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McLaren Speedtail (BP23): What we know so far

By Chris Thompson, 30 Aug 2018 News

McLaren Speedtail BP23 What we know so far news

Speedtail’s power potential now on the scant list of details

It seems the McLaren Speedtail – or BP23 as it was previously known – is going to be very powerful indeed.

A report by Top Gear cites a McLaren owners’ event as the occasion on which McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt decided to reveal to potential Speedtail customers that the car would have more than 735kW.

“That architecture [the twin-turbo V8] has gone from 426bhp in a GT4 to I-can’t-tell-you-what-yet in a Speedtail. But it’s more than 1,000PS [735kW],”Flewitt said.

He also told customers the engine would be hybridised as in the McLaren P1.

“What we focus on are attributes rather than engines,” he added.

“I remember when we launched P1, people said we should have had a V12. That kind of missed the point – for us it was about what it did, and the character that comes out of it.”

Adding to this, there are a few things we know about the Speedtail, and one of those is an anticipated top speed of ‘more than’ 391km/h, the top speed of the McLaren F1. This will become ‘the highest top speed of any McLaren yet’, as McLaren revealed when its name was announced.

The F1 and the Speedtail will also share a couple of other defining features, the central driver seating position is the most obvious of these.

Last year, McLaren released photos of a 720S that had been turned into a test mule for the then BP23, very clearly showing off its F1-like interior.

At MOTOR, we also spoke with McLaren Asia/Pacific managing director George Biggs, who hinted that some of the car’s buyers could be from Down Under.

“We’re a global company so we make sure that all of our markets are served correctly. So on that basis… I would expect that we may see the car here.”

He even said there would be ongoing discussions on how to make the car road-legal in Australia.

“We work with the local government and the regulators in that market and we respect the rules. We’re a manufacturer that has to work within those rules. Obviously, we're in some dialogue but largely, it’s about, what are the rules? How do we comply with them?”

McLaren has said it will only build 106 Speedtails, the same production number as the F1. In the UK, pricing was set at £1.6 million before taxes, though all units sold before the car was even officially announced to media.

Each of those customers also receive a small metal sculpture made in the same limited run of 106, each assigned to a car.

McLaren says production will begin at the end of 2019.