One of a kind: McLaren’s Special Operations division will build you a car from scratch

McLaren P1
McLaren P1
Like it or not, just about anything is possible for the right amount of money. You can go to space, you can buy your own island, and you can even run for president. We can now add owning a bespoke McLaren SUV to the list, because the brand’s Special Operations division (MSO) can whip up anything your heart desires, provided you have the coin.

In a recent interview with Autocar, McLaren’s Chief Designer, Robert Melville, said, “Over the last few years, most people at McLaren have at some point been asked about SUVs, four-seaters, motorbikes. With MSO, we did a car a few years ago that was harking back to coachbuilding. If you come to MSO, we could design you an all-new body, a power increase or decrease. We can design you whatever you want, if you have the money for it.”

How much money exactly? According to Melville, a bespoke 4×4 could cost “millions and millions of pounds” due to the fact that McLaren does not currently have an SUV platform under its roof. The company would be forced to build a custom carbon fiber tub for the vehicle, which would be as expensive as it sounds.

That being said, the possibilities are theoretically endless. MSO Bespoke offers custom interior tailoring, vehicle modification, unique paintwork, and of course, coachbuilt vehicles, with your imagination (and wallet) being the only limiting factors.  Another of McLaren’s designers, Esteban Palazzo, had this to say about the made-to-order process.

“The exercise starts with the customer describing what they want,” he said. “I’ll draw it and they might say, ‘I never thought of it that way.’ We have got to help them in the right direction — it has to be a McLaren, it has to look right. Customers are more open to new ideas and advice than you would imagine.”

MSO has built several one-off vehicles already, including a special-edition P1, a custom 650S, and a one-off 570S.

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