When you watched the McLaren 675 LT shoot to the top of the TG Power Lap board recently, did you look at it and think, ‘hmm, bit slow that’?. Nah, us neither. But someone did. That’s why we now have this, the McLaren MSO HS.
The HS (which stands for High Sport) is an exclusive offering by MSO (McLaren’s ‘Special Operations’ division) that takes the 650S/675LT Super Series chassis, lightens it, adds more power, makes it more focused and then plops a massive wing on the back. Yes, yes and yes.
Using Macca’s mega 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine, MSO has seen the 675LT’s hellish 666bhp and raised it to 679bhp and 516lb ft. All of which is available from 3,000-7,000rpm, in all drive modes.
Now, you may remember McLaren Special Operations division from when it was launched back in 2011. It was set up to provide a bespoke personalisation service for McLaren customers that wanted something a bit more special. This initially included fancy pants paint schemes, paint-matched key fobs and a barmy, Jetsons-like one-off called the X-1. But now, the bespoke tailoring service is playing with fast. And that’s no bad thing, especially when it looks this good.
Compared to the 675LT, you may notice some significant changes to the aero work and body panels. There’s also a lot of carbon fibre. The lightweight black stuff is used for the new front bumper and splitter as well as those racy dive planes stuck on to the front end plates. The bonnet and roof (which incorporates a new scoop), are also gloss carbon.
More carbon fibre is used along the new HS-stamped side skirts, side intake, rear diffuser and engine bay. However, the pièce de résistance is the whopper of a rear wing. It’s inspired by the P1 GTR’s, but it’s not fixed. Just like the other Super Series cars, it can pop up to become a handy airbrake, but also flutters around electronically to change the aerodynamic profile of the car on road and track. At 150mph, 220kg of downforce occurs – which is a lot, but still only a third of the monstrous P1 GTR.
Adding lightness was a major concern for the HS. So the windscreen glass is the lightest McLaren could find, the engine cover polycarbonate, the exhaust is forged titanium while the P1’s gorgeous carbonfibre seats have been fitted, lopping off another 15kg. If you decided to spec them in Alcantara over leather, that saves another 3.5kg. Which is an easier weight loss option than eating no carbs before Marbs.
Inside, the air con controls have moved from the doors to the centre console to save weight, while the rest of the cabin is decked out in satin carbon fibre with ‘HS’ branding in enough places to remind yourself you’re in something special. Four-point harness points and a full McLaren Track Telemetry (MTT) package hint heavily that MSO really want you to let it rip on track.
The MTT system is displayed via the central screen and gives real-time lap times, splits, and data. And if you look really closely at the pictures, you may spot three cameras. They’re not for 200mph selfies, rather work in conjunction with the data logging system so you can go all Jenson Button and analyse your laps. Or see how close to clipping the shopping trolley you really were in Waitrose car park.
Only 25 MSO HSs will be made and, unfortunately, they’ve sold already, for an undisclosed sum. Surprise, surprise. However, because it’s an MSO project, no car will be the same, as owners can go as wild as they like and customise the car further. Not that it’s needed. But that didn’t stop them doing it in the first place, did it?