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This special edition McLaren 650S has actual gold in its paint

Limited run of 650S Spider ‘Al Sahara 79’ models unveiled for Middle East

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The name translates as ‘desert gold’, and references a very unique McLaren supercar built for the Middle East. Welcome everyone, to the 650S Spider ‘Al Sahara 79’.

Unveiled today as part of this week’s Dubai International Motor Show, it’s the work of McLaren’s Special Operations division; the department of McLaren dealing in bespoke craftsmanship.

So, as befits a part of the world boasting the highest levels of MSO customisation – more than 25 per cent of all Middle Eastern McLaren models contain some bespoke element – it features some opulence.

There’s the pearlescent white paintjob finished with actual 24 carat gold particles (it carries the atomic number of 79, while Al Sahara means ‘desert’, hence the name). Yep, McLaren and gold, huh?

The paint scheme is continued on the inside through the steering wheel, console and door panels, along with a dark golden finish to all switchgear and heating vents. The hard top and forged alloy wheels are glossed in black, while carbon fibre is used for the side intakes, front splitter and rear diffuser. There are full-length carbon fibre MSO-branded side blades and a black and almond-white leather interior with contrast stitching.

Power remains the same, so it’s McLaren’s 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 with 641bhp and 500lb ft of torque sent through the rear wheels to record a 0-62mph time of 3.0 seconds, and top speed of 204mph.

MSO’s executive director Paul Mackenzie said: “It was fascinating to hear the feedback from McLaren owners, and to then assimilate this into a truly bespoke project that reflected the region’s long history of luxury and craftsmanship.”

McLaren has confirmed that just five of these Al Sahara 650S Spider models will be built, and each one will cost 1,456,308 AED (a little under £262,500). Like it?

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