The McLaren Speedtail is a fine example of modern hybrid engineering.
Back in 2018, McLaren revealed its fastest model ever, the Speedtail. Despite its odd styling, this 3-seater hyper-GT car is magnificently fast and earlier this year McLaren proved its capability by taking the Speedtail to a top speed of 403 kph, numerous times, at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, USA. As a reminder, the McLaren Speedtail can accelerate from zero to 300 kph in 13 seconds!
McLaren has now provided some insight into how the Speedtail is able to achieve such impressive performance. Its sleek aerodynamic design and a low kerb weight of just 1 430 kg help to achieve this but its hybrid powertrain is undoubtedly the star of the show.
Combining a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine with an electric drive unit that together produces notable outputs of 787 kW and 1 150 Nm of torque. The V8 engine is a technological evolution from the McLaren P1 hybrid hypercar and features a new lightweight air intake system, enhanced cylinder head cooling and revised piston design that contributes 557 kW and 800 Nm of torque.
The electric motor produces another 230 kW with technology derived from Formula E which represents the highest specific battery power output of any production road car. An innovative, high-voltage storage system which comprises a compact, high-power 1.647 kWh cylindrical cell that delivers a power density 4 times that of the unit in the McLaren P1 at 5.2kW/kg with an output of 270 kW.
McLaren says that the design and integration of the battery system contribute to the performance by providing intelligent energy deployment. The battery cells are thermally controlled with a dielectrical cooling system which is immersed in an electrically insulative oil which transfers heat away from the cells which allow the battery cells to run harder over a longer period of time. It’s also the first system of its kind found in a production road car.
Watch the video below to learn more about the McLaren Speedtail