A “Unity of Art, Technology, and Velocity”
McLaren classifies the Speedtail as their first Hyper-GT, calling it a “momentous unity of art, technology, and velocity.” With over 1,000 horsepower, the flexibility of the carbon fiber construction makes the vehicle’s design aerodynamic and light, weighing just 3,153 pounds.
Accelerating from 0 to 186 MPH in 12.8 seconds and 1,035 horsepower generated by a petrol-electric hybrid powertrain featuring 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8, the Speedtail easily roars all the way up to 250 mph. This speed makes it McLaren’s first road car to exceed the 240 mph top speed of the F1. However, in order to reach 250 mph, drivers must engage streamlined “Velocity mode.”
Technological Advancements Boost Speed
The car’s technological advancements boost its speed. Unique Velocity mode lowers the vehicle by 1.4 inches which dynamically adjusts the suspension, allowing it to repeatedly reach maximum speed. As a means to achieve this high velocity, in conjunction with Pirelli, custom P-Zero-branded tires were developed and aero covers were also placed over the front wheels.
The Speedtail features the driver’s seat in the center of the teardrop-shaped cabin with two passenger seats flanking each side. This positioning allows for maximum headroom in a car that is just 3.7 feet tall, as well as optimal placement of the pedal box.
Wireless Battery Charging Technology
Not a plug-in hybrid, the Speedtail’s engine charges the battery. The battery has a power density of 5.2 kilowatt-hours per kilogram, a power-to-weight ratio higher than any other automotive high-voltage battery. Lumen Freedom provided the wireless charging technology used in the hybrid hypercar, making it the first vehicle ever to rely 100% on wireless charging. The wireless charging receiver, ground pad, and wall box are the key components that allow seamless charging via induction without cables.
The Speedtail is a Fusion of Art and Science
Utilizing Formula 1 racing technology, a powerful internal combustion engine coupled with an electric motor and battery pack, the Speedtail epitomizes McLaren’s “pioneering spirit and perfectly illustrates the determination to continue to set new benchmarks for supercar and hypercar performance”, per McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt.
Per McLaren, the Speedtail is the most aerodynamic road car it has ever built. Considered the ultimate McLaren road car, the Speedtail is a fusion of art and science that combines breathtaking speed with a central driving position and a truly innovative approach to customization.
Carbon Fiber Construction
Not only extremely lightweight, but the previously mentioned carbon fiber construction also permitted additional unique design opportunities. To enhance the aerodynamics, McLaren specifically sculpted the car to slice through the air, installing cameras that retract into the body of the car instead of traditional side mirrors. To prevent air turbulence from slowing down the car on acceleration, two active ailerons constructed out of flexible carbon fiber were placed on the rear, hiding the carbon-ceramic brakes.