With the New York and Beijing Auto Shows officially over, manufacturers now need to find other ways to attract and retain attention. Concocting specialized vehicles, sporting varying degrees of aesthetic and performance modifications, is one way automakers keep their products fresh in the global eye. This makeover technique is exactly what McLaren’s Special Operations (MSO) has done with the menacing, all-black MSO 650S Coupe Concept.
McLaren recently debuted its 650S Coupe and Spider in the Big Apple as part of their North American launch. Now this darker, more intimidating version of the 641 hp supercar has surfaced in China to showcase the MSO upgrades available to 650S buyers, and test the waters for a possible production version of the customized ride.
Finished in an in-house paint called Agrigan Black, the MSO 650S concept features several enhancements to the car’s exterior and a one-off cockpit. The MSO 650S' customized paint is not only more dramatic than the traditional McLaren exterior offerings, but it also changes color in direct sunlight. This color shift application is designed to contrast with the various satin-finished carbon fiber bits on the concept – such as the front splitter, air intakes, side blades and rear diffuser.
Inside the car, fixed-back carbon fiber racing seats are not only 33 lb (15 kg) lighter than the stock seats, but similar in design and seating position to the P1's seats. The MSO concept’s center console now features a carbon fiber insert, with the switchgear and bezels are now finished in black. Satin finished carbon fiber finishes out the interior mix where regular, boring carbon fiber used to exist.
The GT3-inspired rear bumper on the MSO concept features a carbon fiber center section that carries through to the custom rear diffuser and to finish out the car’s exterior treatment, McLaren chose to add a set of lightweight, special satin black alloy wheels to the 650S. The new rims, shod with Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires, nicely finishes out the monochromatic look the MSO team was apparently going for. Inside the engine bay where the twin-turbo, 3.8 liter 641 hp V8 resides, the MSO team has seen fit to throw in satin black engine covers, and apply a satin finish to the remaining carbon fiber components.
McLaren points out that the MSO 650S Concept is currently being presented as a “one-off design study.” The company says it will monitor reaction to the concept and make production decisions based on market response.
650S and 12C owners will be happy to know they can get in on the upgraded MSO aesthetic treatment without having to trade their cars in. Available through McLaren retailers, owners can outfit that space below the doorline with bespoke sideblades for an additional US$8,600, or they can outfit the rear with an MSO designed diffuser for an additional $12,200. According to McLaren the new MSO sideblades aren’t just pretty satin finished add-ons; they are in fact designed to improve airflow and aerodynamic efficiency.