A Man Walks into a McLaren Dealer…
By the time the 10 McLaren customers had taken delivery of their MSO X models at Spring Mountain Motorsport Ranch in Pahrump, Nevada in late January, the automotive media had already reported on the cars being “sold out”. But that wasn’t the whole story.
MSO of course stands for McLaren Special Operations, the company division that accommodates bespoke requests. MSO spent eight months developing and building the group of 10 special 570S models. They were designed to emulate the look and feel of a McLaren 570S GT4 racecar. Just in a fully road-legal package.
The 10 570S MSO cars were commissioned through McLaren Newport Beach, the country’s largest McLaren dealer. Three of the customers acquired their rare and special machines using the Premier Financial Services Simple Lease program. Consequently, these transactions were handled by Juan Garcia, West Coast Sales Manager for Premier.
One Man’s Request
“The idea for the car came from a client,” said Pietro Frigerio, principle of McLaren Newport Beach. “The customer wanted something special, but it’s very expensive to do just one car. There are high R&D costs.”
In other words, this was not just a custom paint and trim package. The customer requested a 570S that not only looked like a racecar, but would also provide improved track lapping performance. The cost for one car, however, would have been prohibitive.
“The $4 million cost could be lower if we divided by 10,” said Frigerio. “We have a tight community of customers, and so we were able to find another nine customers.
MSO optimized the 570S exterior for track-oriented aerodynamic efficiency. Each car features a 570S GT4-inspired, pylon-mounted rear wing that provides about 220 pounds of extra downforce. A fully functional “goose neck” carbon fiber roof snorkel, inspired by the 1997 F1 GTR Longtail, enhances airflow to the engine’s intake and also delivers a unique cockpit sound. An MSO Titanium Super Sports Exhaust adds the requisite racecar roar.
Extensive use of satin-finish carbon fiber, including roof, hood, side skirts and engine cover, as well as a unique rear bumper, helps to reduce weight. The transformation is completed by front dive planes and a 570S GT4-style hood with specially constructed air intakes that work in conjunction with the roof snorkel and rear wing as a complete MSO aerodynamic package. Pirelli P ZERO™ CORSA tires deliver enhanced track grip.
The cabin echoes racecar function with the carbon fiber Monocell 2 chassis left exposed, carbon shell bucket seats, exposed carbon fiber sill panels and a bespoke carbon fiber bulkhead with stowage space for a helmet. The center tunnel storage bin has been removed, and the raised, carbon fiber center console from the 570S GT4 further accentuates the racing intent.
A color-matched harness anchors the 6-point racing harnesses for track driving (augmenting regular three-point belts). The cars are also equipped with McLaren Track Telemetry with a full suite of cameras, while parking sensors, rearview cameras, vehicle lift and race air conditioning preserve road driving usability.
McLaren Heritage on Display
The MSO X mixes in McLaren heritage, too. The 10 cars are finished in liveries inspired by McLaren F1 GTR racecars of the mid-1990s. Dressed in Ueno Grey with black accents, #10 MSO X was inspired by F1 GTR (#01R), which won the 24 hours of Le Mans in 1995. The Anniversary White with red and blue accent scheme featured on #08 MSO X was inspired by the F1 GTR Longtail (#26R) that placed third overall at Le Mans in 1997.
When Handy Hioe got the call from Frigerio about a special series of MSO X track-oriented 570S models, he had no hesitation in joining this exclusive project.
“I first became a supercar owner about 10 years ago,” Hioe said. “This was a chance to own something really special.”
Hioe had already gotten two McLarens through the dealership. In late January, he joined the group of McLaren Newport Beach customers at Spring Mountain Motorsport Club for the delivery and track driving. After taking possession of their cars in the morning, the group spent the day on the track and then gathered for dinner that evening. McLaren reps from the UK and US attended the special event.
“It was an amazing experience,” Hioe said.
Written by Jim Koscs, Audamotive Communications
For Premier Financial Services