McLaren Speedtail starts its year long road development
McLaren's new flagship, the Speedtail, will embark on a year long test programme in its prototype form. The prototype will spend some quality time at bespoke automotive development centres, which will be followed by real-world traffic time in Europe, America and even Africa.
One of the most notable attributes of the prototype is what McLaren have named it. They named it 'Albert' as a tribute to the original McLaren F1 mule and the original McLaren headquarters which was on Albert Drive in Woking.
The car boasts a unique testing camouflage which looks good enough to be a customer commission. The Speedtail 'Albert' has been fitted with a production-spec chassis and petrol-electric hybrid drivetrain., as well as its three-seat interior. The car's 1035bhp engine and 250mph (403km/h) top speed. This will be tested by the car's chief test driver and former IndyCar champion Kenny Bräck.
“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,” stated McLaren’s head of vehicle development, Ben Gulliver. “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.”
Despite the unique test livery and bodywork, this prototype is the closet thing to a full-on, production Speedtail, with its shape-representative body panels, dihedral doors and a unique carbon fibre monocage core structure.
With a pre-tax price of £1.75 million, the Speedtail will go into production at the end of 2019 with first deliveries being made in early 2020. This is all well and good, with all 106 cars being allocated before the car was revealed to the public the other week.
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