Strange McLaren X-1 one-off MSO creation spotted at Bahrain F1

April 24, 2013

Just like Ferrari has its special team capable of catering for various ultra-wealthy clients and their unique, tailor-made orders, McLaren has its MSO unit (Special Operations). One of its recent projects, known as the McLaren X-1, was spotted at the Bahrain F1 on the weekend.

McLaren X-1 front

You might not immediately recognise it, but underneath this one-off project sits a ‘run-of-the-mill’ MP4-12C. The owner requested something different to the usual MP4-12C styling.

Featuring a vastly modified body, the X-1 front end is only just recognisable as an MP4-12C. The corners are much sharper with a silver edge line that runs all the way from the rear of the car and down along the top edge of the front guards. There’s also a matching chrome section at the base of the windscreen with a centre line running down the bonnet.

McLaren X-1 rear

At the back it’s almost completely indistinguishable. The rear wheels are covered over, giving it a top-speed-focused character, while the rear guards are extended out, almost like a classic from the Sixties.

Dynamic Display Ad(Long Version)

Apparently the owner wanted a design inspired by a blend of the 1961 Facel Vega, 1953 Chrysler D’Elegance Ghia, 1939 Mercedes-Benz 540K, 1959 Buick Electra and the 1971 Citroen SM. The theme also incorporates elements of a grand piano and an Airstream trailer believe it or not.

Underneath it all, power and drive comes from the same 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 engine as seen in regular MP4-12C, delivering up 460kW. Despite the heavily revised body, the overall weight of this Batmobile-esque supercar remains at 1400kg.

Whether it is to your tastes or not, it’s sure to attract plenty of attention wherever it goes.

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Brett is the editor and founder of PerformanceDrive. He's obsessed with driving, having played with Matchbox cars until he was tall enough to drive a real one. After initially working as a mechanic, Brett earned a degree in journalism and entered media as an editorial assistant at Top Gear Australia magazine. He then worked at CarAdvice. His dream is to live next door to the Nurburgring in Germany.