One customer will shortly be taking delivery of two unique McLarens, created to his individual specification by McLaren Special Operations (MSO). Called the MSO R Coupé and MSO R Spider, they are the latest in a lineage of McLarens produced as personal commissions, a service that sees the customer working closely with MSO to agree the direction, scope and specification of a project.
“An MSO Personal Commission is the highest level of partnership between a customer and McLaren Special Operations, undertaken to design, develop and create unique interpretations of McLaren cars, expertly tailored to meet the exact requirements of the owner. A typical MSO Personal Commission extends beyond paint colours and materials and finishes to encompass changes to body and interior design and also dynamic and powertrain enhancements as required. The result is a McLaren personalised by MSO to become a car that is literally one of a kind – or in the case of these stunning MSO R cars, one of a matched pair.”
Jolyon Nash, Executive Director, Global Sales and Marketing, McLaren Automotive
One of the first McLarens commissioned at this level was the McLaren X-1. Unveiled during the weekend of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 2012, the X-1 was produced for an anonymous buyer, which is not unusual for a personal commission. McLaren Special Operations is currently seeing an increasing number of customers enquiring about bespoke and unique cars.
The two MSO R cars, which have the same external, internal and mechanical specifications, are finished in a striking yet understated Liquid Silver – the Coupé in satin and the Spider in gloss finish – with a carbon fibre central stripe. Immediately identifiable as a matched pair, both have the same design of twin-element rear wing, with front dive planes to further enhance aerodynamic performance.
The front bumper, bonnet, louvered fenders, roof scoop and rear deck are all MSO Visual Carbon Fibre (VCF) components, as are the side mirror arms and casings and wiper scuttle. Pinstriping in Delta Red features on the front splitter and side blades, while the splitter, side skirts, sill panels, rocker panels and plenum cover carry MSO R branding. The wheels of both cars are the same 5-spoke design, finished in satin black on the Coupé and gloss black on the Spider.
The interior design of the cars is arguably even more distinctive than the exterior. Both cabins feature Alcantara® trim material throughout. Primarily in black with red stitching, the theme is reversed for the seats, which are red with black stitching and feature an MSO R logo embroidered in black on the headrest. The steering wheel has a carbon fibre upper and lower, with black Alcantara® grips and a Delta Red centring stripe. Switches are in gloss black and vent mechanisms are satin black, with bezels in carbon fibre.
This MSO Personal Commission did not stop at visual and design changes. The engines of both cars have been blueprinted and the heads and exhaust ports hand-polished, helping to give the M838TL twin-turbocharged McLaren V8 engine maximum power of 688PS (679bhp) and up to 700Nm (516lb ft). The exhaust system, which has a ‘crossover’ muffler to increase pipe length and optimise gas flow, features titanium end pipes.
Started with an MSO R-branded key, both the Coupé and the Spider feature bespoke IRIS screen and instrument cluster displays and gear-shift lights. The final visual touch is a dedication plaque on each car identifying them as McLarens designed to an MSO Personal Commission, taking them from being a rare car to a unique one – or in this case, a unique matched pair.
Now, which one shall I take out today?