Ever wondered whether the $2.3 million McLaren Speedtail is faster around an airfield than an F-35 fighter jet? Of course you have. Luckily, “racing a very fast car against another fast thing that is not a car” is a Top Gear staple and for the show’s latest edition of the segment, Chris Harris raced a McLaren Speedtail against, you guessed it, an F-35B Lightning fighter jet on an empty airfield. In typical Top Gear fashion, the experiment isn’t all that scientific or applicable to everyday life, but we’ll be damned if it doesn’t make fantastic television.
Fans of the Clarkson, Hammond, and May-rendition of the show will probably recall that the Speedtail isn’t the first 1,000-horsepower hypercar to have been pitted against a fighter jet on British TV. Back in 2007, Hammond raced a Bugatti Veyron against a Eurofighter Typhoon in a there-and-back drag race which has since racked up over 37 million views on YouTube. For the sequel, both the car and jet will have several corners to contend with.
As a refresher, the McLaren Speedtail produces 1,035 hp from its 4.0-liter, twin-turbo V8 and hybrid electric motor. It gets from zero to 186 mph in 12.8 seconds and tops out at 250 mph, making it the fastest McLaren road car ever, F1 included. In profile, it also looks significantly fighter jet-inspired with its teardrop greenhouse and airplane wing-shaped body.
Here’s how it fares against Lockheed Martin’s stealth fighter.