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McLaren reveals the Speedtail 'Hyper-GT'
30 October 2018, 11:06 | Jodi Jackson
McLaren Speedtail Pumps 1035HP And 250MPH Top End As Rightful Heir To Legendary McLaren F1
The wait is over, the teasers are done, and McLaren has finally whipped the covers off the three-seat Speedtail. McLaren is only making 106 of them, and they're all already spoken for.
Although the headlights are similar to those of the 720S, the eye-socket intakes have been subbed for slim vertical units directing air to a pair of "low-temperature radiators" on each side. They are said to remain fixed while the wheel spins. Ducts and air passages are all created to further reduce turbulence, and of course that's the point of the long tail.
The bodywork is a masterpiece of making sure as much air as possible stays "attached" as it flows over the vehicle.
McLaren is particularly keen to highlight the active ailerons attached to the trailing edge of the car's rear-end. The flaps appear to not have any kind of joint or gap where they lift. Electrochromic glass allows those within the Speedtail to control the amount of light that makes its way into the cabin.
The driver is faced with a widescreen infotainment and digital instrument binnacle, along with screens for the two high-resolution rear-view cameras. In what seems like a nod to airplanes, key controls, knobs and switches are above the driver on the ceiling - even the gear select buttons are up there. The auto nearly looks more like a land-speed-record vehicle than a road vehicle. McLaren said that by rethinking every aspect of the exterior design and reducing weight while maximizing aerodynamic drag efficiency, the Speedtail has been made the fastest McLaren road auto to date.
The Speedtail's design is clearly influenced by aerodynamics, with a long, slim body (it's actually a bit longer than a Mercedes S-Class), with a still familiar McLaren nose with smaller air ducts feeding air flow to be directed through and under the Speedtail, with its elongated rear improving aerodynamics further. In fact, it's the fastest McLarenever. Its hybrid powertrain puts out over 1,000 horsepower.
A petrol-electric hybridengine provides power and is housed within a lightweight carbon fibre body, "reminiscent of the sleek streamliners that once set world records, ' offers Mike Flewitt, the company chief executive". (Compared to the McLaren P1's 16.5 seconds.) Carbon-ceramic brakes come into play after that.
Despite the impressive performance and advanced aero features, the McLaren Speedtail isn't billed as a track auto. It looks likely that owners will get a high degree of choice over how their auto is constructed and the colour schemes. The long rear deck and "teardrop" cockpit canopy help streamline the airflow over the auto, and the two rear ailerons are embedded into the clamshells and forged out of flexible carbon fibre to reduce the drag and turbulence caused by bodywork shutlines. In order to sustain such high velocity, the Brits teamed up with Pirelli to develop custom bespoke P-Zero-branded tires and even placed aero covers over the front wheels, hiding the car's handsome carbon ceramic brakes.
Naturally, it comes with matching bespoke luggage, constructed from carbonfibre, leather and metals, so you can carry your weekend essentials in style.
"That [twin-turbo V8] has gone from 426bhp in a GT4 to I-can't-tell-you-what-yet in a Speedtail".
On Friday, McLaren debuted the £1.75 million ($2.3 million) Speedtail, previously known by its BP23 codename. That is because the driver seat is exactly at the centre with two more seats in the second row which, in itself, feels like an extension of the first.
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