We have lamented the rise of unpainted carbon-fiber surfaces on the latest generation of hypercars — and even created various renderings of the P1 with a painted nose.
But, as meeting the MSO 650S Spider shows, we have to be careful what we wish for.
Something about the painted nose section of the MSO 650s is less than perfect.
The lower air-dams and side skirts are fantastic, and seeing chromed exhaust tips out back is unique.
But still… something is not-as-dreamed with this nose….
McLaren Special Operations 650S Spider
As if the all-new P1 GTR were not enough excitement at the McLaren Centre of Pebble Beach — the McLaren Special Operations team will be on hand for the best concours of the year as well!
McLaren Special Operations is the newly minted custom-car division of McLaren Automotive. Based with the engineers and designers at the Woking HQ, MSO has shown some amazing creations over the years. A return to Pebble Beach for MSO is exciting because it will put them up close and personal with a core client group. The US has been a run-away success for all McLaren sales, and the dealer body for North America is expanding rapidly to suit.
Feet on the ground for MSO is an exciting commitment to their next projects, and will surely drum up a slew of orders from McLaren owners worldwide.
The MSO 650S Spider will make its US debut since being shown at Goodwood, while the MSO P1 is a one-off creation showing the potential to maximize the P1’s already-explosive hypercar appeal.
Stay tuned for all the details – live from the event – in just two weeks time.
MSO 650S Spider
McLaren Special Operations returns to Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance to showcase the latest models
Three years after launching at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, McLaren Special Operations (MSO) will return to the fairway of the 18th hole at the famous Pebble Beach automotive weekend with unique examples of the McLaren P1TM and the recently launched MSO 650S Spider.
The bespoke McLaren Special Operations division was launched in 2011, and offers a full personalisation service for McLaren owners. The dedicated division grew out of McLaren’s Customer Care programme, which goes back more than 20 years to the days of the McLaren F1 roadcar, and continues to look after servicing and maintaining cherished F1s for owners, as well as undertaking personalisation work for all McLaren models.
Commissioned by a North American customer, the McLaren P1TM to be shown features a host of bespoke options which subtly mark this car out, and is on display publicly for the first time. Using the famous McLaren Orange paint throughout to accent the aerodynamic form of the groundbreaking car, the Pebble Beach debut is a showcase of what MSO can offer on the McLaren P1TM.
The unique example of the 916PS, 217 mph hypercar is subtly modified to mark this example out from the other 170 examples which have been built to date. At the front, silver finishing to the aluminium radiator grilles sit below the gloss carbon fibre bumper. Above this, a McLaren Orange speedmark adorns the bonnet. On closer inspection, these subtle and considered upgrades run throughout the entire car, and combine to create a truly stunning one-off example.
The bodywork is finished in exclusive Stirling Grey, with the rich metallic finish complemented by gloss carbon fibre, and punctuated by further McLaren Orange accents. Along the profile of the car, brake callipers finished in the heritage colour are mounted behind body-coloured alloy wheels, while an orange ‘P1′ logo on the leading edge of the rear wheelarch is inspired by the labelling used on the test mules during the development of the McLaren P1TM.
The dramatic rear of the car is enhanced further by the fitment of 24 carat gold heatshields around the engine bay and inconel exhaust. The material, famously used on the no-compromise McLaren F1 of the 1990s and still used today on McLaren Formula 1TM cars, due to its reflective and heat resistance qualities, is a contrast against the dark paintwork and Satin Nickel-finished Stealth Pack. The upper surface of the twin element rear wing is finished in body colour, while the lower is bare carbon fibre, further amplifying the stealthy appearance. This sits on top of McLaren Orange detailing, with the upper sections of the wing pistons adding further contrast. A bespoke aluminium grille is fitted above the carbon fibre bumper, and is framed by the iconic LED tail light design.
The interior has been tailored with extensive use of carbon fibre and Alcantara®, with the upholstery used on the bespoke MSO steering wheel. The lightweight carbon shell racing seats are fitted with a four-point harness, while further subtle contrasting details feature throughout with Stone Grey binding and stitching on all upholstery, and McLaren Orange accents on the centre console. Custom Satin Nickel-finished airvents mimic the finish found on the exterior exhaust finisher.
MSO will also be showcasing a one-off version of the MSO 650S Spider, which has been designed in collaboration with McLaren Newport Beach and McLaren Automotive Design Director Frank Stephenson. This unique example of the MSO 650S Spider is based on the already exclusive MSO 650S, which made its debut last month at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, and is one of just 50 examples with unique styling upgrades, including extensive satin-finished carbon fibre, giving a subtle and purposeful look.
The exterior has been finished in Cerulean Blue, a bright and eye-catching paint designed by MSO which includes a heavy metallic flake and offers a deep gloss shine under the Californian sun. This special colour contrasts against the satin carbon fibre detailing seen on the front bumper, side air intakes, and on the centre section of the rear bumper and large MSO rear diffuser. The exterior design is complemented with the use of chrome on the exhaust finishers and the 10-spoke Super Lightweight alloy wheels.
The cabin is upholstered with carbon black leather with a contrasting blue stitch throughout, extending on to the steering wheel, dash and doors. The seats also feature a McLaren speedmark embroidered in to the headrests and continue with the blue contrast stitch on the outer edges. Opening the dihedral doors shows the MSO branded carbon fibre sill panel, highlighting the lightweight MonoCell chassis, while satin lacquered carbon fibre upgrades are present throughout the driver and passenger zones.
The MSO 650S Spider also features a dedication plaque, signed by Frank Stephenson, and is presented with a luxury McLaren Special Operations leather holdall, handcrafted from carbon fibre leather and complemented by dark chrome metal finishers.
About McLaren Automotive:
McLaren Automotive is a British manufacturer of luxury, high-performance sports cars, located at the McLaren Technology Centre (MTC) in Woking, Surrey.
Following the company’s global launch in 2010, McLaren Automotive launched the groundbreaking 12C and 12C Spider and followed this in 2013 with the limited-run McLaren P1TM. In keeping with its plan to introduce a new model each year, the company recently unveiled the 650S Coupe and 650S Spider. The brand continues to expand, operating through a dedicated global network of retailers in every major automotive market.
McLaren Automotive Partners
To support the development, engineering and manufacture of its range of innovative and highly acclaimed sports cars, McLaren Automotive has partnered with world leading companies to provide specialist expertise and technology. These include Akebono, AkzoNobel, ExxonMobil, Pirelli, SAP and TAG Heuer.
Designed for the track; Developed for the road
The connection between Formula 1 and road cars at McLaren is a natural process of experience, knowledge, principles and process transfer. Through the integration of 50 years of Formula 1TM racing expertise and knowledge, and over 20 years of heritage in producing landmark sports cars, McLaren Automotive designs, develops and builds a range of technologically advanced and groundbreaking high performance sports cars which are designed to be a no compromise drive on both road and track.
McLaren has pioneered the use of carbon fibre in vehicle production over the past 30 years, and since introducing a carbon chassis into racing and road cars with the 1981 McLaren MP4/1 and 1993 McLaren F1 respectively, McLaren has not built a car without a carbon fibre chassis.
Visit cars.mclaren.com for more details.
Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.
He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.
Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.