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Electric Vehicles Research
Posted on October 29, 2018

McLaren Speedtail unites art, technology and velocity

McLaren Automotive has revealed the McLaren Speedtail. The next chapter in McLaren's Ultimate Series, the Speedtail is the first 'Hyper-GT' from the pioneering British company recognised for producing luxury sportscars and supercars that deliver extraordinary driving experiences. The Speedtail can achieve the highest maximum speed of any McLaren to date, reaching 403 km/h (250mph). Just 106 will be created and all are already reserved, at a price of from £1.75million plus taxes. For more information see the IDTechEx report on Electric Vehicles 2018-2038.
 
"McLaren has never built a vehicle like the Speedtail before. As our first 'Hyper-GT', the Speedtail is the ultimate McLaren road car; a fusion of art and science that combines an astonishing maximum speed with an iconic central-driving position and a truly pioneering approach to bespoke personalisation. A ground-breaking hybrid powertrain sits within a lightweight carbon fibre body reminiscent of sleek 'streamliners' that once set world speed records, while the luxurious three-seat cockpit offers a sublime combination of an incredible driving experience, unmatched individualism and innovative materials never seen before in a road-going vehicle," saidMike Flewitt, Chief Executive Officer, McLaren Automotive.
 
As the most powerful and most aerodynamically drag efficient McLaren, the Speedtail can exceed the 243mph record peak speed of the legendary McLaren F1, a feat made possible by intense collaboration between McLaren's design and engineering teams to deliver a peerless blend of aerodynamic, powertrain and dynamic excellence. It is also significant that this is the first of 18 new cars or derivatives that McLaren will introduce as part of its Track25 business plan.
 
The teardrop-shaped cockpit and aerodynamically optimised body are the foundation for the exceptional aerodynamic drag efficiency, with innovative features such as carbon fibre front-wheel static aero covers, retractable digital rear-view cameras (in lieu of mirrors) and patented active rear ailerons furthering contributing to the ultra-low drag achieved. The Speedtail model is built around a bespoke McLaren Monocage carbon fibre structure and benefits from lightweight engineering throughout, including an all-carbon fibre body, aluminium active suspension and carbon ceramic brakes. The powertrain is a pioneering petrol-electric hybrid developing a combined 1,050PS to support the extraordinary performance.
 
A speed of 403km/h (250mph) is achieved in a unique Velocity mode, which has been developed specifically for the Speedtail. Velocity mode optimises the hybrid powertrain for high-speed running, while also tailoring the angle of the active rear ailerons. Additionally, the digital rear-view cameras can be retracted to further improve drag. Furthermore, the Velocity Active Chassis Control can lower the Speedtail by 35mm, leaving the highest point of the vehicle just 1,120mm from the road surface.
 
The hybrid powertrain enables a relentless increase in vehicle speed regardless of engine rpm and the low weight of the Speedtail - only 1,430kg dry - hastens this ability. The straight-line acceleration of the Speedtail sets a new benchmark for a McLaren, with 0-300km/h (0-186mph) achieved in just 12.8 seconds; McLaren Automotive's previous Ultimate Series hybrid, the McLaren P1™, could reach this speed in 16.5 seconds. A bespoke P-ZERO™ tyre designed for the Speedtail's extreme speed has been developed with McLaren technology partner, Pirelli.
 
Speedtail depositors were invited to view a design model of the car at a recent private preview event held in London.
 
Every body panel is carbon fibre and has been sculpted to reduce drag and every element and every aspect of the McLaren Speedtail has been considered in the mission to reduce drag and maximise top speed.
 
"The McLaren Speedtail is a vehicle unlike any other, not simply because of the astonishing visual drama, extreme speed and aerodynamic excellence that distinguish it, but because it sets unprecedented standards in technical luxury and bespoke customisation. The same boundless innovation and creativity that drives McLaren to push the limits of physical performance have challenged us to craft an exquisite interior defined by pioneering design and the absolute pinnacle of materials quality," said Rob Melville, Design Director, McLaren Automotive
 
The limited production of the Speedtail has given McLaren the opportunity to push colour and materials design into unchartered territory and owners will experience an unprecedented journey of vehicle personalisation, leading up to the beginning of 2020 when the first deliveries of this rarest of Ultimate Series McLaren will take place.
 
Source and top image: McLaren Automotive
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