McLaren Speedtail Sound Clip May Give Away Crucial Details About Its Engine

The hypercar can be heard leaving the automaker’s showroom, potentially revealing what engine it uses to produce the monstrous 1,035 hp figure.

byRob Stumpf|
McLaren News photo

In this clip, the beautiful McLaren Speedtail was taken on a short move to transport the car from McLaren's showroom to the exterior of the building. Though not exceeding the power that the car was able to deliver under idle, the short video of the hypercar's exhaust note may have revealed its powertrain mystery.

McLaren was eager to reveal the Speedtail last month, bragging that the curvatures in its exterior design, coupled with flexible carbon fiber ailerons, made it the most aerodynamic road car McLaren has ever built. One thing that the automaker was not keen on telling the public, however, was the vehicle's powertrain configuration.

We understood that the hypercar would almost certainly make use of a hybrid power unit in order to deliver instantaneous and unrivaled acceleration, but what else sat under the hood remained a mystery. The British automaker hasn't yet officially revealed what pumps out all 1,035 horsepower just yet, but an eerily similar exhaust note may have clued a few well-tuned ears onto the company's well-kept secret.

It appears that under the hood sits the very same (or at least a variation of) twin-turbo V8 which graces every modern McLaren from the MP4-12C to the 720S, and even the Senna: the M840T. Birthed from the underlying architecture of Nissan's Le Mans going VRH35L, the trumpeting sound of McLaren's flat-plane V8 can be heard from the Speedtail's pipes.

Behind the wheel of the Speedtail is Alex Alexiev, McLaren's senior designer. According to Linkedin, Alexiev interned at McLaren, Polaris, Toyota, and Volvo before beginning his professional career. In a 2017 interview with Art Center, Alexiev talked about his experience designing the interior of the McLaren 720S and confirmed that he working on a "three-seat central driving position similar to McLaren F1" for a project internally coded "BP-23" AKA the Speedtail.

Alexiev jokes on Instagram that he achieved velocity by pushing the car to one-half mile per hour, but more importantly, his post shows even more up-close and personal details about the Speedtail than McLaren's press photos, including a seat in the cockpit.

McLaren says that it will build only 106 examples of the $2.3 million hypercar, each of which will be capable of a 250 mile per hour top speed and sprint from 0 to 186 mph in only 12.8 seconds. More details are sure to come before the car begins full production in 2019.