Welcome to the future, at least in terms of car design. McLaren Special Operations (MSO), the division of McLaren Automotive responsible for the delivery of bespoke projects, will present a 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.
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.
We love the front of the car and the auto cover for the back wheels is certainly an interesting feature. It is only a concept and will never see the light of day, but it is a pretty amazing vehicle. Go full screen in our gallery and take a detailed look.