McLaren Special Operations (MSO), the division of McLaren Automotive responsible for the delivery of bespoke projects, will present a breathtaking one-off supercar at The Quail, an exclusive event on August 17, 2012 that is a highlight of the Pebble Beach weekend in Monterey, USA.
Called the McLaren X-1 and based structurally on the company’s groundbreaking carbon MonoCell but with a totally unique body, it has been created for an anonymous car enthusiast.
X-1: the brief
It’s not every day that a team gets to create something unique in a project that would take the supercar, even by McLaren standards, to a different level. The challenge began with a special brief.
‘One of our clients who already owned a McLaren F1, a Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren and now a 12C, wanted a unique car, says MSO Programme Director, Paul MacKenzie.
The conversation began with our Executive Chairman Ron Dennis almost three years ago before the 12C was even launched. The client wanted a machine that had all the capability of the 12C but wrapped in a unique body that reflected his needs and personality.’
My guess its more likely to be for Jay Leno than Rowan Atkinson but I am sure it will be revealed in due course, But then again could this be for Batman?
The X-1 is the most ambitious example yet of MSO’s expertise. It has a whole new body made of advanced materials. Everything is bespoke, even down to the lights and wheels, necessitating new testing and homologation meaning the car took two and a half years to build, a process that began before the styling was signed off.
The X-1 had its own development programme because crucially, this wasn’t to be a fragile concept car that would never see tarmac. It was to be a usable car, road legal and capable of travelling at supercar speeds. It also had to comfortably seat two adults so although the 12C was already as shrink-wrapped as it could be from a packaging perspective, the ingenious flexibility of the MonoCell allowed the creation of a completely different form while maintaining the engineering purity of a McLaren.
A full CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) aerodynamic testing schedule ensured high-speed stability, and the car also completed approximately 625 miles of testing including two intensive testing stints at the Idiada circuit in Spain with chief McLaren test driver, Chris Goodwin. After testing, the whole car was meticulously rebuilt, by hand to concours standard.
No news of whats powering this car but we assume that it will be the same 3.8-litre twin-turbo ‘M838T’ V8 MP4-12C.
I was reading this press release with some seriousness until I reached the PR contact :-
Head of Communications and Public Relations | McLaren Automotive Limited
Phone: +44 (0) xxxxxxxx
Mobile: +44 (0) xxxxxxxx
Surely is this a joke or is Batmans second identity moonlighting at McLaren’s Batcave in Woking????