McLaren automobiles makes some of the wildest cars on the road. However Ferrari is always looming above Mclaren’s every success as an elite benchmark to beat. Ferrari challenges McLaren to design better, faster and more glorious cars than ever before, year after year. McLaren’s recent venture into total customer customization resulted was inspired by Ferrari’s ability to customize their supercars to the exact specifications of their client.
The McLaren X-1 is the first creation from the McLaren Special Operations (MSO) customization endeavor. The company explained their incentive for making this stellar supercar in a recent press release.
‘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.’
So like any client-fearing car company, McLaren did what they had to, they made this rich man’s dream an ultimate-driving reality, and such a goal was no easy feat, ‘The key qualities the client desired were “timeless and classical elegance”. Which was some challenge,’ says Design Director Frank Stephenson.
Inspired by cars including a 1961 Facel Vega, a 1953 Chrysler D’Elegance Ghia, a 1959 Buck Electra, a 1939 Mercedes-Benz 540K and a 1971 971 Citroën SM, the client also drew upon unique architectural giants including the Guggenheim museums in New York and Bilbao – plus a Jaeger LeCoultre art deco clock, an Airstream trailer, a Thomas Mann Montblanc pen, a grand piano – and an eggplant. ‘The client liked the shiny texture of the finish,’ notes Stephenson, ‘There was also a black-and-white photo of Audrey Hepburn.’
The resulting car is a cross between the cherished vintage designs of yesteryear and the powerful ferocity of today’s leading supercars.
What do you think of the McLaren X-1? Tweet @execdigital with your opinion!