The new McLaren Speedtail has concluded its final testing phase with a series of 250mph runs at the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida.
A development prototype, named XP2, was taken to its top speed more than 30 times on the Johnny Bohmer Proving Ground’s three-mile runway, confirming its status as the fastest car McLaren has yet built. That title was originally held by the firm’s iconic F1 hypercar, which achieved a 231mph top speed following its launch in 1994.
McLaren’s chief test driver Kenny Brack was at the wheel of XP2 for the high-speed runs, which followed previous tests at locations including Idiada in Spain and Papenburg in Germany.
The company calls the £1.75m Speedtail “a showcase for the brand’s expertise in lightweight engineering”, and notes that it is more aerodynamically efficient than any of its previous models.
The hypercar is McLaren’s first series-production hybrid model since the 789bhp P1, and its first three-seater since the F1. At 5137mm long, it is also the longest production car to come out of Woking. McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt said: “The Speedtail is a truly extraordinary car that epitomises McLaren’s pioneering spirit and perfectly illustrates our determination to continue to set new benchmarks for supercar and hypercar performance.”
At its unveiling in 2018, McLaren said the Speedtail will be a true driver’s car. It has been designed as a ‘hyper-GT’, and is said to balance “a mature, stiff ride with comfort and speed”.
Exact details of the Speedtail’s 1055bhp petrol-electric powertrain remain under wraps, but McLaren claims the battery pack has a power density of 5.2kW/kg, giving it “the best power-to-weight ratio of any automotive high-voltage battery system”.
With testing now complete, the Speedtail has now officially entered production at McLaren’s Woking factory, with deliveries of the 106 cars already sold set to begin in February 2020.