The gorgeous McLaren Speedtail that fascinated the staff of Jalopnik when it was first announced won’t be delivered until later next year—which means now’s the time to start honing in the tech to make sure it’s perfect. Ideally, that means... being a metaphorical, not a literal smoke show.
One quick-moving bystander who happened to see the prototype being tested was able to whip out their phone just in time when disaster struck a prototype parked at a gas station. Namely, when all of its important smoke started leaking out of the rear end.
It looks like someone shows up with a fire extinguisher closer to the middle of the video before the Speedtail becomes completely enveloped in its own smoke.
Roger Ormisher, Head of Global and North American Communications for McLaren reached out to Motor1 with the following comments explaining that there was smoke from an electrical fault but the majority of what’s seen here is from a fire extinguisher:
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. As a precautionary measure, having seen a small amount of smoke emanating from the vehicle, McLaren employees moved the car away from the fuel pumps and discharged dry powder extinguishers over the rear of the car. The prototype was subsequently recovered to McLaren premises.
Nobody was injured as a result of this incident and investigations into the cause of the issue have commenced.
It doesn’t look like there were any flames, but an electrical fault isn’t particularly comforting news for anyone—especially not McLaren, or the 106 customers who were lucky (and rich) enough to get their orders in early enough to secure a model for themselves. There should be time for the fault to get solved before deliveries start being made.