Why Is The McLaren Speedtail Prototype Called Albert?

Supercar

There is historical precedence, of course.

Before production gets underway, the McLaren Speedtail Hyper-GT requires some heavy-duty testing on public roads and, well, just about anywhere else the lucky 106 future owners plan to go. And since the 250 mph hybrid hypercar has already been revealed, it makes no sense to disguise the road-going prototype. In fact, here it is, and it’s called ‘Albert’. With its unique testing livery, Albert has a production-specification chassis and the same ground-breaking hybrid powertrain as the production version and, of course, the three-seat cockpit and central driving position.

But why the name ‘Albert’? Surely there must be some sort of historical precedence? Indeed there is.

The old McLaren F1 prototypes were also called Albert. Also, the location where the F1 was designed was on Albert Drive. The Speedtail, of course, is the F1’s spiritual successor. McLaren also figured Albert is a far better name than what the prototype is officially designated, MVY02.

“The start of real-world testing represents a major step in the development of the McLaren Speedtail” said Ben Gulliver, Head of Vehicle Development for McLaren.” 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.”

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Despite its test livery and different bodywork from the A-pillars forward, Albert is “fundamentally a Speedtail,” carbon fiber Monocore cage structure and dihedral doors and all. Following its year-long testing regime, McLaren Speedtail production will begin at the end of next year with first deliveries expected in early 2020 at a base price of $2.23 million each, plus taxes.

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