McLaren X-1


It might seem like something from the set of Thunderbirds, but this wild-looking supercar is a McLaren 12C underneath.
Called the X-1, it’s the first one-off from McLaren’s Special Operations (MSO) – a newly formed division responsible for bespoke cars.


The X-1 has been created for an “anonymous car enthusiast”, and debuted today at The Quail – an event during the Pebble Beach weekend in Monterey, California – after two-and-a-half years of development.


The design is the work of McLaren’s Royal College of Art graduate Hong Yeo, and took 18 months alone.
Every part of the carbon-fibre bodywork was built especially for the X-1; the only thing that’s carried over from the 12C is the glass. As a result, the X-1 is 109mm longer and 188mm wider, but the same height as a standard 12C. Yet it weighs the same, at around 1,400kg.
McLaren says the customer demanded a timeless design. Inspiration came from classic models such as the 1961 Facel Vega, 1939 Mercedes 540K and 1971 Citroen SM, while art deco clocks, Airstream trailers and even aubergines influenced the styling. The most striking feature is the rear wheelarch, which hinges upwards if you need access to the tyre underneath.
Both the interior and the mechanicals are identical to the 12C coupe’s, so the X-1 gets the latest 616bhp version of the 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8, making it capable of more than 200mph.
After its debut in Pebble Beach, the X-1 will return to the MSO headquarters in Woking, Surrey, to be checked over before it’s delivered to the lucky buyer for an undisclosed fee.

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