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McLaren Speedtail hypercar is nearly opposite of Senna

GENEVA — If McLaren Automotive’s Senna hypercar introduced last year was all about the track, the upcoming Speedtail is all about the road.

Deliveries of the Speedtail, McLaren’s three-seat hypercar, are to begin in January. It will join the Senna and P1 in McLaren’s top-tier Ultimate Series.

“If you look at it from a road-to-track perspective, … Senna is a very track-focused car,” Andy Palmer, McLaren’s vehicle line director for Ultimate Series, told Automotive News on the sidelines of the Geneva show, where the Speedtail made its auto show debut. “This one’s almost on the opposite scale. It’s a grand tourer, a bespoke entry to that market in terms of this type of car: luxury, hyper, grand tourer.”

McLaren plans to build just 106 Speedtails, the same as the number of F1s built in the 1990s, with each car already being spoken for. The 1,035-hp gasoline-electric hybrid Speedtail starts at around $2.3 million in the United States.

As part of the Speedtail’s development, McLaren created “Albert,” a camouflaged prototype that has been testing on tracks and the company’s proving ground. Its first road tests could begin this week, Palmer said.

The Speedtail boasts a list of unique design and engineering elements, and Palmer believes some of them could migrate to other McLaren nameplates.

“Senna opened us up to something very unique in being able to offer 500 customers an incredible car, an incredible experience,” Palmer said. “And this is the same.”

“Yes, it’s lower numbers but I would really like to think that the way we’re moving with carbon fiber, the way we’re moving with powertrains that, yes, hopefully, it will start filtering down to the other cars.”

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