McLaren generated quite the buzz on social media the other day by posting an interesting image on the Formula 1 team’s official Instagram account with a raw version of its F1 car in the forefront and a couple of unknown road cars in the background. Some people immediately jumped to the conclusion the mysterious vehicles resting at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking were depicting the highly anticipated Speedtail.
That turned out to be a false alarm as McLaren Automotive, the company’s road car division, denied the speculation by commenting on the Instagram post. So, what is the deal with what looks to be street-legal models? McLaren Automotive cleared the air in the same reply on the social media account by posting a link to an article about an event called McLaren Design Night.
Owners along with prospective buyers were invited at the McLaren Ascot dealer in Berkshire, U.K. to discover what goes on at the McLaren Design Studio and they also had the privilege of seeing clay modellers at work. One of the scale models exhibited was of a car with a different design compared to what you’ll find in a McLaren dealership. The very same design matches the car pictured in the far right in the image above, and most likely it’s merely a design proposal that did not receive the green light.
Teaser images released of the Speedtail show a significantly different silhouette, so it’s pretty obvious we're dealing with two distinct models. The real deal will be revealed later this year to serve as a spiritual successor of the legendary F1. McLaren has already announced it will be the company’s fastest road car ever by exceeding the 243 mph achieved by the F1, which decades later remains the fastest naturally aspirated car ever made.
Previously known by its BP23 codename, the Speedtail will adopt a three-seat layout and is going to be produced in only 106 examples – all of which have long been sold out. Production of the petrol-electric machine is scheduled to kick off late 2019.