The McLaren Speedtail: Beauty for the Ages

Last week I brought you the Koenigsegg Gemera, their first 4-seater hybrid hyper GT. This week I’m bringing you McLaren’s latest creation in hybrid hypercar GTs, the Speedtail. So, we’ve noticed a trend of a new category of cars being created, the hypercar GTs. As if Grand Tourer cars from the past weren’t fast enough, apparently their latest requirements are insane speeds, futuristic designs and unrivalled economy; in the good way that is.

McLaren has always been a pioneer within the automotive design, their legacy in Formula 1 goes back decades, competing and outgunning the likes of Ferrari. Their jaw-dropping creation of the McLaren F1 in the 90s that witnessed, at that time, the world’s fastest production car reaching speeds of over 242 mph. Back when your dishwasher had eyes and ears and a name, as the well-known Jeremy Clarkson once said. Then soon after they teamed up with Mercedes to create the SLR, and then in 2011 they launched their own McLaren 12C which shot them into the supercar world and from there the rest is history.

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McLaren’s own definition of the Speedtail describe it as a car like no other and quoting “A pure fusion of science and art in automotive form. The Speedtail is McLaren’s first-ever Hyper-GT. Our most aerodynamically efficient car ever. And the fastest McLaren to date. With a pioneering 1070PS hybrid powertrain at its core. It brings together unprecedented levels of innovation and elegance to create a new benchmark in automotive design. It offers owners the extraordinary opportunity for bespoke personalisation”.

The design and looks of the Speedtail will undoubtedly be the first thing you’ll notice, the elegantly streamlined body, with the long pointy back end that makes it look like a duck-billed platypus, which isn’t an insult, the other striking appearance you’ll find is the odd rims, the back rims look normal, but the first ones look like those you would find on a drag car. The minimalist approach to the design provides a smooth and steady airflow over the body, nose to tail, to create a sleek and streamlined design to increase not only airflow but incorporating the dark art of downforce.

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It is not just the looks that make the Speedtail standout. Still, the performance and engineering design of the engine is also just as impressive, equipped with their mighty 4 litre twin-turbo V8 that is tied together with an electric motor to combine total power output of 1035bhp and an impressive 848 lb-ft of torque. Also being combined with velocity mode, which aids the Speedtail in achieving optimum speed by adjusting and controlling the powertrain and active aerodynamics. The speed of this monster boggles the mind, it can reach 0-186 mph in just 12.8 seconds and go onto a top speed of 250 mph; which is faster than the legendary McLaren F1. It isn’t cheap either costing around £2,000,000 and with only 106 being made, definitely makes it quite the rarity to behold.

Speaking of the McLaren F1, the Speedtail’s interior is what the F1’s cockpit would look like if it were developed in this decade. The driver sits slap bang in the middle for that racing driver experience, to add more to the mix all of the controls to open the windows and start the engine are found above the driver’s head giving that sci-fi feeling. Speaking of futuristic design, if you’ve been cheeky enough to skip through the writing and straight to the pics, then you might’ve noticed that the Speedtail has no sun visors. This is due to it coming equipped with elect chromatic glass that reacts to the sunlight and UV rays to block out the sun. Think of it like reaction lenses on glasses only much bigger and probably more expensive too.

To conclude, the McLaren Speedtail is both the pinnacle and the good old days of car design, it comes with space-age materials yet also displays simplicity such as the presence of no driver aids. It doesn’t even have side airbags due to the three-seat layout, yet, the dihedral doors and the high-definition cameras replaced instead of door mirrors add an element of futurism and advancement in car technology. The Speedtail as such is a toast to the past, a future classic and a look into the future.

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Sources: https://cars.mclaren.com/gb-en/ultimate-series/mclaren-speedtail

Pictures from: https://www.caranddriver.com/mclaren/speedtail

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