McLaren Speedtail: 986bhp ‘hyper-GT’ to be revealed today

McLaren's 3-seat BP23 supercar is called the McLaren Speedtail and we'll see it at 1pm this afternoon

The all-new McLaren Speedtail will make its world debut at 1pm this afternoon. The new ‘Hyper-GT’ model was known under the codename BP23 until the Speedtail moniker was announced and will boast the highest top speed of any car the firm has ever produced, exceeding the 243mph top speed of the legendary F1 supercar.

Like the F1, the Speedtail is a three seater: the driver sits centrally with two seats positioned slightly behind and to either side. Power will come from a petrol-electric hybrid powertrain with the motors delivering a combined 986bhp. 

Speaking at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2018, McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt said that while the new model is an homage to the first McLaren road car, it is not a direct successor of the F1. He described the Speedtail as “a car designed for longer journeys, but with the high levels of performance and driver engagement expected of any McLaren”. Think of a McLaren rival to the Bugatti Chiron and you might not be too far from the truth.

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So far all we’ve seen are teaser sketches, but they have revealed the car’s sleek profile, while earlier pictures showed the unique seating layout from above, an elongated, swooping rear end which houses an aggressive rear diffuser and thin LED lights, and a driver-focused dashboard with digital instruments.

McLaren claims that, alongside the car’s clear performance credentials, it will also be the most luxurious car to leave the Woking factory to date. The Speedtail’s 986bhp hybrid powertrain is likely to pair an electric motor with the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 seen in the new 720S. New technologies for the Speedtail are also being trialed, like digital rearview mirrors.

Even if you could afford the price of £1.75m (plus local taxes), you’re too late: the Speedtail’s entire production run of 106 cars was reserved even before the car was officially announced in November 2016.

A test mule for what will be the brand’s ‘fastest ever model’ was developed based on the 720S to evaluate different cabin ergonomic options and its unique three-seat layout. These actual 720S mules don’t give us any clues as to how the Speedtail will look, but the teaser sketches provide us with an early taste; an elongated, swooping rear end houses an aggressive rear diffuser and thin LED lights. As with every McLaren, it’s also likely to feature dihedral doors. Further development of the Speedtail is currently underway at McLaren Special Operations (MSO), dedicated producers of McLaren Ultimate Series cars.

With the McLaren Speedtail ‘Hyper-GT’ on its way, check out the recently launched McLaren Senna

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