McLaren has a new speed king. A prototype of the production Speedtail (dubbed "XP2") hit its stated maximum speed of 250 miles per hour (403 kilometres per hour) this week at the Johnny Bohmer Proving Ground's runway at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida… even though it’s technically not street-legal in the States. That number breaks the internal record of 240.1-mph (386.4-kmh) once held by the iconic F1.
With McLaren chief test driver, Kenny Brack, at the helm, the Speedtail prototype reached its top speed a record 30 times on the stretch of the three-mile runway. This most-recent Speedtail test concludes a program of high-speed runs carried out by the company worldwide over the past few months. Testing also included speed runs in Idiada in Spain and Papenburg in Germany.
"It's fitting that the Speedtail's high-speed test program concluded with multiple maximum-speed runs at a location strongly associated with pushing the boundaries of extreme performance and engineering excellence," McLaren Automotive CEO, Mike Flewitt, says.
"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."
Gallery: McLaren Speedtail top speed run
Producing 1,055 bhp (787 kilowatts) and 848 pound-feet (1,150 Newton-metres), the McLaren Speedtail uses a petrol-electric hybrid powertrain featuring a twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 and an electric motor. With that setup, the Speedtail can hit 186 mph (300 kmh) in less than 13 seconds, continues on to a top speed of 250 mph – and should be good for a 0-60 time of around 2.5 seconds, by our best guess.
Deliveries for the McLaren Speedtail start in February 2020. The company will produce just 106 examples worldwide, each at a cost of around £1.75 million... and all of them are already sold out.
The dynamic development programme 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 403 km/h (250mph) at the Kennedy Space Center 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 programme 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 2020.
“It’s fitting that the Speedtail’s high-speed test programme concluded with multiple maximum-speed runs at a location 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.”
Blending sleek and seamless beauty with pioneering technologies and truly remarkable performance, the Speedtail sits at the pinnacle of the McLaren Ultimate Series. At almost 5.2 metres long, the carbon-fibre-bodied three-seat Hyper GT is the most aerodynamically drag efficient McLaren ever and a showcase for the brand’s expertise in lightweight engineering.
The Speedtail’s petrol-electric hybrid powertrain delivers the greatest power and torque of any McLaren road car, with a combined 1,070PS (1,055bhp) and 1,150Nm (848lb ft). The straight-line acceleration and maximum speed of the car set new benchmarks for McLaren, with 0-300km/h (0-186mph) achieved in less than 13 seconds and the Speedtail able to reach 403km/h (250mph).
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.