McLaren's $2.1 million supercar

Sunday, 28 Oct, 2018

The Speedtail is seen by McLaren as an Ultimate Series counterpoint to the rip-snorting track-focused Senna. While those who have already bought the vehicle got had a glimpse of what it was, we - the mere mortals - were yet to lay our eyes upon the new legend in the making and here it is. The High-Tempreture Radiator intakes suck in the air from here. It has a long tapering tail.

Those wheel covers? Carbon fibre, naturally, and static. The idea is to reduce air volume traveling around the sides, cutting turbulence. A snorkel inlet feeds air into the back for the engine. But what really made it unique was its three-across seating arrangement, with the driver placed in the center. Immediately in front of the driver is the steering wheel and a main screen for instruments, and to either side are additional screens for other information and interfaces. The small video cameras that are used in place of side mirrors - video images are displayed on two screens inside the vehicle - largely eliminate the aerodynamic drag mirrors can cause. The gear-selector buttons are on the roof if you aren't convinced that the Speedtail is capable of flying without that active aero. The auto nearly looks more like a land-speed-record vehicle than a road vehicle. Its teardrop-shaped cabin, dramatically elongated body and active aerodynamics make it the most aero-drag efficient McLaren road auto ever. Meanwhile, in the teardrop-shaped cockpit, the driver sits in the centre, in between the passengers - reminiscent of the McLaren F1. In terms of drag efficiency, it's the slipperiest McLaren ever - something you can well believe when stood next to it.

Latest hypercar receives 1,050hp hybrid, clever aerodynamics and full customisation possibilities. Top speed is 250 miles per hour - exceeding the F1's 243 miles per hour. The Speedtail delivers a combined 1,050ps for acceleration to as much as 186mph in as little as 12.8 seconds - faster than the current P1, McLaren's most powerful machine.

McLaren's $2.1 million supercar
McLaren's $2.1 million supercar

The Speedtail can achieve the highest maximum speed of any McLaren to date, reaching 403 km/h (using a clever "Velocity mode" to best the F1's peak speed of 391 km/h). The body is carbon fiber, the suspension is aluminum and the brakes are carbon ceramic. It looks likely that owners will get a high degree of choice over how their auto is constructed and the colour schemes.

A carbon-fiber monocoque embraces the passenger compartment, and the 16.9-foot-long body is entirely made of the stuff, too. There are no sun-visors as the upper part of the windscreen can automatically darken. The interior is covered in soft and expensive, but lightweight, Scandinavian leathers.

The auto rides on Pirellis developed specifically to handle the speed. It lines the luggage compartments, as well - of which there are two, providing 162-litres of bag-carrying space (enough, McLaren says, for a couple of bespoke cabin bags). They also cost £1.75 million (~$2.25 million), putting it out of most people's price range. That said, McLaren figures about a third of Speedtail production is headed here.