The McLaren Speedtail has “pioneering petrol-electric hybrid powertrain,” but it appears the company still has some kinks to work out.
As you can see in this smartphone video, a Speedtail prototype apparently suffered some kind of malfunction while making a pit stop at a gas station in England.
Details are limited, but Motor1 talked to McLaren’s Vice President of Communications for North America. Roger Ormisher told them a “prototype version of the McLaren Speedtail experienced what we believe, at this stage, to be an electrical fault, whilst stationary at a fuel station near Guildford in Surrey, UK.”
A McLaren Speedtail Prototype caught fire earlier today. Let's hope they'll fix this issue before deliveries start!
Ormisher went on to say employees saw a “small amount of smoke emanating from the vehicle,” so they moved the car away from the gas pumps and then “discharged dry powder extinguishers over the rear of the car.” McLaren has since retrieved the vehicle and is now conducting an investigation to determine what caused the incident.
Damage to the car appears minimal, but it’s obviously a setback for McLaren and 106 buyers who paid £1.75 ($2.2 / €1.9) million for the limited edition “Hyper-GT.”
The investigation is just getting underway, but it will likely focus on the car’s hybrid powertrain. McLaren hasn’t said much about, but it produces a staggering 1,035 hp (772 kW / 1,050 PS). This enables the model to accelerate from 0-186 mph (0-300 km/h) in 12.8 seconds and hit a top speed of 250 mph (403 km/h).
It remains unclear if the issue will cause any production delays, but Speedtail deliveries aren’t scheduled to begin until early next year.