McLaren has just unveiled the 2019 Speedtail hypercar, and no matter how much it costs, it’s not legal to drive on US roads.
For the first time, British supercar maker McLaren is getting into the hyper-GT business. In a realm dominated by Pagani, Bugatti, and Koenigsegg, McLaren is here to take a bite out of a very lucrative pie and show the French, Swedes, and Italians just how it’s done.
Under its carbon fiber exterior, the Speedtail is equipped with a hybrid powertrain producing 1,035 hp. Top speed is 250 mph, and it can race from zero to 186 mph in the same amount of time it takes most cars to finish a quarter-mile drag race: just 12.8 seconds.
Its teardrop shape might look a little funny, but it’s designed to be the most aerodynamic car that McLaren has ever made (in addition to being the most powerful and fastest). Active aerodynamics such as carbon fiber front-wheel static aero-covers and patented active rear ailerons increase drag when needed, but fold away when it’s time to go fast. And the Speedtail can go very fast.
The inside of the Speedtail pays homage to its predecessor, the McLaren F1. A central driving position means that both passengers sit on either side with their legs on either side of the driver. Quite frankly, it looks a little bit cramped back there, and the driver will likely wind up using their passengers’ legs as armrests.
This unique seating arrangement also makes it illegal to drive in the United States. As Motor Authority points out, all new cars must have side airbags, which the Speedtail does not. It also doesn’t have side mirrors, instead opting for retractable digital rear-view cameras. That is also illegal on US-roads currently, even though we’re sure the digital cameras do at least as good a job as mirrors would.
Despite this slight legal hiccup, the publication heard straight from McLaren that roughly 35 of the 106 reserved Speedtails were sold to Americans. At $2.25 million each.
Who needs to worry about laws when you can just buy your way out of any legal issue you drive into?