McLaren Speedtail Launches With 1,035-hp Hybrid Powertrain

McLaren today revealed full specifications and the first official photos of its Speedtail flagship, a three-seat hybrid supercar that follows on the legacy of the brand's legendary F1 model.

The British automaker says it will make just 106 examples of its latest car, a figure that's not as arbitrary as it seems: that's how many copies McLaren sold of the F1, it's first three-seat attempt at the ultimate road-going sports car.

McLaren says the Speedtail is the latest member of the company's Ultimate Series of hybrid cars, and marks a handful of milestones for the British supercar maker: it's the company's fastest-ever car, with a top speed of 403 km/h, and its teardrop-shaped carbon fibre body makes Speedtail the most aerodynamic McLaren.

That top speed – and a 0-300 km/h sprint time of 12.8 seconds comes courtesy of a hybrid powertrain that pairs a twin-turbo V8 with electric power to generate 1,036 hp. McLaren's last Ultimate Series hybrid car, the P1, required 16.5 seconds to do the 0-300 km/h boogie.

Along with the teardrop shape, McLaren says it further optimized the Speedtail's aero profile with a litany of design cues that brook few compromises. Traditional side mirrors are replaced by digital cameras that can retract into the bodywork; a one-piece rear clamshell reduces the number of airflow-disrupting shutlines; and a network of ducts within the body reduces the amount of air that flows around the car, a trick McLaren says reduces speed-killing turbulence.

There are also static front wheel covers they don't rotate with the wheels to further reduce turbulence, and a "velocity mode" that adjusts the car's rear ailerons and pulls the side-view cameras into the body. An active chassis control system also lowers the car by 35 mm, a move that cuts the car's overall height to just over a meter, or 3.7 feet.

As in the F1, the Speedtail puts the driver's seat in the middle of the car, with passenger seats located to either side and behind. From that command post, the driver is faced with high-definition touchscreen displays that allowed McLaren to virtually eliminate all hard buttons and controls from the cabin. Those that are left window switches, the engine start button and controls for velocity mode, among a few others are milled from hand-brushed and polished aluminum.

As with so many supercars, McLaren says every car in the Speedtail's planned 106-example production run has already been spoken for, even with a price that well exceeds CAD$2 million. Deliveries are set to begin in 2020.

A tail of speed 10/26/2018 2:03:10 PM