SPEEDTAIL – A Car Like No Other
A pure fusion of science and art in automotive form. The Speedtail is McLaren’s first ever Hyper-GT. Our most aerodynamically efficient car ever. And the fastest McLaren to date. With a pioneering 1070PS hybrid powertrain at its core. It brings together unprecedented levels of innovation and elegance to create a new benchmark in automotive design. And offers owners extraordinary opportunity for bespoke personalisation.
The Speedtail’s exterior is unlike anything else in the automotive world. Every element has been honed into the most aerodynamic shape possible. Air is channelled without interruption over, under and around the body – from the nose all the way to the innovative ailerons at the tail. While it’s an undeniably jaw-dropping aesthetic, everything speaks of the Speedtail’s extraordinary velocity.
This is a car shaped for performance. With a design that draws on the way the natural world has adapted forms to create the ultimate in stealth and speed. This is automotive design innovation on a new level. This is the Speedtail.
Purity of form. This was part of the single-minded design brief for the Speedtail. And an objective that has been brought to life… with jaw-dropping results. But every line, every curve is there for a reason. To reduce drag. And to keep the airflow attached to the vehicle. When viewed from above, the car has a distinctive teardrop shape – the most speed-efficient natural form, as seen in high velocity birds and fish. It channels air in a seamless, uninterrupted way. Seen from the side, the Speedtail’s strikingly sleek outline ends in the elongated tail. Shutlines – gaps in panels – are at an absolute minimum to prevent turbulent air over the body. Inspired by nature yet honed by the latest technology… the look of the Speedtail may be beautiful. But it is purposeful to the last millimetre.
In stunning new automotive technology, the Speedtail does away with a traditional rear wing. Instead, its trailing edge integrates controllable surface elements known as ‘ailerons’ – usually found on aircraft. These extend at high speed to provide balance and provide airbrake function. Unlike traditional hinged ailerons, however, the Speedtail’s are formed from the bodywork of the tail. There is no separate, moving element – the carbon fibre bodywork itself actually bends. This removes the need for joins or shutlines. And minimises turbulent air… with no loss of speed. Hydraulically actuated, the ailerons move the centre of pressure towards the rear, increasing downforce. The Speedtail’s active ailerons only became possible because of a relentless commitment to pushing boundaries – in both aerodynamic design and materials innovation.
Innovations abound. Another automotive first… the Speedtail has no wing mirrors. Instead, two discreet high-definition cameras glide out from the doors when ignition is activated. Being much smaller than traditional mirrors, they vastly reduce air turbulence. But they also provide a far wider field of vision for the driver via two screens within the cockpit. And are ergonomically designed to help the driver focus on the road ahead. When the cameras retract, the pure-form outline of the Speedtail is left fully undisrupted to eliminate any drag from buffered air.
Wheels create turbulence. As they spin, they push disrupted air away from the vehicle. This increases drag and ultimately slows a car down. Not so with the Speedtail. It features lightweight carbon fibre front wheel aero covers incorporated into the 20” alloys. The covers do not rotate with the wheel but stay fixed in place. This creates a flat surface that smooths airflow. It actually keeps the passing air snug to the body of the car. And guides it towards the blades on the leading edge of the dihedral doors. This smooths the airflow so the Speedtail can pass through with minimum disruption.
The aerodynamic performance of the Speedtail is down to a design philosophy that encompasses the entire car. While some elements are visually striking – such as the elongated tail and static wheel covers – others are less obvious. But their role is just as vital. The vertical duct beneath each of the car’s LED headlights is one such innovation. Tucked discreetly away, they are particularly slender. And yet they have been meticulously tapered to feed enough air into the low-temperature radiators. All while still minimising drag. Some little wins. Some big. All mount up to the most aero-efficient McLaren to date.
NO OTHER HYPERCAR PUTS THE DRIVER CENTRE-STAGE IN THE WAY THE SPEEDTAIL DOES
The central seat provides a perfectly symmetrical view of the cabin – and an uninterrupted vista of the road ahead.
Everything in the Speedtail’s interior is positioned for driver convenience and betterment. With controls placed in an overhead console. And rear-view camera screens located by the windscreen A-pillars for maximum, ergonomic efficiency.
The theme is continued in the extraordinary levels of quality and innovation in the materials. Next-generation carbon fibre. Leather that has been honed to hold the driver in their seat. The incorporation of precious metals. Everything about the Speedtail’s cabin exudes excellence and ultimate elegance.
Innovation runs through every aspect of the Speedtail. And there are few places it’s as clear to see as in the car’s glazing. Interior illumination is provided by LEDs integrated into the glass. While advanced electrochromic technology darkens the windscreen at the touch of a button. No sun visors. Less visual interruption. The windscreen itself seamlessly curves over the driver and passengers to meet the unique porthole. The glazing continues in the upper sections of the doors to each side. And stretches rearward – almost to the rear axle. The result is a panoramic glass canopy that offers unbelievable light and space. And unimpeded visibility. Out in front. All around. Even up above.
There is an elegance to simplicity. The Speedtail dashboard is clean. Pure. Gone is the visual interruption of buttons and switches. Instead, a state-of-the-art control system takes their place. Almost every control is replicated by touch-sensitive, high-definition driver displays either side of the steering wheel. Each has a separate, dedicated function. To the [left], vehicle controls. To the [right], infotainment. These are paired with additional displays fed by the car’s wing mirror cameras. Powerful innovation stretches across the Speedtail’s cockpit. It creates a flowing, ultra-modern driver interface. Effortlessly functional. Simply beautiful.
The influence of symmetrical design can be seen throughout the Speedtail. In the striking rear light, for example, that pinpoints the central axis of the car. But open the Speedtail’s dihedral doors, and the most iconic reference is revealed – the central driving seat, which positions the driver directly upon this line. The central driver’s seat is synonymous with the legendary F1. But in the Speedtail, it becomes even more extraordinary. It’s not simply about better visibility. Better awareness. Or even better positional accuracy. It’s more than this. It affords a truly natural balance to the car. And places drivers centre-stage… in an unparalleled automotive experience.
Inside the Speedtail there is room for three people. Yet, for the driver, the same interior feels like a single-seater cockpit. One in which they are truly at the heart of the action. This is not simply achieved through the central driving seat. But also through repositioning core car controls from the dashboard to an overhead console. These are dedicated driver’s controls. Positioned above them. Accessible only by them. Inspired by the world of aviation – and milled from aluminium – the overhead console provides instant, distraction-free access to Active Dynamics settings. The engine start button. The switches and dials to engage Velocity mode. To release the doors. And to control the side windows. The result is a decluttered interior environment. That delivers pure driving focus.
THE SPEEDTAIL IS OVERFLOWING WITH EXTRAORDINARY ENGINEERING
And yet, in its simplest form, it remains in some ways a blank canvas. That’s because the design team wanted to create a car with the option for unprecedented levels of personalisation.