid powertrain that develops a combined 1,035 horsepower. To reach 250 mph a unique Velocity mode designed specifically for the Speedtail needs to be activated, which optimizes the hybrid powertrain while tailoring the angle of the active rear ailerons.
To help reduce drag if you’re pushing the car to its limits, the digital rear-view cameras can be retracted and the car can be lowered by 1.3 inches, leaving the highest point of the vehicle just 44 inches from the road.
Under the skin, the Speedtail is built around a bespoke McLaren Monocage carbon fiber structure and benefits from lightweight engineering including an all-carbon fiber body, aluminium active suspension, and carbon ceramic brakes. With a dry weight of just 3,152 pounds, the Speedtail will accelerate from 0-182 mph in just 12.8 seconds. For comparison, the McLaren P1 needed 16.5 seconds to reach the same speed. To help the car cope with this extreme speed, bespoke P-Zero tires designed have been designed by Pirelli.
“As an Ultimate Series model, at the pinnacle of the McLaren range, the Speedtail pushes the limits of what is possible technically. Just as the McLaren Senna is the embodiment of extreme aerodynamic technologies and weight saving, so too is the Speedtail – but for this McLaren, the purpose was to achieve a new level of design sophistication and weight reduction in the pursuit of low aerodynamic drag, breath-taking acceleration and extreme velocity.”
Compared to the brutal McLaren Senna, the Speedtail adopts an elegant, aerodynamic shape designed to minimize drag and maximize top speed. When viewed from above, McLaren compares the Speedtail’s shape to a teardrop, which is the fastest shape in nature. Every body panel is carbon fiber and has been sculpted to reduce drag.
The Speedtail rides on 20-inch, 10-spoke forged alloy wheels while carbon fiber front-wheel static aero covers remain fixed in position as the wheels rotate in order to reduce air turbulence around the wheel arches. Retractable digital rear-view cameras replace traditional door mirrors to further improve aerodynamic efficiency.
The windshield curves upwards to form part of the roof and also features special electrochromic glass. This darkens the top of the windshield at the touch of a button, eliminating the need for sun visors.
In terms of proportions, the McLaren Speedtail is narrower than P1, but 1.6-feet longer, measuring 202 inches from nose to tail.
Like the McLaren F1, the Speedtail’s spacious and luxurious cockpit adopts a central driving position with seating for two additional passengers at the back and a sumptuous mix of premium materials including aniline leather (a leather dyed with soluble dyes to retain the hide’s natural surface) and a new lightweight leather. The carbon fiber seat is also inspired by the seat of the iconic McLaren F1, while traditional buttons and switches have been replaced with high-definition displays and touchscreens that sweep across the dashboard.
It’s practical too, with luggage space located in the nose and tail of the car and a bespoke luggage set available to every owner. Each Speedtail can be extensively customized by McLaren Special Operations, ensuring that no two examples will be the same.
Only 106 examples of the McLaren Speedtail will be made mirroring the original production run of the McLaren F1, each costing a whopping £1.75 million ($2.23 million) plus taxes. Custom deliveries will begin in 2020. And yes, you guessed it, every car has already been sold to McLaren's wealthy clients.