It’s huge, for one thing, stretching more than five metres; in fact, it's longer than the BMW X7. The long, sweeping eponymous Speedtail gives it a hint of mid-1970s Le Mans sportscars, mixed with the hyper-slippery lines of an ultra-efficient speed record machine (and, to my eyes, a hint of Jaguar XJ220). If you’re lucky enough to see one of the 106 examples that will be built on the road, you’ll notice it.
To achieve its lofty top speed, the car needed to produce minimal drag. To do that, McLaren’s design team dabbled in the art of marginal gains – a nip here and tuck there, following the approach of British Cycling.
“We didn’t just throw brute force at this car,” says designer Rob Melville. “We threw intellect, looking at how you can trim drag, like how you might tuck your elbows in while cycling.”
You notice that approach with details such as the fixed front wheel covers and the flexing carbonfibre ailerons at the rear of the car. But you also notice it with the way the Speedtail’s bodywork curves and bends.