McLaren will finally produce an informal successor to its F1 supercar of the 1990s. Dubbed Speedtail, the new hypercar promises exceptional performance and sultry styling. But will it be able to carry the torch set aflame by the famed F1? If what we know is true, then the answer is a resounding ‘Yes.’
What Is It?
The Speedtail is the latest hypercar to wear the McLaren badge. Following in the wake of the track-focused Senna and the gasoline-electric hybrid P1 supercar, the Speedtail aims to take on vehicles such as the Bugatti Chiron and the Koenigsegg Agera RS – vehicles that look to coddle their occupants while also boasting potent performance abilities. Top-speed for the Speedtail is said to be 243 miles per hour (392 kilometers per hour), making it the fastest McLaren model to date. Still, this puts the Speedtail behind the 261-mph (420-kph) Chiron and the nearly 280-mph (451-kph) Agera RS.
What Does It Look Like?
As in the McLaren F1, the Speedtail will feature a three-seat interior orientation that places the driver at the center of the vehicle and the two passengers at the left and right sides of the cabin. Expect plenty of high-quality materials to find their way into the Speedtail’s innards, with liberal use of carbon fiber and leather giving the supercar a feeling of modern luxury.
We anticipate the Speedtail will wear bodywork that evolves upon McLaren’s current design language (imagined here by our artist). That means a curvaceous side profile, thin LED headlights and taillights, and a limited use of tawdry fixed wings and spoilers – aerodynamic downforce will instead come courtesy of the car’s underbody-work, as well as a number deployable wings and spoilers that stow away at lower speeds. In short, we expect the Speedtail to mix the design simplicity of the fabled F1 with the sensual style of the 720S.
What’s Under The Hood?
The Speedtail will use a gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain for motivation. Likely relying on the 710-horsepower (529-kilowatt) twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 of the 720S as its main source of power, the Speedtail’s electric motors will work in conjunction with the big bent-eight to help the supercar produce more than 987 horsepower (736 kilowatts) and bring the hypercar to 62 mph (100 kph) in a mere two seconds.
In spite of its conceptually similar powertrain to the P1, the Speedtail will use a “slightly different hybrid application,” per McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt. What this means remains to be seen. McLaren reportedly tested an all-wheel-drive variant of the supercar, and the production Speedtail could be blessed with a separate electric motor on its front axle.
When Will We See It?
McLaren will formally unveil the Speedtail on October 26, 2018, with deliveries of the hypercar expected to begin in early 2019. Just 106 units are earmarked for production at a reported cost of $2.5 million each. Good luck getting your hands on one, though, as the Speedtail is already sold out.