Commissioned by the North American McLaren retailer bespoke commission, McLaren Beverly Hills, ‘Albert’ Speedtail is inspired by the first attribute testing prototype vehicle. Limited to only 106 examples, Albert pays homage to the Speedtail and has one of the most complex paint themes ever completed by McLaren Special Operations MSO – taking took more than 12 weeks to complete.
If you wonder about the significance of the odd name like Albert, it dates back to the Speedtail’s ancestors. In 1992, the original test mules of the legendary McLaren F1 were called Albert in reference to the street, Albert Drive, where McLaren developed and built the supercar in Working, England.
“The name ‘Albert’ has a special resonance with MSO, as we are the custodians of the McLaren F1 and are based at the Albert Drive premises that McLaren Cars occupied in the 1990s. The Speedtail experience has been an exciting journey for our customers, from visualizing their imaginations to realizing these inspirations and sharing their delight when unveiling the finished product. ‘Albert’ brings this project to a conclusion, and we are thrilled to finish on a high note.” Ansar Ali, Managing Director, McLaren Special Operations.
The ‘Albert’ prototype vehicle was developed to validate the concept of the Speedtail’s central seat driving position, testing driver ergonomics and visibility and rear-view camera positions. It is also the first Speedtail attribute testing vehicle from 2018. Originally built with the front panels from a 720S, the ‘Albert’ prototype was the first Speedtail driven on public roads.
The latest iteration of the Speedtail features a 1K gloss visual carbon fiber body. The exterior design ‘camouflage’ was achieved by a simple two-meter vinyl body wrap with design lines printed to represent the optimized airflow over the car. The ‘Albert’ Speedtail carries on this legacy, sporting one of the most complex paint themes ever completed by MSO. Given the incredibly complex and detailed nature of the paintwork design, the MSO team completed test panels first to understand process feasibility. It worked alongside the visualizer team to refine renders. In total, ‘Albert’ would require a 12-week post-build modification at MSO’s facility to reach completion; this included two week’s masking, six week’s painting, and the remaining time to dry and reassemble the vehicle after spraying.
The colors selected for the ‘Albert’ pay tribute to the color that the F1 road car was first shown in at the 1992 Monaco Grand Prix -and Ueno Grey, the F1 GTR that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1995. The full design treatment is closely based on the 2018 vinyl ‘camouflage’ wrap. Every vehicle is hand-assembled at the McLaren Production Center (MPC) in Working, Surrey, England.
“As one of the very last Speedtails to be built at the McLaren Production Centre, it was very important to us at McLaren Beverly Hills that ‘Albert’ honors the brand’s rich heritage, particularly paying tribute to the icon that is the McLaren F1. We worked alongside MSO through every stage, including concept ideation, to produce a truly bespoke and beautifully detailed car that celebrates the innovation and design excellence behind the fastest McLaren road car to date. We are fortunate to have been able to procure ‘Albert’ for one of our top clients and are absolutely thrilled with the finished result.”
Parris Mullins, McLaren Beverly Hills.
Two specialist paint technicians completed the livery masking over the six-week painting process to achieve the most accurate and accurate and flawless finish. This also required the car to be disassembled to ensure complete. In total, the masking of the livery required almost two kilometers of fine line-out tape to complete the initial design layout. The paint blend effect was located on the door applique’s outer body panels, with the front painted in Ueno Grey and the rear in Magnesium Silver. After the first paint application, all body panels were treated and refitted to ensure perfect alignment, and only after this the final clear coat was applied.
The ‘Albert’ Speedtail made its public debut at Sunset GT, a luxury cars and coffee event hosted by O’Gara Beverly Hills, on Sunday 8th August 2021 in Sunset Plaza, Los Angeles, USA. Based on the form of a teardrop, the most aerodynamically efficient shape found in nature, the Speedtail is the apotheosis of the streamlined hypercar, a three-seat Hyper-GT that became the third car in McLaren’s Ultimate Series line-up. With its 1,070-horsepower hybrid powertrain, the Speedtail covers 112 meters per second when traveling at its top speed of 250mph/402kph, making it the fastest McLaren road car to date.