McLaren Speedtail: Art meets Science

“A momentous unity of art, technology and velocity.”

McLaren’s new Ultimate Series “Hyper-GT” – a phrase it appears to have coined itself – may just have created a new niche. What other three-seater, 1000+ bhp GT car can you think of?

Although many anticipated that the car previously codenamed BP23 would be a successor to the iconic McLaren F1, McLaren themselves are keen to point out that it isn’t, despite the obvious similarities such as the central driving position, three seats and identical numbers to be sold.

The Speedtail in numbers

3 seats

5.2 metres long – a Range Rover is 5.0m

106 road cars to be produced – the same as the number of McLaren F1s sold.

0-186 mph in 12.8 seconds (P1 0-300 16.5 / F1 22 seconds / Chiron 13.1)

250 mph (7 more than Mac F1)

1036 BHP from a hybrid powertrain

2020 – deliveries start

1430 KG dry weight

£1.75 million + taxes.

 

Design

The Speedtail is the most aero-drag efficient McLaren ever built. The front wheels have fixed aero wheel covers to reduce drag and the car even has retractable rear-view cameras instead of wing mirrors. It’s highest point when the suspension is lowered is just 1,120 mm above the tarmac meaning that a Ferrari 488 quite literally towers over it.

 

The central driving position with two adjoining seats set slightly back will be familiar to any petrolhead. There are no less than 5 screens positioned around the driver including the rear view cameras, and the cockpit is enclosed in a teardrop shaped glass canopy that features electro-chromatic glass to reduce glare and the need for sun visors.

 

The one-piece rear clamshell  incorporates flexible carbon fibre ailerons which are almost invisible when not deployed thanks to a 1mm panel gap.

 

 

Luxury

Despite McLaren’s fanatical attention to drag reduction and weight saving, the Speedtail is still luxurious – for a car of this nature, at least.

New lightweight leathers are 30% lighter than the common or garden variety, there is a white gold badging option and Thin-Ply Technology Carbon Fibre (TPT) developed in conjunction with Swiss watchmaker Richard Mille has been used to stunning effect in the interior.

 

Each car will of course be tailored for the owner – let’s hope that they use them in the way that McLaren intended.

 

Gallery – McLaren Speedtail