McLaren 650S Spider Al Sahara 79 by MSO debuts at 2015 Dubai Motor Show

Article by Christian A., on November 11, 2015

McLaren Automotive has introduced a 650S project exclusive for the Middle East market. Marking the announcement of the project was the unveiling of the 650S Spider Al Sahara 79 by MSO at the Dubai International Motor Show 2015 alongside the 570S Coupé and a version of the McLaren P1.

These three models represent Maclaren’s three model tiers – the Sports Series, Super Series and Ultimate Series – bound for the region.

Developed by McLaren Special Operations (MSO) – a division of the carmaker in charge of bespoke creations -- the 650S Spider Al Sahara 79 will only be available for McLaren’s customers in the Middle East.

Interestingly, the 650S Spider Al Sahara 79 features a distinctly formulated paint scheme as well as bespoke specification drawing inspiration from the region’s cultures, landscape and styles.

This special MSO creation got its name – Al Sahara -- from the Arabic term for desert. To appropriately depict this name, MSO blessed the vehicle with a unique paint scheme -- pearlescent white gold paintwork with subtle shimmer, emulating the golden sands that have been a main feature Middle Eastern landscape.

To achieve this paint finish, 24-carat gold particles were added. These golden particles convey the wealth and luxury of the Middle East region. Interestingly, Gold’s atomic number is 79, thus completing the vehicle’s full name -- 650S Spider Al Sahara 79.

To emphasize the extravagant paint scheme, MSO featured contrasting detailing on the exterior of the 650S Spider Al Sahara 79, including a retractable hard top as well as lightweight forged alloy wheels in gloss black.

MSO fitted the vehicle with carbon fiber side intakes, front splitter and rear diffuser. Moreover, its full-length MSO-branded Side Blades – which provide the vehicle with a more sculpted appearance – are also made of carbon fiber.

Inside the Al Sahara 79, the unique exterior paint scheme is continued on the steering wheel, door panels around the heating and ventilation controls and on center console.

All switchgear and heating vents are finish in dark golden paint. Additionally, the vehicle’s electrically adjustable sports seats come in black and Almond White leather upholstery with contrasting stitching.

The desert-inspired MSO 650S is powered by the 3.8-liter twin turbo V8 engine that also powers the 650S Coupe and 650S Spider. This powerplant develops up to 650S PS (641bhp) of output at 7,250rpm and 678NM (500lb ft) of torque.

The engine still has the ability to propel the vehicle from zero to 62mph (100km/h) in just 3.0 seconds, and reach a max speed of 204 mph (329km/h).

Despite these performances the sports car returns 24.2mpg (EU combined) cycle and has carbon dioxide emission rate of 275g/km.

MSO considers the Middle East as one of its top markets for customization, with over 25 percent of all models for the region featuring bespoke content like distinct colors, leathers, aerodynamic upgrades and stitching.

Following design consultations with vehicle owners in the Middle East, McLaren has concluded that there is a high demandfor special editions exclusive to the region. The McLaren 650S Spider Al Sahara 79 by MSO will be available starting at AED1,456,308.

Ian Gorsuch, Regional Director Middle East & Africa for McLaren Automotive, remarked that the 650S Spider Al Sahara 79 by MSO reflects the carmaker’s status as a pioneer in the design and development of high performance sports and supercars.

He noted that the 650S Spider Al Sahara 79 is a project inspired by a region home to some of McLaren’s most loyal customers. He noted that since 2011, McLaren Automotive has developed close links with the Middle East region.

So, at the Dubai International Motor Show, McLaren presented its Middle East audience its third and final product tier in the model range, the Sports Series. He remarked that McLaren is delighted to display examples of each tier – Sports, Super and Ultimate Series -- at the Dubai International Motor Show to show the carmaker’s progress in a short period of time.

On the other hand, Paul Mackenzie, Executive Director at MSO, remarked that the 650S Spider Al Sahara 79 project has provided an opportunity for them to create a bespoke car inspired by the rich history and culture of the Middle East.

He noted that after receiving feedback from McLaren owners, MSO assimilated them into the project, thus creating a bespoke car that conveys the region’s luxury and craftsmanship.

Press Release


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.

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