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McLaren pays homage to F1 with 403km/h Speedtail

Zero to 300km/h takes just 12.8 seconds in 772kW McLaren Speedtail hypercar

29 Oct 2018

MCLAREN Automotive has paid homage to the legendary F1 with the reveal of its Speedtail hypercar, which boasts a top speed of 403km/h (250mph) and a price of £1.75 million ($A2.81 million) before taxes and on-road costs.
The Speedtail combines straight-line performance with high-end luxury to devastating effect, with a zero to 300km/h sprint in just 12.8 seconds, which is 3.7s quicker than its Ultimate Series predecessor, the P1, could manage.
In part, this feat is achieved by the 1420kg (dry weight) Speedtail’s petrol-electric hybrid powertrain that produces a combined maximum power output of 772kW (1050PS).
Details regarding the Speedtail’s peak torque, internal-combustion engine and electric motor/s remain under wraps, although the powertrain is expected to be based on the 720S supercar’s 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8.
In order to achieve its claims, McLaren Automotive focused on making the Speedtail’s body and chassis as lightweight and aerodynamic as possible, resulting in the stringent use of carbon-fibre and an unusual ‘teardrop’ shape.
Measuring in at 5137mm long, the Speedtail is 549mm longer than the P1, largely thanks to the elongated rear overhang that goes some way in explaining the new model’s name.
Aerodynamics are further honed by the Speedtail’s retractable rearview cameras, which are a substitute for traditional side mirrors. Their live view is shown on a pair of displays that flank three central units in the cockpit.
When the Speedtail’s Velocity driving mode is engaged, the rearview cameras retract into the power-operated dihedral doors while the aluminium suspension’s ride height is reduced by 35mm to ensure terminal velocity is within reach with a lower drag coefficient.
While the Speedtail’s 20-inch alloy wheels up front feature a 10-spoke design, they cannot be seen due to their pair of removable static aero covers that help to reduce air turbulence around the wheelarches.
At the rear, 21-inch rims wrapped in bespoke Pirelli P-Zero tyres are found with vertical blades above to draw turbulent air out, as is a diffuser and a flat underbody panel.
Active aero also plays a key role, with patented hydraulically actuated ailerons located at the wings of the rear clamshell to increase downforce when needed and act as an airbrake at high speed.
The connection between the Speedtail and F1 becomes clearer inside, where the latter’s classic three-seat layout is employed. A centrally positioned driver’s seat sits ahead of the two passenger pews that form part of the carbon-fibre monocoque.
The Speedtail’s windscreen curves upwards to form part of the roof and employs electrochromic glass that negates the need for sun visors by becoming opaque with the press of a button.
Given its aforementioned fully digital setup, the Speedtail features limited switches and buttons, all of which are located on a panel above the driver’s head.
Speedtail owners can customise the interior with numerous upholstery and trim options, including semi- and full-aniline leather, and specially developed Thin-Ply Technology (TPT) carbon-fibre.
McLaren Automotive chief executive officer Mike Flewitt said: “McLaren has never built a vehicle like the Speedtail before. As our first ‘Hyper-GT’, the Speedtail is the ultimate McLaren road car; a fusion of art and science that combines an astonishing maximum speed with an iconic central driving position and a truly pioneering approach to bespoke personalisation.
“A ground-breaking hybrid powertrain sits within a lightweight carbon fibre body reminiscent of sleek ‘streamliners’ that once set world speed records, while 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.”
As reported, like the F1, only 106 examples of the Speedtail will be built, with customer deliveries starting from early 2020.
While the Speedtail has long been sold out, McLaren Automotive Asia Pacific previously told GoAuto that “a very low number” of examples have been claimed by Australians.
The Speedtail is the first of 18 new models or variants to be released under McLaren Automotive’s Track25 business plan.

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