The first McLaren Speedtail prototype has entered the real-world development stage, which will last a whole year before the vehicle’s first planned deliveries to customers in early 2020.
The test mule has been nicknamed “Albert” as an homage to its spiritual predecessor, the McLaren F1, and the Albert Drive premises where the F1 was developed.
Albert is slightly different than the Speedtail we were shown upon launch: the front bodywork and doors have been changed for easier entry and exit from the three-seat cabin, but McLaren says the prototype is still fundamentally a Speedtail, and the changes allow the engineers to prove other attributes in the real world.
McLaren is still not releasing what engine it is using for the hybrid-hyper car, but we’re guessing it’s the same V8 it’s been using for previous models, this time hooked up to an upgraded hybrid powertrain that, in total, will make 1,050 horsepower and propel the Speedtail to 403 km/h.
High-speed trials will be carried out during the development process, with McLaren Automotive Chief Test Driver and former IndyCar champion Kenny Bräck at the wheel.
The Speedtail will start actual production in late 2019, and only 106 will be built, as another throwback to the original 106 F1s built. The price is an eye-watering 1.75 million pounds, plus tax—that’s about $3 million Canuck-bucks.
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