New McLaren Speedtail hyper-GT reaches 250mph milestone

McLaren Speedtail reaches 250mph top speed as final development phase concludes on F1 successor

McLaren has revealed that development of the new Speedtail hypercar has concluded, with the firm’s spiritual successor to the original McLaren F1 achieving a targeted top speed of 250mph in testing. 

The new Bugatti Chiron rival has been in the hands of McLaren engineers at the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, USA, and the firm claims that the new car is capable of consistent high-speed runs. The Woking-based supercar maker has revealed that the 250mph vmax was achieved over 30 times on the facility’s space shuttle runway. 

Advertisement - Article continues below

Best hypercars

With development now concluded, McLaren says that the first Speedtails are being built in Woking right now, with a production run of 106 examples planned - the same number as the F1. Sitting in McLaren's 'Ultimate Series' stable, the Speedtail joins the Senna and before 2025, a new car acting as a replacement for the P1. 

The Speedtail is being billed by McLaren as a ‘hyper-GT’ and its standout feature lives up to that billing (and brings lineage from the F1) because the car is a three-seater. The driver is positioned centrally, with two passengers behind and at either side – although unlike the F1, the Speedtail’s driver seat can be accessed from either side, due to the lack of a gearlever.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The car certainly won’t want for road presence, thanks to its 5.2m-long body; the Speedtail is basically same the length as a long-wheelbase Mercedes S-Class limousine. The front end takes established McLaren design cues but stretches them to the extreme, particularly the ultra-slim front headlights and the slats at either side of the front bumper that allow fast-moving air to pass along the car’s flanks.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The side profile is dominated by the Speedtail’s extraordinary rear overhang – surely one of the longest on any production car – and the front wheel, which uses a fixed cover to keep the air fed through the front-bumper slats as clean as possible as it goes along the side of the vehicle. It looks an unusual effect, with the ‘solid’-looking front wheel and a conventional alloy at the rear, although McLaren says the fixed cover can be removed if required.

The side panels themselves look remarkably clean, because the Speedtail lacks conventional side mirrors. Instead it has a pair of cameras which slide out from the doors themselves to capture wide-angle imagery of each side of the car; this footage is then displayed, real-time, on a pair of screens mounted on top of the dashboard.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The ‘speed tail’ itself contains some cutting-edge technology that’s designed to help keep the Speedtail on the road at speed. A pair of flaps has been cut into the rear bodywork, and they move up to different angles to create extra downforce when required – such as in a corner or under heavy braking.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The ailerons do this without the use hinges, however; in a bid to smooth out the Speedtail’s bodywork as much as possible, McLaren’s engineers have used the flexible properties of key pieces of the carbonfibre panel to build in enough bend in the flaps for hydraulics to push them up and pull them down. They play their part in the car’s low drag coefficient – yet to be confirmed but said by McLaren to be the lowest of any of its road cars to date.

The world's fastest road cars

McLaren is still finalising elements of the car’s performance figures and it doesn’t expect to release a full technical specification until next spring. But we already know some of the Speedtail’s startling raw numbers. Its petrol-electric hybrid powertrain is based around the firm’s 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine – and like the set-up in the Ferrari LaFerrari, it’s designed to boost performance; there’s no scope for electric-only running. The system’s batteries can be replenished using induction charging. 

Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

The total system power is 1050PS and the car weighs a modest 1,430kg – a combination that delivers a top speed of 403kph (250mph) and a 0-300kph (0-186mph) dash in just 12.8 seconds. That’s almost four seconds faster than the acceleration figure posted by McLaren’s own track-focused P1 supercar.

The Speedtail is designed to be the ultimate road car, though, so part of the reason for its extraordinary rear end is luggage space. There’s a central compartment at the back, as well as space below the front bonnet – and a set of bespoke Speedtail luggage means that overnight luggage for the three occupants can be carried.

Just 106 examples of the Speedtail will be built and all have already been sold. Buyer’s invoices are likely to extend way beyond the Speedtail’s list price of £1.75million plus taxes – because an extensive options list allows huge scope for personalisation – everything from different fabric materials and patterns to bespoke paint jobs and even an 18-carat gold McLaren badge and Speedtail lettering.

Speedtail customers are said to have been assured that there will be no convertible version of the car, and no subsequent hardcore GTR variant, in a bid to maintain exclusivity. McLaren says it had just over 300 serious enquires from established customers, and that those who weren’t able to get an order slot for the Speedtail were given priority for the Senna and Senna GTR track cars.

Do you like the look of the new McLaren Speedtail? Let us know your thoughts below...




New 804bhp £1.4 million McLaren Elva shows off retro livery

The new McLaren Elva has been shown off in a retro-inspired livery, while the novel wind deflector system has been explained in a Facebook video
26 Mar 2020
McLaren 765LT

New 2020 McLaren 765LT revealed as latest Longtail model

The Super Series McLaren 765LT has arrived with its 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine producing 755bhp
4 Mar 2020
McLaren sports series spy - front

New Sports Series McLaren supercar spied testing

McLaren will replace its entry-level Sport Series range later this year with hybrid power
7 Feb 2020
McLaren GT - McLaren badge

Limited edition McLaren BC-03 bespoke hypercar leaked

McLaren looks set to build new BC-03 hypercar based on the McLaren Senna and inspired by the virtual Vision Gran Turismo concept from 2017
10 Jan 2020

Most Popular

Hyundai Kona electric front
Hyundai Kona Electric

Hyundai Kona Electric to get increased range from July

UK-delivered Hyundai Kona Electrics will be outfitted with a handful of mechanical revisions, boosting the SUV’s maximum range to 300 miles
18 Mar 2020
Hyundai i20

New 2021 Hyundai i20 N to rival Ford Fiesta ST with 200bhp

New Hyundai i20 N to join i30 N in brand’s hot hatch line-up and our exclusive images preview how it could look
2 Apr 2020

New SEAT Leon 2020 review

The all-new SEAT Leon hatchback impresses with its blend of sporty handling and cutting-edge technology
3 Apr 2020