McLaren hybrid Speedtail prototype begins real-world testing

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The first hybrid powertrain prototypes of McLaren’s new Speedtail have embarked on a year-long test regime that will underpin the development of the OEM’s new Ultimate Series flagship.

The test program will lead to the production of the vehicle, due to begin at the end of 2019, and will see Speedtail prototypes running in Europe, North America and Africa – initially at bespoke automotive test facilities, but later on normal roads.

Officially designated MVY02, the prototype has been unofficially christened Albert. The vehicle has a production-specific chassis and petrol-electric powertrain, as well as the Speedtail’s unique three-seat cockpit.

During the development and validation program, the Speedtail’s 1,050ps drivetrain will be fully tested, including in high-speed trials with McLaren Automotive 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,” said Ben Gulliver, head of vehicle development at McLaren Automotive.

“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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