McLaren Speedtail is a hypercar spaceship with central driving position, 1,035 hp

Isaac Cain
October 30, 2018

Judging from these images, courtesy of Twitter user Autobant, it's a distinctive, if not odd-looking, hypercar - we'll give McLaren that.

Originally slated by its manufacturer as a successor to the McLaren F1, the Speedtail is the fastest auto to ever come from Woking that doesn't roll on a set of slicks and have Fernando Alonso's name on the side. However, that's where the similarities between the pair start and end.

While details on the powertrain are scarce, we do know that it features a petrol-electric hybrid setup which generates a whopping 1,036bhp. Powered by a hybrid powertrain of electric and petrol engines, the auto can produce 1,050 horsepower and accelerate to a top speed of 250 miles per hour in high-speed mode, with a 0-186 miles per hour time of only 12.8 seconds.

McLaren says limited production of the Speedtail has given it the opportunity to "push colour and materials design into unchartered territory". This Vmax could allegedly be higher, but not on tyres civilised people could live with, according to McLaren. Inside the teardrop-shaped cockpit are three carbon-fiber seats - one in the center for the driver, flanked by two set slightly rearward for passengers.

"It's a direct-drive hybrid", he told Wheels. In terms of drag efficiency, it's the slipperiest McLaren ever - something you can well believe when stood next to it.

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This indicates the system could be a high kWh, small capacity system, created to provide an extra turn of speed, without operating as the sole drive system.

Welcome to the McLaren Speedtail, the spiritual successor to the F1 of the 1990s and the third model in the brand's Ultimate Series following the P1 and Senna.

The wind often forms the most handsome works of art. The McLaren Speedtail will be priced at $2.24 million when the first production examples roll off the assembly line in 2020.

McLaren singles out the car's Velocity drive mode, which optimizes the powertrain and tailors the aero bits for maximum speed. "I would expect that we may see the auto here", Asia Pacific boss for McLaren Automotive George Biggs has told MOTOR in the past. It's both longer and narrower than the P1, with easy-to-open dihedral doors and retractable digital rear-view cameras in lieu of mirrors.

Perhaps the most controversial element of the design so far is the static wheel covers which hide the 20 inch 10 spoke rims at the front. 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 vehicle to date. Additionally, McLaren has gotten rid of the need for sun visors, as the top of the windscreen is made of electrochromic glass and can be darkened at the touch of a button.

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