The McLaren Speedtail in-becoming. If nothing else, a wonderful image. (Photos: McLaren)
The image above is the McLaren Hyper-GT prototype ‘XP2’, a.k.a., Speedtail. The vehicle, which has just started production at the McLaren Production Center in Woking, UK, has just completed high-speed validation testing at the Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
“The what?” you might wonder. (We did.)
Turns out that NASA built a runway for the Space Shuttle. It is three miles long and is so flat there is just 0.25-inch difference end-to-end.
And now it can be used for high-speed testing.
In the case of McLaren, test driver Kenny Brack ran the car at up to 250 mph on the track more than 30 times.
The Speedtail, which has a carbon fiber body and is the most aerodynamically efficient McLaren ever built, is a hybrid. A hybrid that produces 1,055 hp and 848 lb-ft.
It has a straight-line acceleration (which is what the runway is all about) of 0 to 186 mph in less than 13 seconds and the aforementioned top speed of 250 mph.
This is a plug-in hybrid except that it doesn’t have a plug: it uses inductive, or wireless, charging for the battery.
Incidentally: there will be just 106 of these vehicles built.
A young(ish) guy that I’ve known for a number of years, a man who spent the better part of his career writing for auto buff books and who is a car racer on the side, mentioned to me that his wife has a used Lexus ES Hybrid.
Generally, when OEMs produce aluminum engine blocks (aluminum rather than cast iron because cast iron weighs like cast iron), they insert sleeves into the piston bores—cast iron sleeves.
For the high-performance Corvette Z06 GM defied tradition and switched from a steel to an aluminum frame.