In brief: British automotive giant McLaren has just unveiled its fastest road car to date: the Speedtail. Described as its first "Hyper GT" car, the company charges almost $2.25 million for one of these beasts. But even if you do happen to have that sort of cash lying around, all 106 vehicles have already been purchased.
Thanks to its gas-electric hybrid powertrain, the 1035 BPH Speedtail can reach 250 mph and accelerate from 0 to 186 mph in just 12.8 seconds. McLaren’s previous Ultimate Series hybrid, the P1, took 16.5 seconds to reach that speed.
Like the famous McLaren F1 car, the Speedtail can seat three people: one driver sitting in a central position with two passengers placed slightly back on either side. But the seating configuration and complications with the airbags mean US buyers importing the car must apply for a ‘show or display’ permit, which allows limited road miles.
As well as being ridiculously fast, the Speedtail is packed with technology. Analog readouts are replaced with digital high-definition touchscreen dashboards, where drivers can select various modes including Velocity, which lets it hit 250 mph by moving the car’s retractable parts, thereby optimizing it for high speeds. There’s also the Velocity Active Chassis Control that drops the car by 1.4 inches, along with push-to-start, and gear-select buttons.
One of the most impressive pieces of tech is the electrochromic glass windshield, which can be darkened just by pressing a button, doing away with the need for sun visors.
Much like the Audi E-Tron concept electric SUV, the Speedtail uses high definition digital cameras instead of wing mirrors on the exterior of the car. This makes it more aerodynamic as they’re smaller and retractable. Drivers see the cameras' feed on their dashboard screen and, compared to using traditional mirrors, get a wider view of what’s behind them.
The car’s front two wheels come with static covers, which not only boost aerodynamics but also feature a notch that directs airflow in an optimum fashion. They also look extremely cool.
McLaren says the cars are expected to start shipping at the beginning of 2020. Buyers also get a set of bespoke luggage, constructed from expensive materials and designed to match the personalized interior of the owner’s Speedtail.