“McLaren has never built a vehicle like the Speedtail,” Mike Flewitt, chief executive of McLaren Automotive, said Friday as the company unveiled the McLaren Speedtail.
True, sort of, because some will say that the Speedtail reminds them of McLaren’s amazing F1 from the 1990s, but then not only McLaren but seemingly no one else has ever built a vehicle quite like the Speedtail.
“McLaren Automotive today reveals the stunning, streamlined form and sensational specification of the McLaren Speedtail,” the company said. “The next chapter in McLaren’s Ultimate Series, the Speedtail is the first ‘Hyper-GT’ from the pioneering British company recognized for producing luxury sports cars and supercars that deliver extraordinary driving experiences.
“The Speedtail can achieve the highest maximum speed of any McLaren to date, reaching 403 km/h (250 mph), yet will also deliver an unprecedented blend of contemporary craftsmanship, materials innovation and bespoke personalization.”
Oh, and in case you think you want one, only 106 of them will be produced — and they already are under purchase contract, at £1.75 million, plus taxes. That’s about $2.25 million.
That 106-unit figure is the same that was used for the F1, the company’s previous world’s fastest car with three seats, the driver sitting in the middle to provide the most formula racing car-like perspective.
The car has what McLaren calls “a ground-breaking hybrid powertrain,” rated at 1,050 horsepower, and in another nod to history, that power unit “sits within a lightweight carbon-fiber body reminiscent of sleek ‘streamliners’ that once set world speed records.”
With top speed in mind, the car has an elongated teardrop shape. The car’s long tail features active ailerons and lowers 35mm (nearly 1.4 inches) to help the Speedtail achieve its top speed. Also smoothing the car’s aerodynamics are front-wheel “aero-covers” and, instead of mirrors, the car has retractable rear-view cameras. At 250 mph, do you really need to see what’s behind you? Like anything on the road is going to catch up with you.
But not all of the car’s innovations involve speed.
“The luxurious three-seat cockpit offers a sublime combination of an incredible driving experience, unmatched individualism and innovative materials never seen before in a road-going vehicle,” McLaren said.
For example, there’s no need for sun visors. Simply touch a button and the electrochromic glass in the windshield darkens along the top section.
Materials used in the car’s interior include “interwoven carbon titanium deposition materials” and “digitally embossed, full-aniline and lightweight leathers.”