The heroic chaps of Woking have brought their latest speed machine to the Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds at the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, as the production-ready Hyper GT is put through its paces as part of its engineering validation process.
As a brief recap, the Speedtail (which is its actual name) is the second chapter in the McLaren Ultimate Series. It is the cousin of the McLaren Senna; if the Senna was essentially a road-legal racing car that was designed for attacking corners then the Speedtail has a slightly different brief. Its mission is to go as fast as possible in a straight line and in luxury.
Perhaps it’s fitting then that they’ve brought the Speedtail to the Kennedy Space Centre which boasts an almost 5km long runway formerly used by landing Space Shuttles. With McLaren’s chief test driver, Kenny Brack, behind the wheel the Speedtail was set to break (internal) records.
Brack clocked his machine at 403km/h which is just shy of what the 2005 Bugatti Veyron was capable of. Obviously, at those speeds the Speedtail has the McLaren F1 beat for the internal title of speed king. Interestingly, the Speedtail’s effort wasn’t a one-and-done affair as it hit its top speed over 30 times as it went the length and back of the Space Shuttle landing runway.
Powering the Speedtail is a petrol-electric hybrid powertrain which when combined delivers 772kW and 1,150Nm of torque to the rear wheels. However, the brand isn’t divulging much information about the powertrain aside from the fact that it’ll accelerate from standstill to 300km/h in less than 13 seconds.
However, the brand has claimed their battery pack to have a power density of 5.2kW/kg which they say is the best power-to-weight ratio of any automotive high-voltage battery system. The batteries are consistently charged when the car is driven as there is no plug-in element. Interestingly, the Speedtail features a wireless charging pad that trickle-charges and maintains the battery’s charge level as standard.
Just 106 McLaren Speedtails will be built, and all of them have already been reserved at an eye-watering price tag of £1.75-million each before taxes (or in excess of $2.23-million). The first batch are now being hand-built to customer order at the McLaren Production Centre in Surrey with deliveries scheduled from February 2020.