PistonHeads

McLaren Speedtail | spotted

POAs are boring. Sticking POA in an ad is like McDonalds announcing its latest Double McBig Mac McCheese McFlurry and, once you salivate like a rabid dog chewing on a Naga pepper, telling you it’s a million pounds. It’s very infuriating to see your dreams shattered. Just tell us the price. It’s really not that hard to tell if you own a calculator, which everyone does if they own a smartphone.

However, there are exceptions. When those three porous-faced POA letters replace the price of a McLaren Speedtail, well, what’s the harm? You know it’s going to cost several million pounds anyway. So what the real number is doesn’t really matter, because unless you’re Elon Musk or Jeffery Bezos, you can’t afford it. Let’s face it, the Speedtail isn’t a car you just put on a configurator and order.

Oh no. You sit down with one of McLaren’s interior designers and design every millimeter of its 5,137mm body and interior. And if you want your design to remain unique, you tell McLaren never to produce another one like this “Or else”. For this level of bespoke butt massage service you will be billed Β£2,100,000 for the blank canvas. Then you add another important piece for the artistic brushstrokes you just applied. One example is rumored to have a paint finish alone costing Β£100,000. So it’s probably no surprise that the checks starting with three and six zeros scribbled to the right of this one would have been redeemed for a single car.

Speaking of special paint matches, the shade for this example was apparently chosen after a chance encounter. There’s a Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione – chassis #2009 – driving around. It was ordered new through Maranello Concessionaires by a Mr. Graham Whitehead. Whitehead was a gentleman racer and had many podium finishes in his 250 GT in the 60s. Later, a little battle scarred perhaps, and certainly multiple owners, the now weather-beaten 250 GT was sent to Ferrari Classiche for full restoration and certification. After everything was shiny again, it was shown at the Villa d’Este Concours in 2019, where someone saw it and thought, β€œThis is the color I want for my Speedtail. This Speedtail. Which seems like a lot of thinking for a car he or she has barely used – it only shows 30 miles now.

Beneath that silvery blue paintwork is a carbon fiber weave with threads three times finer than another McLaren. Inside, the Speedtail’s leather is also nearly a third lighter than any of McLaren’s standard leathers – but no less durable, apparently. And, of course, it wraps up a three-piece suite that emulates the setup found in the most famous and sought-after McLaren of them all. A driver’s seat in the middle of the cockpit, flanked by two others for happy passengers. It’s not the only association with F1 either. 106 Speedtails will be built – McLaren is still building them, but all orders are taken. This corresponds to the number of F1s manufactured.

On the surface, it’s one of the most striking cars to ever come out of Woking – well, maybe with the exception of the Senna, but it was striking for all the wrong reasons. The Speedtail is not jarring like the Senna. It is a serene and harmonious piece of design from tip to toe. In nature, things designed by the thoughtful hand of evolution to be fast tend to be pretty too. Look at a peregrine falcon dive-bombing if you don’t believe me. The Speedtail wasn’t designed by Darwinism, but it’s pretty, and when you step back to admire it, it could have been. It’s the same philosophy, you see. When something does not disturb the air in which it moves, it does not disturb the eyes either. And that’s a long way of saying the Speedtail looks amazing.

It had to be slippery, of course, because of its power and speed. The internal combustion element was nothing special – as with all McLarens except the F1 and SLR, it uses the flat, gruff M840T twin-turbo V8. But the Speedtail, like the P1, supplements the gasoline engine with electricity. And when you combine the power of the V8 with the horsepower of the McLaren Applied & Hewland e-Axle permanent magnet motor, you get 1,070 hp. Plus 848 lb-ft of torque.

Here are some other numbers to ponder. Start with acceleration: 0-100 km/h, 3.0 seconds; 0-124mph, 6.6 seconds; 0-186mph, 13.0 seconds. Take that and mourn Bugatti Chiron, with your pathetic 13.1-second run. And because it’s about half a ton lighter than the Chiron, once it’s accelerated to 124 mph it can also come to a stop very quickly. At 132 meters. Oh yeah, and I almost forgot the headline. Top speed is 250 mph. It is also not a hypothetical number. It was not imagined by someone with a Tefal head and a doctorate in aeronautics. McLaren chief test pilot Kenny BrΓ€ck actually did it – around the Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds at Kennedy Space Center, Florida in the ‘XP2’ prototype.

So this is it. Look past the POA just once and you should find a PHWOAR that spawns. That’s the normal noise you make when you see something rare and beautiful, isn’t it? So PHOAR.

SPECIFICATION | McLaren Speedtail

Engine: 3,994cc V8 twin-turbo electric motor
Transmission: Seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 1,070
Torque (lb ft): 848
MPG: 18.1
CO2: 357g/km
First registered: 2021
Recorded mileage: 30
New price: Β£2,100,000
Good for you for: a few million

#McLaren #Speedtail #spotted

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