The McLaren Speedtail is a limited-production hybrid sports car manufactured by McLaren Automotive. Succeeding the Senna, the car is the fourth addition in the McLaren Ultimate Series, after the Senna, the P1, and the F1.
The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is an American family of single-seat, single-engine, all-weather stealth multirole combat aircraft.
The Speedtail is McLaren’s fastest car ever. It’s able to hit 252 mph flat-out. That’s faster than even the legendary F1, which held the record for the fastest production car for over a decade. But is it fast enough to beat an F-35 fighter jet in a race?
Top Gear brought the two together to find out.
In order to see just how quickly the Speedtail could go, host Chris Harris organized a race around a runway between a red Speedtail and one of the Royal Air Force’s F-35 Lightning II. The F-35 is the latest in Lockheed Martin’s arsenal of highly maneuverable fighter jets, capable of 1200 mph flat-out, with a price tag of $124 million.
McLaren’s $2.2-million Speedtail seems like peanuts in comparison, but it’s still an amazing piece of engineering. With over 1000 horsepower from a hybrid drive system, a center-seating position, and some wild active aero components, it’s one of the most technically advanced cars on the road.
Sadly, the Speedtail’s twin-turbo V-8 powertrain isn’t enough to trump the F-35 in a race around a runway, even with driving ace Harris at the wheel. But it’s still super-cool to watch these titans of human achievement go head-to-head. It reminds us of the last time Top Gear did something like this.