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McLaren Didn’t Make The Speedtail Street-Legal In The U.S.

According to McLaren, every single example of the Speedtail is sold out. A third of them are going to U.S. customers, and as it happens, the hybrid hyper-GT doesn’t feature side-mounted airbags. The bad news doesn’t end here…
2020 McLaren Speedtail 19 photos
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Instead of conventional side mirrors, the Speedtail has two retractable cameras that feed the video to two monitors located on the A-pillars. Although legal in Japan, the current legislation doesn’t allow such a system in the United States, which means that the BP23 isn’t street-legal in this part of the world.

According to Motor Authority, the Woking-based automaker “decided it wasn't worth engineering the limited-run car around the safety standards.” There’s a loophole, however, for the 35 customers or so who are waiting to drive the $2.25- million Speedtail on public roads.

The secret comes in the guise of the Show or Display rule, which went into effect in August 1999. Cars that don’t meet the federal compliance regulations can be imported and exempted from certain requirements on several conditions. One of those constraints, which also happens to be the most important, puts a limit on the number of miles the owner can drive per year in the Speedtail (2,500 miles).

Considering that hypercar customers have a habit of garaging this type of vehicle to help with re-sale value, there’s no denying not even one of the said customers will drive as many as 2,500 miles per year, be it on the public road or racing track. In other words, the Show or Display rule has been taken into consideration by McLaren from the get-go.

Motor Authority highlights that “approval is granted based on a year, make, model basis,” meaning that “only the first U.S. buyers to import a Speedtail will have to go through the process.” Even though it has been revealed in full, McLaren won’t start delivering the Speedtail until the first quarter of 2020.

That makes it a 2020 model year, and as you would expect, it will be a long wait until we'll get to see the 1,000-plus-horsepower hypercar doing 250 mph on Route 160 between Las Vegas and Pahrump.

 
 
 
 
 

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