In 1995, McLaren’s now legendary F1 GTR race cars crossed the finish line at the prestigious 24 Hours of LeMans in first, third, fifth, sixth, and 13th places. It dominated what considered to be the most gruelling endurance sports cars race in the world.
Twenty years later, the boutique sports car-maker is building another special edition supercar as an homage to it past glory: the 650S Le Mans edition. With this car, McLaren is offering its competitors a not-so-subtle reminder of the brand’s sheer dominance on that thrilling weekend in June of 1995.
The special edition McLaren 650S features numerous performance and cosmetic upgrades to reflect the spirit of the race-winning F1 GTR. The Le Mans edition features a race-inspired, roof-mounted snorkel intake and lightweight Le Mans wheels models after the ones from F1 GTR racer.
Power for the for Le Mans edition remains unchanged from the production version. McLaren’s 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine remains at the heart of the supercar. Its 641 horsepower is enough to propel the 650S to 60 mph in 3 seconds and to a top speed of 207 mph.
“The design of the McLaren F1 rewrote the rulebook. It was intended to offer the ultimate, no compromise road driving experience,” McLaren F1 designer Peter Stevens said. “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 …. 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,” Stevens added.
The 1995 victory meant so much to McLaren that the company has released no fewer than three separate special-edition models:
•The “papaya orange” painted McLaren F1 LM in 1995. Only five the fire-breathing hypercars were ever built. They each featured the F1 GTR racecar’s track-ready suspension, but with a more powerful engine free of constricting racing regulations.
•In 2014, the P1 was made available for the 375 fortunate folks who paid up the $US1.2 million sticker price.
•Those 375 people got a crack at the $US3.2 million P1 GTR, a track-ready version of the P1 that serves up 986 horsepower via a hybrid powertrain.
With the 650S Le Mans, McLaren has gone easier on customers wallets. You can pick one up for $US370,000. The 50 custom-built examples will be a dream car that’s within reach.
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