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This Was Not A Good Week For The McLaren Speedtail

Accident / Comments

Looks like McLaren still has a few kinks to sort out before customer deliveries begin.

McLaren may have lifted the wraps off the new Speedtail last year, but development and testing of the F1's spiritual successor is still underway. It looks like the automaker still has a few kinks left to sort out though because a Speedtail prototype recently caught fire while stopped at a gas station in the UK.

The incident was captured on film by a passer-by and shows smoke coming from the rear, prompting the driver to get out and extinguish the car. Luckily, the smoke was extinguished before flames could engulf the car, so the damage was minimal. Even so, it goes without saying that McLaren needs to fix this issue before customer deliveries of the Speedtail begin.

As for the cause of the fire, Roger Ormisher, Head of Global and North American Communications for McLaren said that an electrical fault was to blame. "A prototype version of the McLaren Speedtail experienced what we believe at this stage to be an electrical fault, whilst stationary at a fuel station near Guildford in Surrey, UK," he said. "As a precautionary measure, having seen a small amount of smoke emanating from the vehicle, McLaren employees moved the car away from the fuel pumps and discharged dry powder extinguishers over the rear of the car. The prototype was subsequently recovered to McLaren premises." He went on to confirm that nobody was injured during the incident and the cause of the electrical fault is currently being investigated.

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Customer deliveries for the Speedtail are slated to begin early next year, but it remains to be seen if this setback will cause any delays. Production is limited to just 106 examples, each costing $2.2 million. The Speedtail's hybrid powertrain produces a combined 1,035 horsepower, enabling the hyper GT to accelerate from 0-186 mph in 12.8 seconds and hit a top speed of 250 mph.