McLaren Hybrid Tests on the Space Shuttle Runway
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 look at the 7 Series Carbon Core.
Remember those Saturn commercials showing shopping carts bouncing harmlessly off of plastic body panels? Good idea, right? But apparently the approach never really caught on. Now the question is: will it ever?
If automotive tire upstart Amerityre can perfect its polyurethane tires, we may soon have to revise the phrase "where the rubber meets the road."