The McLaren Speedtail is the latest hybrid car from the British automaker. It employs both an internal combustion engine and electric power to register its impressive power figures.
What's even more impressive is that the Speedtail, during recent high-speed validation tests in the United States, reached its maximum speed of 403km/h, on more than 30 runs! Impressive indeed, but it leaves one question up in the air: How does the Speedtail achieve such speeds?
McLaren Automotive said in an official press release that various elements come into play. From a technical point of view, the Speedtail is powered by both a turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine and battery power. In all, the total system output for the Hyper-GT is 790kW and 1150Nm.
The Speedtail's V8 engine is an evolution of the unit seen on the company's first hybrid hypercar, the P1. A new air-intake system, improved cylinder head cooling, and a revised piston design all contribute to the Speedtail's engine pushing out 560kW and 800Nm.
2020 McLaren Speedtail. Image: McLaren
Formula E technology
With regards to the electric motor, McLaren says that it sourced technology from the Formula R racing series, which aided the generation of 230kW from the secondary power source. The power output generated from the electric motor is the highest on any electric motor in use on a production road car, today.
However, as impressive as it may be, McLaren notes that the high voltage energy storage system on the Speedtail is where the innovation truly shines.
The automaker says: "A high power cylindrical cell arranged in a unique array, the 1.647kWh unit is at the cutting edge of battery technology, being extremely compact and delivering the best power-to-weight ratio of any high voltage battery available today.
"As an indication of how McLaren technology has advanced, the power density of this battery is four times that of the unit in the McLaren P1, an output of 270kW."
Compiled by: Charlen Raymond