Deep in the heart of the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking lurks a division of crack engineers, designers and tuners whose job it is to break down the world’s most cutting-edge super cars and transform these rare and extraordinary machines into something even better. It is these men and women at McLaren Special Operations, MSO for short, who earn their crust by improving on the seemingly faultless, be it by unlocking ultimate levels of performance or crafting the most spellbinding bespoke designs.
Back in February, the biblical McLaren P1 hyper car was given the once-over by MSO. The Special Ops team applied its characteristic unorthodox touch to produce a deadly-looking one-off carbon fibre bodied edition of its range-topping halo car. Even at the very moment the Carbon Series P1 was being exalted at its Geneva unveiling, the MSO factory floor was once again abuzz with work on another carbon-clad warrior. Now, McLaren has finally lifted the lid this mysterious newcomer’s identity. Arise the dark knight of Woking; the MSO Carbon Series LT has arrived.
Based on the 675LT Spider, the MSO Carbon Series LT is a response to requests from McLaren fanatics entranced by the carbon bodied P1 to apply the same formula to the British brand’s premier Super category car. The fruit of MSO’s painstaking labour sees the standard 675LT Spider’s body undergo a drastic carbon fibre overhaul. Besides existing carbon features from the base model, including the splitter, diffuser, side skirts and ‘Longtail’ Airbrake, the new Carbon Series LT is equipped with a further 40 percent of additional parts crafted from the lightweight material. Among the supplementary glossy carbon elements are an electrically retractable drop-top as well as the A-pillars, bonnet, rear deck, wings and fuel cap.
As with its 675LT donor car, the Carbon Series remains a super car bred to push the performance envelope. As such, it features the same advanced aero pack as the standard model plus McLaren’s track telemetry package, consisting of three track cameras that feed vital information on circuit conditions and in-race data straight to the cockpit.
The MSO Carbon Series is the third McLaren model ever to wear the LT badge, following the production 675LT Coupé and Spider variants. Despite the cosmetic enhancements, the Carbon Series LT uses the same 3.8-litre twin turbo V8 powertrain from its two siblings, giving it 666bhp and 516lb ft of torque. That translates into a blistering 0-62mph sprint time of just 2.9 seconds, with 124mph vanquished in little over 8 seconds. Keep your foot down and the red line remains unmolested all the way up to the LT’s 203mph ceiling.
Production of the MSO Carbon Series LT will get underway this autumn with deliveries on schedule for winter 2016. However, don’t bother rustling through that cheque book; all 25 of the strictly limited production run have already been snapped up, long before a single carbon fibre panel leaves the mould at MSO.