The covers have just been taken off the special McLaren 650S Spider Al Sahara 79 by MSO at the Dubai International Motor Show 2015. The car has been inspired by the culture of the local region with the ‘Al Sahara’ in the names translating from Arabic to desert. Meanwhile, the ’79’ comes from the 24 carat gold particles throughout the paint as gold has an atomic number of 79.
Beneath the skin, the McLaren 650S Spider Al Sahara 79 by MSO is powered by the same 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine of the regular 650S models and producing an identical 641 hp at 7250 rpm and 500 lb-ft of torque. Those figures are enough to send the British supercar to 100 km/h in just 3 seconds as well as a 329 km/h top speed.
Distinguishing the 650S Spider Al Sahara 79 by MSO from the other 650S models extend beyond the special paint job. The car is rolling on a set of gloss black wheels while carbon fibre adorns the front splitter, side air intakes, MSO-branded side blades and rear diffuser. Meanwhile in the cabin is black and Almond White leather with electrically-adjustable sports seats complete with contrast stitching. There are also dark golden elements on the switchgear and heating vents.
Discussing the car, regional director for McLaren Automotive of the Middle East & Africa, Ian Gorsuch said “McLaren Automotive is a true pioneer in its approach to the design and development of high performance sports and supercars, and the 650S Spider Al Sahara 79 by MSO is evidence of that. This truly unique project – our first in the Middle East – is inspired by a region that is home to some of our most loyal customers.”
It remains to be seen how many units of the 650S Spider Al Sahara 79 by MSO will be produced but the marque has confirmed it has a retail price of 1.456 million AED.
“McLaren Automotive has today debuted an exclusive 650S project bespoke to the Middle East, as the covers have come off the 650S Spider Al Sahara 79 by MSO. The special edition model lines up alongside the 570S Coupé and a customised example of the McLaren P1™ at the Dubai International Motor Show 2015 as McLaren showcases the recently announced three model tiers – the Sports Series, Super Series and Ultimate Series – in the region together for the first time.
The 650S Spider Al Sahara 79 has been developed by McLaren Special Operations –the division of the company responsible for bespoke craftsmanship – and is available exclusively for Middle East customers. The uniquely formulated paint scheme and bespoke specification have been inspired by the styles, cultures and landscape of the region, and contribute to the name of the latest MSO model.
‘Al Sahara’ translates from the Arabic for desert, and the crisp pearlescent white gold paintwork has a subtle shimmer, inspired by the golden sands which form such a distinctive part of the Middle Eastern landscape. This unique paint finish is achieved through the addition of 24 carat gold particles. The precious metal, associated with opulence and luxury throughout the region has an atomic number of 79.
Contrasting detailing on the exterior of the 650S Spider Al Sahara 79 includes a retractable hard top and lightweight forged alloy wheels finished in gloss black. Carbon fibre is used for the side intakes, front splitter and rear diffuser, while aggressive, full-length carbon fibre MSO-branded Side Blades provide a more purposeful and sculpted appearance. A fully custom-zoned interior features black and Almond White leather upholstered electrically-adjustable sports seats with contrasting stitching, with the Al Sahara 79 paint scheme carried through to the steering wheel, centre console and door panels around the heating and ventilation controls. A dark golden finish has been applied to all switchgear and heating vents.
Power comes from the multi-award-winning mid-mounted 3.8-litre twin turbo V8 engine seen in the 650S Coupe and 650S Spider, producing 650S PS (641bhp) at 7,250rpm and 678NM (500lb ft) of torque. Performance and economy figures remain unchanged, with zero to 62mph (100km/h) reached in 3.0 seconds, and a top speed of 204 mph (329km/h), while achieving 24.2mpg (EU combined) cycle and CO2 emissions of 275g/km.
The Middle East boasts one of the highest levels of MSO customisation globally, with more than 25 percent of all models bound for the region containing an element of bespoke content. This ranges from unique colours, stitching, leathers and aerodynamic upgrades. Design consultations with owners in the Middle East highlighted a desire to see special editions unique to the region resulting in the bespoke project design team at MSO researching regional and local trends, cultures and tastes.
The McLaren 650S Spider Al Sahara 79 by MSO has a retail price of 1,456,308 AED.
Commenting on the 650S Spider Al Sahara 79 by MSO, Ian Gorsuch, Regional Director Middle East & Africa, McLaren Automotive explained:‘McLaren Automotive is a true pioneer in its approach to the design and development of high performance sports and supercars, and the 650S Spider Al Sahara 79 by MSO is evidence of that. This truly unique project – our first in the Middle East – is inspired by a region that is home to some of our most loyal customers.
‘Since launching the brand back in 2011, McLaren Automotive has built extremely close links with the Middle East region. The Sports Series, as the third and final product tier in the model range is, is an extremely important and exciting addition to the line-up alongside the Super and Ultimate Series. We are delighted to show examples of each Series for the first time together in the region here at the Dubai International Motor Show, underlining how far the company has progressed in such a short period of time.’
Paul Mackenzie, Executive Director – McLaren Special Operations added: ‘The 650S Spider Al Sahara 79 project offered an exciting opportunity to create a truly bespoke car inspired by the rich history and culture of the Middle Eastern region, which is dominated by the beauty of the desert. It was fascinating to hear the feedback from McLaren owners, and to then assimilate this into a truly bespoke project that reflected the region’s long history of luxury and craftsmanship – which are the foundations of the MSO brand.’
FIRST REGIONAL DISPLAY OF THE THREE MODEL TIERS
In addition to the 650S Spider Al Sahara 79, which represents the McLaren Super Series at the Dubai International Motor Show, examples of both the Sports Series and Ultimate Series will be on display. This marks the first time each of the three tiers has been publicly shown together in the Middle East.
The 570S Coupé is the first model in the recently launched Sports Series, and introduces McLaren design, engineering and performance to the sports car market. The vehicle on display is finished in Ventura Orange with a focus on sport through carbon fibre exterior upgrades, sports exhaust, by McLaren Sport Design interior and carbon fibre interior pack. Pricing for the Sports Series starts from 650,000 AED, with deliveries set to commence in the region from next month.
Alongside the newest addition to the McLaren Automotive range is a unique example of the most powerful – the 916PS (903bhp) McLaren P1™. Commissioned by a Middle Eastern customer, the bespoke model features significant MSO content and is finished in white with subtle McLaren Orange detailing to highlight key design characteristics across the aerodynamically-optimised bodywork. Customisation continues in the cabin through a blend of raw carbon and contrasting black and orange Alcanatara®.
The McLaren 650S Spider Al Sahara 79 will make its global debut on Stand SS100, Sheikh Saeed Hall 1 at the Dubai International Motor Show, 10-14 November.