McLaren Confirms Speedtail Isn’t Street-Legal In The U.S. – But There’s A Loophole

The Speedtail is the fastest production vehicle ever produced by McLaren, but in the U.S., it won’t be legal for use on public roads.

Approximately one-third of the 106 Speedtails bound for the production line have been sold to buyers who will eventually bring them to the United States.

However, when contacted, McLaren revealed that it won’t be importing or selling the Speedtail to the U.S. That’s because the Speedtail’s three-seat layout, like the F1, doesn’t allow for side-mounted airbags which are needed for all new vehicles to comply with U.S. safety regulations.

What’s more, the fact that the Speedtail doesn’t have traditional wing mirrors and uses cameras and screens in the cockpit means it doesn’t fulfill the requirements to be street-legal in the States.

Also Read: New Lexus ES Ditches Mirrors For Cameras, But Only In Japan

Carscoops asked McLaren’s Vice President, Communications & PR for North Americas, Roger Ormisher, and he told us that those cars will indeed make it to the States, but that will be done by the owners themselves under the ‘Show or Display’ legislation.

“Speedtail owners will have to import them individually under the Show and Display ruling,” Ormisher said. “McLaren NA will not be officially importing or selling the car. Despite this, we believe around one-third of the production run will be heading Stateside at some stage.”

According to this, the National Highway Traffic Administration only requires a single application from a Speedtail buyer to have all vehicles considered for use under Show or Display, meaning not all U.S. customers will have to go through the process.

The current rules allow for certain special vehicles to be imported and exempted from some road regulations. The vehicles can also only be driven up to 2500 miles (4000 km) on public roads. Since most hypercar owners don’t put much more miles in their ultra-exclusive rides, we guess this should be good enough.

Powering the McLaren Speedtail is a hybrid powertrain delivering a combined 1036 hp. This allows the hyper-GT to reach 186 mph (300 km/h) in 12.8 seconds before topping out at 250 mph (403 km/h).

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  • Six_Tymes

    They should have just hired the original creator of the F1 back. most here knows who he is. Because this is terrible, It looks like something you might have seen in a 1960’s or 70’s popular science magazine.

  • RDS Alphard

    Something tells me one of the car will get crushed due to breaking the law one way or the other…

    • Zandit75

      Within 4hrs of collecting the car…..

  • Denzel

    So we will never see one unless you get extremely lucky or know someone. That besing said I love the look of it now that it grown on me

  • How bad they’ve got it banned in the States.

    • Jacob Carver

      Honestly though. Its huge too

  • Honda NSX-R

    As if Speedtail owners are going to daily this 😛


  • “but that will be done by the owners themselves under the ‘Show or Display’ legislation.”

    I almost forgot this rule exists, has anyone know if they still do it? NTHSA list is something out of 90s and early 00s in terms of car.

  • haji

    If the loophole is this obvious, we shouldn’t call it a loophole, huh?

  • Blade t

    With so few being made,why would McLaren care if it’s street legal in the US. These will be hidden away in collections and not driven anyways..

    • Mark Hawthorne

      They will in Greenwich, CT and Beverly Hills

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