This is the McLaren Speedtail test prototype… called Albert

The first McLaren Speedtail mule is ready for testing. And 'Albert' has a hard life ahead of him, including high-speed runs to 250mph

McLaren Speedtail Attribute Prototype - Albert_image 02

Now that the Speedtail is revealed, McLaren is wasting no time putting its prototype through a rigorous test regime.

This Speedtail mule – affectionately christened ‘Albert’ by McLaren – is prototype MVY02. As you can see, it’s not quite the finished article visually. The face of a 720S has been grafted on to the flowing form of the Speedtail – beautifully exaggerated by an aero line graphic ‘disguise’. 

The origins of Albert

McLaren Speedtail Attribute Prototype - Albert_image 01

‘Albert’ was the name given to the original McLaren F1 test mule in the early 1990s. It relates to address of the premises where McLaren’s first road-going supercar was designed.

’MV’ is the initial for any McLaren project and the ‘Y’ refers to the central point in the XYZ axis in computer-aided design programmes. It’s a geeky nod to the Speedtail’s central driving position. ’02’ presumably means this is the second mule. That would make sense given McLaren was testing what looked like a disguised 720S with a central driving position last year.

That’s what makes Albert special. It’s the first proper (nearly) production-bodied prototype.

Underneath, the 1,050hp petrol-electric powertrain is running. Until we’re told otherwise, we’re assuming the petrol part is a derivation of Mclaren’s 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8.

A tough life of testing awaits Albert, including extreme heat and cold, plus high-speed testing up to a claimed 250mph top speed.

McLaren Speedtail Attribute Prototype - Albert_image 03

Indycar champion Kenny Bräck will be behind the wheel. He’s the madman who wrangled a P1 LM around the Nürburgring in six minutes, 43 seconds. We’d say Albert’s in safe hands.

Expect to see liveried Speedtail mules prowling around Woking and beyond very soon.

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Ethan Jupp
I'm Content Editor at MR. Road trips music and movies are my vices. Perennially stuck between French hot hatches and Australian muscle cars.

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