Ultima Mk3 McLaren “Edward” Prototype ‘1991
The TAG McLaren Group purchase two Ultima Mk3 kits from Noble Motorsport Ltd.
McLaren were attracted to the Ultima by the excellent engineering, outright speed, lap times and the racing prowess of the Ultima Mk2/3 so this was the car of choice to use as prototypes during the development of the worlds most expensive and prestigious road car - the McLaren F1.
The fact that the Ultima was actually well under the design weight of the proposed F1 and proportionally very similar was also a factor in the decision.
Noble Motorsport Ltd supplied chassis number 12 and 13, which were the last of the thirteen Ultima Mk3 cars that the company sold.
Chassis number 12 christened Albert by the McLaren group was used to test the new gearbox using a Chevrolet V8 engine to mimic the torque of the BMW V12 and various other components like the central driving position and carbon brakes.
Chassis number 13 which went under the name of Edward was used to test the BMW designed V12 engine along with all its ancillaries such as the exhaust and cooling system. Both bodies were heavily modified to suit the many components under test.
Albert and Edward were so useful during the development of the F1 that they became known as the heavenly twins and even merited having their own badge design.