McLaren has developed a limited edition 650S model to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the brand’s 1995 Le Mans 24-hour race victory.
As the chequered flag fell at the end of the 1995 race, five McLaren F1 GTRs crossed the line to finish 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 13th. In honour of this achievement, five special editions of the McLaren F1, badged the McLaren F1 LM, were commissioned – one for each of the cars that finished.
20 years on, McLaren Special Operations (MSO) has released the first details of a special edition 650S, built to celebrate the anniversary of this result. Only 50 650S Le Mans will be available globally, featuring a design said to have been inspired by the race-winning #59 McLaren F1 GTR. Deliveries will commence later this year.
Designed by MSO in collaboration with Peter Stevens, the designer of the original McLaren F1, the 650S Le Mans will be offered as a coupe only, and will borrow a number of styling elements from the historical race-winner, most notably the roof-mounted ‘snorkel’ air intake.
This fully-integrated snorkel channels airflow to the familiar 3.8-litre twin turbo V8 engine, while the front wings feature louvres to reduce pressure over the front wheels, increasing downforce. The custom ‘Le Mans Edition’ wheels – 19-inch at the front, 20-inch at the rear – are styled around the design of the motorsport rims fitted to the 1995 racers. The rims wear the McLaren-developed Pirelli P Zero Corsa tyres and are mounted in front of carbon ceramic brakes as standard, with orange-coloured callipers.
Commenting on the McLaren 650S Le Mans, Stevens explains: “The design of the McLaren F1 rewrote the rulebook. It was intended to offer the ultimate, no compromise road driving experience. The fact that it was transformed into a racer, and a race winner, was true testament to the strength and integrity of the original design, which is something I am very proud of.
“With a mix of subtle design traits, the 650S Le Mans adds a modern twist by blending the iconic lines of the McLaren F1, and heritage features such as the wing louvres and the roof-mounted air intake, with groundbreaking technologies. It is a fantastic homage to that original design, and to the incredible race result achieved by the team in 1995 at one of the most difficult, and most challenging races in the world.”
Power and torque figures for the 650S Le Mans remain unchanged from the standard production model, producing 641 bhp and 500 lb ft of torque. This sprint from zero to 62 mph takes three seconds and the top speed is 207 mph.
Visual carbon-fibre features throughout the exterior, including the front splitter and rear bumper. MSO-developed extended side blades and the MSO rear diffuser complete the external detailing.
Inspired by the colour of the race-winning McLaren F1 GTR, the car is finished in metallic “Sarthe Grey “. A splash of orange, meanwhile, in the form of the ‘Le Mans’ logo decorates the wheels and the trailing edge of the extended MSO door blades, while an internal dedication plate on the door card identifies the limited nature of the model.
The interior is finished in black leather and Alcantara, while a pair of sports seats are finished in black with contrasting orange Alcantara in the centre. A Le Mans logo is embossed on the headrest of each seat, as well as on the floor mats.
McLaren says deliveries of the 650S Le Mans will commence in mid-2015.