McLaren Speedtail prototype named in honour of '90s F1

Named after the road the McLaren F1 was designed in, Albert is the most advanced Speedtail prototype to date. It will begin a year-long testing program this week

It took 25 years for McLaren to create a successor to its legendary F1 supercar, plenty of time to reflect upon what an enormous challenge it would become. Revealed as the McLaren Speedtail, this 250mph hybrid hyper car is set to become the British brand’s fastest road production car ever. Testing of this biblical machine begins this week with a prototype car named after the very street in which the F1 was conceived.

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Officially designated MVY02, the car has been colloquially christened ‘Albert’ after Albert Drive in Woking, UK where the McLaren F1 was designed. This car will join other existing test mules in a gruelling year-long program that will see it visit Europe, North America, and Africa. McLaren says the initial testing will start in bespoke facilities, but the Speedtail prototype will soon be seen on public roads gathering data.

Albert differs from the other existing test mules as it represents one of the most advanced stages of development. This car is the first with a production-specification chassis and petrol-electric hybrid drivetrain allowing test drivers to exercise the 1036bhp performance that the Speedtail has to offer.

'The start of real-world testing represents a major step in the development of the McLaren Speedtail,' said Ben Gulliver, McLaren's head of vehicle development.

'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; tyres; NVH and aspects of ergonomics and comfort.'

Powered by a twin-turbocharged hybrid 4.0-litre V8 engine, the Speedtail can complete a 0-186mph run in a scarcely believable 12.8 seconds — nearly 10 seconds faster than a McLaren F1. Also like the F1, the Speedtail features a central driving position a passenger seated each side for a total occupancy of three. Something else that mimics its forefather is its total production run of 106 cars.

The first production cars will find their way into customer hands in early 2020, each with a price tag of £1.75 million ($2.24m, €2m), plus local taxes. Every example was sold before the official reveal of this hyper car.

Keep your eyes peeled for the Albert prototype potentially coming to a public road near you.

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