Testing success for Speedtail

Louise Smyth

The dynamic development program for the fastest and most technically advanced McLaren ever has concluded in fitting fashion with McLaren chief test driver, Kenny Brack, taking the new Speedtail up to its maximum speed of 250mph at the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, USA.

The final high-speed tests in the ground-breaking hypercar’s extensive engineering validation process saw Speedtail prototype ‘XP2’ reach its maximum speed more than 30 times on the space shuttle landing runway at the Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds. The exercise concluded a program of high-speed running carried out at multiple test facilities worldwide, including Idiada in Spain and Papenburg in Germany.

Build of the first of 106 Speedtails that will be hand-assembled to customer order has now commenced at the McLaren Production Centre in Woking, UK, with deliveries scheduled from February.

“It’s fitting that the Speedtail’s high-speed test program concluded with multiple maximum-speed runs at a location so strongly associated with pushing the boundaries of extreme performance and engineering excellence,” commented McLaren Automotive CEO, Mike Flewitt. “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.”

The Speedtail’s petrol-electric hybrid powertrain delivers the greatest power and torque of any McLaren road car, with a combined 1,055bhp and 848lb ft. The straight-line acceleration and maximum speed of the car set new benchmarks for McLaren, with 0-186mph achieved in less than 13 seconds.

The McLaren-developed battery pack has a power density of 5.2kW/kg, which is the best power-to-weight ratio of any automotive high voltage battery system. The batteries constantly self-charge when the Speedtail is driven – there is no ‘plug-in’ element – however, a wireless charging pad that trickle-charges and maintains the battery’s status when the vehicle is not in use is also included as standard.