MSO introduces the McLaren 650S Le Mans, celebrates 20th anniversary of famous win

Article by Christian A., on January 20, 2015

In order to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the McLaren F1 GTR victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, McLaren Special Operations introduced a limited edition model based on the 650S. Dubbed the McLaren 650S Le Mans, the new edition will see a limited production of just 50 units, all coupes, that will be available globally.

Designed by McLaren Special Operations (MSO) in consultation with Peter Stevens a.k.a. the designer of the legendary McLaren F1, the new McLaren 650S Le Mans features a number of styling enhancements from the iconic race-winner.

The most noticeable is the roof-mounted snorkel air intake that channels airflow to the 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 engine, but also the ‘Le Mans Edition’ lightweight wheels (19-inch front/20-inch rear) inspired by the motorsport rims found on the 1995 racers.

The wheels are wrapped in Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires and mounted in front of carbon ceramic brakes, which are offered as standard, with McLaren Orange calipers. Other features include carbon fiber accents found on the front splitter and rear bumper. MSO-developed extended side blades and the distinctive MSO rear diffuser also improve the looks of the vehicle.

Furthermore, the 650S Le Mans is dressed in a metallic Sarthe Grey exterior paint colour, which is inspired by the McLaren F1 GTR. McLaren Orange accents are found in the form of the “Le Mans” logo on the wheels and the trailing edge of the extended MSO door blades, while an internal dedication plate is found on the door card in order to identify the limited nature of the vehicle.

Inside, the vehicle features black leather and Alcantara, while the sports seats are finished in black with contrasting McLaren Orange Alcantara in the centre, featuring the Le Mans logo embossed on the headrests.

Under the hood, there is the same 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 engine found also on the standard model, delivering 650 hp and 678 Nm (500 lb-ft) of torque, which can push the vehicle from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3 seconds while top speed is 207 mph or 333 km/h.

Pricing starts at 244,500 GBP and deliveries will start in mid-2015.

The new McLaren 650S is building on the carmaker’s success and experience on the track as well as on innovative technologies equipped on other McLaren models. For instance, the potent performance and ability for the McLaren 650S are further refined by active aerodynamics that were already featured on both the 12C and McLaren P1.

In addition, the McLaren Airbrake was equipped on the 12C and 12C Spider. On the 650S, this offers greater levels functionality to deliver optimized downforce on the rear for increased stability. It could now be deployed as soon as the 650S detects extra downforce is needed -- instead of just under braking -- or when operated manually in 'Aero' mode. A distinctive rear three-piece bumper -- similar to the GT3 racing version of the 12C – is found below the Airbrake, complementing the car’s aerodynamic shaping.

Moreover, the 650S is equipped with the now further enhanced ProActive Chassis Control (PCC) suspension system, which could adjust the ride and handling modes (Normal / Sport / Track) independently from the drivetrain. McLaren also recalibrated these settings to improve driver engagement. Interestingly, the updates made to the PCC suspension system are more noticeable in Sport mode.

Mike Flewitt remarked that McLaren is a fast moving company that continually strives for improvements and technical advantages. He added that the carmaker is always looking to innovate; to be the top of its leaders; and to introduce new technologies and concept to the market – all exemplifying its Formula 1 heritage. He quipped that everything that McLaren has learnt from the 12C and the P1 were employed into the design and development of the new 650S.

McLaren intended and designed the new 650S to be the best as well as most engaging driver's car in its class without turning it into a stripped-out road racer. It offers ride comfort and refinement that are at par with executive saloons and is equipped with standard features like IRIS satellite navigation with Bluetooth telephony, wireless tethering, audio streaming and voice control. Also standard is DAB digital radio, which is offered as SIRIUS satellite radio in North America). The new 650S also offers enhanced levels of optional specs.

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