CAPABLE OF 250 MILES PER HOUR, THE McLAREN SPEEDTAIL WAS CONCEIVED TO SMUDGE THE LINE BETWEEN PERFORMANCE CAR AND AIRCRAFT
BY EVAN MONROE
The latest release in British automaker McLaren’s Ultimate Series, and just in time for the holiday gift buyer with an extra $2.1 million in his or her pocket, the Speed tail is gonzo manufacturing to the infinite and infinitely wonderful power, capable of 250 miles per hour. It is the fastest McLaren ever produced (just eclipsing the 243 mph once record speed of the maker’s F1), a fact made possible by a gas electric hybrid motor that develops 1,035 horsepower (and that’s not a typo), and also by the car’s astonishing lightness (curb weight just over 3,100 pounds) its teardrop shaped cockpit and aerodynamically optimized body incorporating features such as carbon fiber front wheel aero covers, retractable digital rear view cameras (in lieu of mirrors), and active rear ailerons. Helpfully dispensing with the workaday 0 to 60 acceleration measurement, McLaren offers instead that the car will achieve 186 mph (300 kmh) in 12.8 seconds.
A three seater, the Speed tail, of which only 106 will be made, is interior arranged so that the driver’s seat is positioned at the center of the “cockpit,” flanked by two passenger seats slightly behind. This creates, according to the maker, “an unparalleled sense of space and a more balanced view out of the windshield.” The custom made carbon fiber seat, inspired by those in the F1, is “Hyper GT” designed, with a newly created directional leather finish that makes it easy to slide into the seat but subtly holds an occupant in place.
Presented to the driver are high definition displays and touchscreens that sweep across the dashboard and replace almost every button and switch traditionally found in a car (think Tesla Model 3 large screens, only cooler). Milled and brushed aluminum controls that start the engine, turn on the Active Dynamics Panel, and engage “Velocity mode,” as well as switches that open windows and doors, are in panels above the driver’s head, making the whole affair seem as much fighter aircraft as automobile. Owners can select unique stitch patterns in a variety of colors, and bespoke decorative forms can be created within the leather through digital quilting in de bossed or embossed patterns.
McLaren Bergen County
995 Route 17 South, Ramsey / 201.639.7750