The Spring Mountain Motor Resort and Country Club hosted an event that put several race-inspired McLaren supercars on the facility’s racetrack.
The British supercar maker McLaren delivered its new limited-edition MSO X to 10 customers of McLaren Newport Beach in California at the Spring Mountain race facility last Friday.
The cars were specifically designed by McLaren Special Operations, a unit in the company that works to design and build a variety of customizations, to emulate the brand’s 570S GT4 racecar, and the McLaren F1 GTR endurance car of the mid-1990s. The designs were originally commissioned by the Newport Beach customers.
John Kang, one of the 10 buyers, said it was like “Hot Wheels” being placed all over,”just a little bigger than they used to be, so it’s really fun.” It also helped fulfill a childhood dream, he said.
The commissioned cars got their beginning from one Newport Beach customer.
“The whole concept is to have a racecar that was road legal,” said Nick Jones, general sales manager for McLaren Newport Beach. “Of course, racecar parts, they’re not road legal.”
That’s where McLaren MSO came in.
“It was a lot of engineering,” Jones said. “It wasn’t just ‘take a piece and stick it on a car.’”
Alex Alexiev, designer at McLaren, said the initial feasibility of the design kicked off in January 2017.
“I started doing the sketching,” he said. “We did the development of that, while simultaneously engineering, with aerodynamics and our engineering team for feasibility.”
By about June, Alexiev said the design was completed on the cars and they shipped in December from the U.K.
McLaren’s MSO division does an array of custom builds, from specialized liveries (paint colors) to one-off designs. Alexiev said this design went through rather quickly, though some programs can take up to two to three years.
The Newport dealer had never taken on a project of such magnitude before the MSO X, Jones said.
Some of the early thoughts on the vehicles led the design to be all orange and white-black paint.
“Then we started thinking how can we tie in McLaren’s racing heritage with something that’s specific to the brand?” Jones said.
That led to the inspiration for the paint jobs, which contain a variety of colorings based on the McLaren F1 GTR from the mid-1990s, which were super-famous and highly successful on the track.
“I think all the clients that chose the individual colors, I think everybody really feels connected to their car,” Jones said.
Some of the colors were based on McLaren’s F1 GTR vehicles that placed in the top brackets at a race known as 24 Hours of Le Mans in Le Mans, France in the ‘90s.
The revised design of the MSO X cars optimizes circuit aerodynamic efficiency, with each car featuring a 570S GT4-inspired, pylon-mounted rear wing that provides approaching 100kg of extra downforce,” a news release from McLaren stated.
Also important was the design of a fully-functional carbon fiber roof snorkel “for enhanced induction airflow,” the release stated.
“We wanted to create a very dramatic and aggressive roof snorkel, to help feed the air into the engine base,” Alexiev said. “It changes the air path as well, which had plenty of testing and development.”
No information was offered on speed capability, motor size or top speeds.
Jones said the cost of the project is also not able to be disclosed, though the base price of one McLaren starts at nearly $200,000.
Specialty designs can reach higher, depending on the size.
Jones said you have what is called a cost threshold, which is what one vehicle will cost to design and build.
The idea is to spread the cost, which led to seeking out interested parties at the Newport Beach dealership, McLaren’s largest dealership in the U.S., he said.
Contact reporter Jeffrey Meehan at email@example.com. On Twitter: @pvtimes