At Monterey’s Pebble Beach Concours last Friday, the McLaren Special Operations team unveiled a stunning, futuristic yet strangely retro one-off bespoke McLaren, the McLaren X1 Customer Concept. The car is a marriage of the McLaren MP 12C with a new body shell reminiscent of a darker Batmobile. Paul MacKenzie, program director of McLaren Special Operations, spoke about the car with the media.
“One of our clients — who already owned a McLaren F1, a Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren and now a 12C — wanted a unique car. The client wanted a machine that had all the capability of the 12C but wrapped in a unique body that reflected his needs and personality.”
While details about the buyer are not yet public, McLaren did release details about which cars served as inspiration for the X1 Concept project. Inspiring cars included a 1971 Citroën SM, a 1959 Buick Electra, a 1939 Mercedes Benz 540K, a 1953 Chrysler D’Elegance Ghia, and a 1961 Facel Vega. Some odd pieces that also provided inspiration were an Airstream trailer, a Montblanc pen, a Jaeger LeCoultre art deco clock, a grand piano, and very bizarrely – an eggplant. Explained MacKenzie: “the client like the shiny texture of the finish.”
As the car is a custom made project, it is unlikely a similar car will go on the mass market soon, however it may serve as inspiration for the future design of high-end sports cars.