It’s been only a year since McLaren unveiled the 650S at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, and the company has been prolific at releasing new derivatives and special-edition versions. As if the GT3, Sprint and 625C weren’t enough to promote the 650S as an amazing sports car for both road and track, McLaren also commissioned its MSO division to create a range of bespoke models for customers looking for something really special. Having launched the Le Mans limited edition in January 2015, MSO now returns to showcase "Project Kilo," probably the lightest 650S ever created.

Finished in a stealthy, dark-gray paint, "Project Kilo" is packed with carbon-fiber goodies, customized parts inside and out, and a 24-carat, gold-plated exhaust heat shield that harkens back to the F1. A massive, motorsport-style diffuser significantly alters its rear appearance, making it look like a race car that has yet to receive its racing livery and rear wing.

Click past the jump to read more about the McLaren MSO 650S "Project Kilo."

  • 2015 McLaren MSO 650S "Project Kilo"
  • Year:
    2015
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • 0-60 time:
    2.9 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    207 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    300000 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2015 McLaren MSO 650S "Project Kilo" High Resolution Exterior
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A carbon-fiber roof shaves a few pounds off the 650S, while the carbon-fiber, motorsport-spec diffuser aids with aerodynamics

Described as "one of the most personalized, bespoke projects that MSO have undertaken to date," this unique 650S features a host of carbon-fiber features otherwise not available on non-MSO cars. A carbon-fiber roof shaves a few more pounds off.

The wheels are unique as well, featuring lightweight titanium nuts and caps painted with a McLaren Orange speed mark. Rounding off the Project Kilo’s exterior is the dark-gray paint that blends in nicely with the carbon-fiber parts. Everything else is standard 650S.

Interior

2015 McLaren MSO 650S "Project Kilo" Exterior
- image 615104
The cockpit is wrapped in dark-gray Alcantara with orange contrasting stitching

More carbon-fiber is found in the cockpit, specifically in the vent bezels, the instrument cluster bezel — which also comes with integrated shift lights — and the bespoke sill panels. The 650S’ sporty cabin is further enhanced by body-colored switches, a satin-black starter switch and McLaren Orange inner door seams with MSO logos.

The customer who ordered this bespoke McLaren also received a personal dedication plate on the driver’s door panel, as well as a pair of custom keys. The only available photo of the interior reveals that most of the cockpit is wrapped in dark-gray Alcantara, with orange contrasting stitching on the dashboard, seats, center console steering wheel.

Drivetrain

2015 McLaren MSO 650S "Project Kilo" Drivetrain
- image 615103
The engine cover features an orange Kiwi bird as a reference to New Zealand, the birthplace of company founder Bruce McLaren

The drivetrain of the Project Kilo remains stock, with the award-winning, twin-turbo, 3.8-liter V-8 generating the same 640 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque as the standard 650S. The output travels to the rear wheels through a quick-shifting, seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission. 0 to 62 comes in only three seconds, while 124 mph arrives in an impressive 8.4 seconds. Top speed remains 207 mph.

But while the drivetrain is standard 650S, MSO meddled with the engine compartment by replacing a few parts with bespoke components. The aluminum water and oil-filter caps are now painted in the same color as the body and feature McLaren Orange logos, while, as mentioned, the exhaust heat shield has been plated with 24-carat gold. Lastly, the engine cover features an orange Kiwi bird as a reference to New Zealand, the birthplace of company founder Bruce McLaren.

Prices

2015 McLaren MSO 650S "Project Kilo" Exterior
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McLaren chose not to reveal pricing information for the Project Kilo, but judging by the number of carbon-fiber parts and other updates MSO added to the 650S, it’s safe to assume the owner paid around $300,000 for this unique sports car. The 650S Coupe retails from $265,500 before options.

Competition

Ferrari 488 GTB

2016 Ferrari 488 GTB High Resolution Exterior
- image 615036

Developed to replace the aging, but still-exciting 458 Italia, the 488 GTB marks the beginning of a new era for Ferrari’s entry-level supercar. After decades of using a naturally aspirated V-8 engine, the most affordable supercar from Maranello switched to a smaller, turbocharged V-8. Displacing 3.9 liters, the new mill cranks out a whopping 660 horsepower and 560 pound-feet of torque. Compared to the 458 Italia, the 488 GTB boasts an additional 66 ponies and an extra 162 pound-feet of twist, but better mileage, too. Is turbocharging cool or what?

Besides being more powerful, the 488 GTB is also quicker at the track. It lapped the Fiorano course in 1:23 minutes, making it a half-second quicker than the 458 Speciale and two seconds quicker than the 458 Italia. There’s no official word on pricing as of February 2015, but I expect the new entry-level supercar to retails for less than $300,000 before options.

Lamborghini Aventador

2015 - 2016 Lamborghini Huracán LP 610-4 Exterior
- image 536458

The Lamborghini Huracan arrived to replace the aging Gallardo as that company’s entry-level supercar. Unlike the 650S and the 488 GTB, Italy’s other supercar still relies on naturally aspirated power and 10 cylinders. With 610 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque on tap, the Huracan is less powerful than the McLaren, but its 0-to-60 mph time of about 3 seconds and top speed of 205 mph make it equally fast.

Like its predecessor, the Huracan benefits from a driver-oriented cabin that features a 12.3-inch TFT display and all of its buttons and switches configured in one place. Acres of Alcantara and lots of carbon-fiber inserts adorn most surfaces. The Huracan fetches $241,945 in the U.S., making it the most affordable of the pack.

Conclusion

2015 McLaren MSO 650S "Project Kilo" Exterior
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The 650S is arguably one of the most enticing entry-level supercars you can buy, but customers can take things up a notch with help from McLaren’s Special Operations division. Sure, bespoke models such as Project Kilo don’t come cheap, but exclusivity is always expensive. What’s important here is that MSO is ready to provide a host of bespoke features to turn a standard 650S into a one-off supercar. If you have the moolah, that is.

  • Leave it
    • You can’t buy one
    • Likely very expensive

Press Release

This very special MSO 650S, codenamed ‘Project Kilo’, is one of the most personalized, bespoke projects that MSO have undertaken to date.

2015 McLaren MSO 650S "Project Kilo" Exterior
- image 615104

The car features an extensive list of carbon fiber options including the roof, diffuser, vent bezels, bespoke branded sill panels and instrument cluster bezel with integrated shift lights.

Meticulous attention to detail including aluminum water and oil filler caps painted body color with McLaren Orange logos, McLaren Orange painted inner door seams with MSO logos, body colored interior switches with a satin black starter switch and a 24 carat gold plated exhaust heatshield.

Finishing touches included a personal dedication plate on the driver’s door, a pair of bespoke designed keys, wheel center caps painted with a McLaren Orange speed mark and lightweight titanium wheels nuts.

2015 McLaren MSO 650S "Project Kilo" Drivetrain
- image 615103

The Kiwi on the engine cover is, of course, a reference to New Zealand, the birth place of our founder, Bruce McLaren.

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