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All new, one of a kind McLaren X-1

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On: Wed, Aug 29, 2012 at 1:15PM | By: Chris Weiss


All new, one of a kind McLaren X-1

Nearly every car fan is familiar with the McLaren F1, one of the fastest, most iconic supercars of modern times. Now it's time to familiarize ourselves with the McLaren X-1. Not quite as fast or sexy as the F1, but even rarer, and arguably more memorable, the X-1 is a one-of-a-kind model recently revealed by McLaren Special Operations.

McLaren's Special OPs is the branch responsible for bespoke projects and customizations. McLaren announced the division at last year's Concours d'Elegance Pebble Beach event. This year, it showed the latest design.

’"One of our clients who already owned a McLaren F1, a Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren and now a 12C, wanted a unique car," said 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."

So whattya get for the McLaren owner that already has it all? Well, if you're Mclaren Special Operations, you work closely with him to get a full grasp of his vision, bring in a variety of inspiration from various facets of the automotive industry, architectural world and greater design realm, and hold a design competition between your own designers and designers outside of the industry. That competition named McLaren's Korean-born designer Hong Yeo as winner.

Yeo worked to mold the buyer's prerequisite of "timeless and classical elegance" into an MP4-12C-based package - no small feat since 'timeless classic designs' tend not to look anything like modern mid-engined supercars.

In the end, Yeo seems to interpret "timeless and classical" as "60s-era Batmobile." At least that's what the oddly styled X-1 reminds us of. We're pretty thankful it's a one-off.

Yeo describes it a little differently: "X-1 embodies the McLaren value that every part has to have a purpose. No details are simply visual cues, every one has a purpose. Although I like to think the wide body combined with pontoon style rear fenders will ensure the car glides when it’s moving just like a superhero’s cape..."

Figure that superhero is Batman?

The one-off supercar is built atop the MP4-12C's monocell carbon tub and uses its twin-turbo V-8 engine. It has a carbon body, nickel-finished aluminum brightwork and bespoke components. The enclosed rear wheels can be accessed by hinged carbon panels. The interior is laid out like the MP4-12C but includes bespoke touches like Harissa Red McLaren Nappa leather, carbon trim with a titanium weave, and Andesite tufted carpet.

While McLaren showed the car in Pebble Beach, it still has to perform final inspection back in the U.K. After that, it will deliver it to the unnamed buyer.


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