This came as quite the weekend surprise. Feast your eyes on the McLaren Speedtail - it’s actual name, not just one born out of affection. Rather than being a consummate all rounder as previous cars out of Woking have mostly been, the Speedtail’s more singular focus lies in its name.
During its development, the car was often referred to as the Hyper-GT, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s slippery body, uncompromisingly lightweight construction yielding a dry weight of 1,430kg, and an astonishing output from its 772kW hybrid powertrain mean that it’s capable of a top speed of 403km/h or a nice round 250mph.
It’s quite fitting that the Speedtail would follow the Senna in the Woking automaker’s timeline of vehicles as they focus on two disparate ends of what a super sports car is judged on. McLaren plans to build just 106 examples of this astonishing machine, making a much more exclusive object to own than the aforementioned Senna.
So concerned are they with eliminating any possible sources of drag, McLaren have removed the Speedtail’s wing mirrors entirely, relying instead on retractable side cameras that feed into the car’s auxiliary screens. The front wheels, too, had to be made more streamlined, requiring a fixed cover to be used so as reduce turbulence as the air is channeled around the sides of the car.
Aside from its futuristic looks and space-age use of material science, the Speedtail’s most distinguishing feature is the fact that cockpit fits three occupants, surely leading many to believe this to be a successor to the iconic McLaren F1, which we don’t fully agree with.
To us, it’s the first time since the F1 that McLaren has saw fit to include the ability to carry more than one passenger after weighing the trade-offs, allowing more people the privilege of experiencing its insane ability to reach 300km/h from standstill in just 12.8 seconds.
Reaching it’s top speed, though, requires a little more preparation besides just standing on the accelerator pedal. One would need to engage its ‘Velocity’ mode first, which primes the Speedtail’s engine, active aerodynamic management system, and suspension, lowering its ride height by 35.5mm.
Unsurprisingly, the McLaren would need to be wearing some special tyres to sustain those kinds of speeds - something the Speedtail can do quite happily. Therefore, the company has tapped Pirelli to co-develop a bespoke set of P Zeros for the car, measuring 235mm wide at the front and 315mm at the rear.
Inside, there are a total of five screens that face the driver at all times, eliminating all analogue gauges and readouts. Three main panels are reserved for vehicle data and a dynamic feed of information while two others are placed on the extreme edges of the dashboard to provide a continual view from the side cameras (until Velocity mode is engaged).
McLaren says that first deliveries of the Speedtail will being in the first half of 2020, all of which are already spoken for. Had you been called upon with the opportunity to own one, you would have had to part with 1.75 million British Pounds to be part of this exclusive club of 106 cars.