McLaren Automotive, the British car company that is now making some of the coolest cars on the planet, has unveiled the ‘Speedtail’, a car that will cost around £1.5 million and can touch 250 mph.
There are many cars in the over £1 million bracket nowadays. The market value for the Holy Trinity, the McLaren P1, the La Ferrari and the Porsche 918 Spyder is now more than this figure.
What’s more, there is the Senna from…err McLaren, which, with a few options ticked, will cost well over a million pounds. What’s more, there are the Aston Martin and Red Bull demon child Valkyrie and the Project One from AMG, both of which are expected to cost more than the Speedtail. Oh! I nearly missed the Bugatti Chiron and the Divo pair, which cost a lot, around £7.5 million for both combined (Why? You cannot own the Divo unless you have a Chiron, that is why)
Suffice it to say that the market for costly vehicles is ablaze at the moment as rich people have money to burn and much more to burn petrol with the rates that are in India right now.
So, the car…
The Speedtail is one of those things that cannot be understood properly. For instance, here is a car that is designed to be as light as possible – it weighs just a whisker over 1.4 tonnes – and yet it has three seats and electric doors and bespoke luggage, should the buyers fancy some carbonfibre in their suitcase.
It can reach 250 mph with ease, for it is designed to be like a tear drop. Yet, it has the ability to potter around town, much like a small hatchback.
The car has been designed to effectively take on the Valkyrie and the Project One and yet it has taken the fight on a different front, top speed rather than lap times. Presumably, that is because the McLaren already has the Senna to do the fastest lap times at any track.
Although the maker of the car hasn’t revealed the exact details of the powertrain, what we do know is that there is a hybrid petrol engine in the middle that is tuned to produce 1,036 bhp and that in car terms is a lot. Because of the hybrid system, I can tell you that the car will be able to run on pure electric power alone, like a coffee machine.
MORE ABOUT THE CAR
As a car then the Speedtail is hard to understand. But when you look at it from the speed perspective alone, it is easy to spot its nature. You see, the Speedtail was designed to take three people in comfort over long distances and yet be able to do 250 mph.
And that 250 mph is what baffles me. In the early ‘90s the McLaren F1 touched 243 mph, a record that stood for more than a decade until the Veyron beat it with its 16-cylinder missile of a powertrain.
Since then, the Veyron has been the king, but it is expected that the Veyron’s successor, the Chiron will beat it, as should be the case with any successor.
But McLaren has not gone for the title of the speed king. I am sure it could have turned the wick up a bit and challenged the French. But it has not done that. Instead, it has chosen to better its predecessor in all but the number of units produced. Then the number is the same 106 units.
The British carmaker took on the might of Ferrari and Lamborghini and has clearly come out on top. So, why did they not go for the speed fight? Maybe they thought more speed means adding more downforce and hence wings and that would spoil the car’s look. Maybe they thought it would not be safe what with three people on board.
I wonder why…!