First McLaren Speedtail attribute prototype, 'Albert' squares up to rigorous real-world testing as development accelerates

9 Nov 2018

  • McLaren’s new ‘Hyper GT’ embarks on year-long test regime underpinning development of new center-seat, 250mph hybrid
  • Closed-facility testing of the fastest McLaren ever now underway; public road trials due to commence in December 2018
  • Attribute prototypes join Speedtail ‘mules’ in ongoing durability testing
  • First attribute prototype affectionately christened ‘Albert’, in tribute to its famous McLaren F1 forebear that was designed in Albert Drive, Woking, Surrey UK
  • First customer deliveries of McLaren Speedtail due early 2020

The first hybrid powertrain prototype of McLaren Automotive’s breathtaking new Ultimate Series flagship, the McLaren Speedtail, officially embarks this week on a year-long test regime that will underpin the development of the first McLaren Hyper-GT. The punishing test program in the run-up to production commencing at the end of 2019 will see Speedtail prototypes running in Europe, North America and Africa, initially at bespoke automotive test facilities but later amongst traffic on ‘normal’ roads.

Deployment of the first Speedtail attribute prototype marks an exciting new stage in the development of the fastest, most aerodynamic and most luxurious McLaren ever made. The prototype is officially designated MVY02* but echoing the naming of development test mules of its legendary forebear, the 1992 McLaren F1, has been christened, ‘Albert’. This is a respectful reflection not only on the name of the McLaren F1 mule ‘Albert’ but also the Albert Drive premises in which the F1 was designed.

Distinguished by a unique testing livery, ‘Albert’ has a production-specification chassis and petrol-electric hybrid drivetrain, as well as the unique three-seat cockpit with central driving position. As the development and validation program progresses every aspect of the Speedtail’s performance will be honed as the full 1,035bhp available to Speedtail drivers to propel the prototype to 250mph is used – including in high-speed trials with McLaren Automotive Chief Test Driver and former IndyCar champion Kenny Bräck at the wheel.

“The start of real-world testing represents a major step in the development of the McLaren Speedtail. As the first fully representative prototype, ‘Albert’ will build on the invaluable work still being put in by earlier development cars, allowing us to sign-off vehicle attributes including chassis dynamics; brake performance; damper tuning; tires; NVH and aspects of ergonomics and comfort. With a huge amount achieved already, the McLaren Speedtail is well on the way to fulfilling its destiny as the greatest McLaren road car ever.”
Ben Gulliver, Head of Vehicle Development, McLaren Automotive

The central driving position and three-seat layout of the Speedtail was pioneered by the iconic McLaren F1 in 1992. This configuration is uniquely McLaren, remaining exclusive among production cars until McLaren Automotive confirmed in November 2016 that it would be reprised for the next Ultimate Series model, then codenamed BP23.

The center-seat layout of the Speedtail was first publicly demonstrated in a ‘proof of concept’ model that was simply a McLaren 720S reconfigured with a single, centrally-mounted driving seat. Four further mules followed and these will continue to be used around the world for performance and durability testing, alongside the prototype vehicles.

Despite its test livery and the bodywork from the A-pillars forward, ‘Albert’ is fundamentally a Speedtail, with shape-representative body panels and dihedral doors around the unique carbon fibre McLaren Monocage core structure. The production-level specification allows Speedtail attributes to be proven in real-world conditions early in the development process, including for example ingress and egress to the three-seat cockpit.

Production of the £1.75 million (plus local taxes) McLaren Speedtail is due to commence at the end of 2019, with first deliveries in early 2020. As with the McLaren F1, 106 cars will be available and all have already now been allocated to owners.

Ends

*The Speedtail project name MVY0 combines McLaren’s usual MV project initials with the letters Y0, which signify the lateral central point in the XYZ axis in CAD (computer aided design).

Notes to Editors:

A selection of high resolution images accompanying this release is available to download from the McLaren Automotive media site – cars.mclaren.press

About McLaren Automotive:

McLaren Automotive is a creator of luxury, high-performance sportscars and supercars.

Every vehicle is hand-assembled at the McLaren Production Centre (MPC) in Woking, Surrey, England.

Launched in 2010, the company is now the largest part of the McLaren Group.

The company has three defined product families: Sports Series, Super Series and Ultimate Series which are retailed through over 80 retailers in 30 markets around the world.

McLaren is a pioneer that continuously pushes the boundaries. In 1981, it introduced lightweight and strong carbon fibre chassis into Formula 1 with the McLaren MP4/1. Then in 1993 it designed and built the McLaren F1 road car - the company has not built a car without a carbon fibre chassis since. As part of the Ultimate Series, McLaren was the first to deliver a hybrid hypercar, the McLaren P1™.

Announced at Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2018, the company’s Track25 business plan will see it invest £1.2billion in research and development to deliver 18 new cars or derivatives by the end of 2025.

2017 saw the company launch further models including the second-generation Super Series, the 570S Spider and the McLaren Senna. In 2018, the company launched the 600LT and the McLaren Speedtail, the next Ultimate Series and McLaren’s first ever Hyper-GT, of which only 106 will be produced.

To support the development, engineering and manufacture of its range of innovative sportscars and supercars, McLaren Automotive partners with world leading companies to provide specialist expertise and technology. These include AkzoNobel, Kenwood, Pirelli and Richard Mille.

McLaren Group:
The McLaren Group is a global leader in luxury automotive andtechnology and comprises three businesses: Automotive, Racing and Applied Technologies.

Further information:

Roger Ormisher
Vice President, Communications & PR | McLaren North America
Phone: +1 714 501 8137
Email: roger.ormisher@mclaren.com

Laura Tilley
Public Relations Manager | McLaren North America
Phone: +1 765 517 2186
Email: laura.tilley@mclaren.com

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