In 2018, McLaren stated that the Speedtail would be their fastest sport car, and ever since, we have had access to only 2 things, one, the looks of the car and what it would be capable of. The looks in my opinion are unreal, it looks simply staggering. That signature McLaren LongTail body, the 3 seat configuration and the flowing lines to make it aerodynamic makes it look like a jet for the roads.
Until now, information on the car had been scant. However, McLaren has revealed some crucial details about what makes the Speedtail the way it is, and suffice to say, these details will blow you away. For me, till date, the most monstrous yet brilliant McLaren product has been the P1, but after going through the details which I am about to tell you, I think I have a new favourite McLaren. Or maybe, a new favourite hypercar.
The Speedtail is the fastest sports car manufactured by McLaren, and this is possible, thanks to its sophisticated and advanced hybrid powertrain. McLaren has gone all out and not held themselves back whilst building this car, and it shows, as the Speedtail is not only their fastest car, but it also sports the highest specific battery power, ever to have been used in a hybrid or electric vehicle. Due to this enhanced battery power, the Speedtail is capable of hitting peak outputs, repeatedly.
The Speedtail can seat 3 people in its teardrop shaped cockpit(I would implore them to wear their seat-belts, it will be required), and the car has been designed to suit it aerodynamically. Furthermore, the vehicle makes use of lightweight engineering throughout, and they managed to do so with the help of an all carbon fibre body. But it is not the design or the looks which define the vehicle for what it is, it is the powertrain of the vehicle which has makes it the talk of the town.
McLaren has made use of their trademark twin turbocharged 4.0 litre V8 to power the Speedtail, fun fact, this is the same engine which is used in the 765 LT as well. The only difference between the two engines being, the Speedtail’s engine is hybridised and the 765 LT’s is not.
This 4.0 litre engine is capable of churning out 747 horsepower and 590 pound feet of torque. This engine alone, is qualified to deliver some extreme speeds, but as this is a hybrid, a single electric motor is mated to this 4.0 litre engine. The electric motor produces an additional 308 ps, which gives the Speedtail a total horsepower of (747+308) 1,055 ps. The Speedtail is a hybrid marvel, and all credit for it being this way should be given to McLaren. They combined an inverter and a DC/DC converter, and this has made the vehicle even more lethal.
The electric battery of the Speedtail needs to spoken about, it is a paramount and advanced piece of technology. The battery is 1.647 kWh high powered cylindrical pack, and it is completely worthy of praise, as it manages to provide the Speedtail with the best power to weight ratio, the kind of ratio which has not been achieved by any production ready vehicle today.
Nerd alert! This battery attains another feat, there is no simple way of saying this, but the battery utilises its energy very smartly, as the cells within it which are thermally controlled (via a dielectric cooling system). These cells are dipped into an electrically insulative oil whereby it transfers heat away from the cells.
I would understand if you read this line repeatedly, and still failed to understand what it meant. Well, the point is that this kind of a system allows the battery pack of the vehicle to thrust further without encountering any degradation. Hence, you won’t be seeing any degradation in performance even if you continuously go at it for lap after lap. Very much UNLIKE a Tesla and an even more extreme level than the Porsche Taycan. Last but not the least, the battery output has been recorded at 270 kW.
Now for some fun adrenaline gushing numbers, the Speedtail has registered a top speed of 250 mph (403 km/hr), and it can accelerate from naught to 186 mph in a meagre 13 seconds. These numbers are absolutely mind blowing, and it makes me think, Jeremy Clarkson once called the P1 the Widowmaker, what would he call the Speedtail?
Only 106 units of the Speedtail will be manufactured, and each will be priced at $2.3 million, interested parties, take your cheque books and get yourself this exquisite sports car.