British automaker pays tribute to its rich history in motor racing

McLaren’s legacy as one of the most accomplished motor racing outfits in history is secure. Long before it became a purveyor of fine production exotics, McLaren was building a racing legacy that’s matched only by a few of its rivals. It’s fitting, then, that in celebrating that legacy, the U.K.-based automaker is launching a special edition series of 720S models called the MSO Apex Collection.

Only 15 units of the McLaren 720S MSO Apex Collection will be built. Each unit will pay homage to one of five different race tracks in Europe that’s near and dear to the success McLaren has enjoyed in the motor racing scene. The super-exclusive McLaren 720S MSO Apex Collection will be offered at a starting price of £288,813. That converts to around $356,200 based on current exchange rates. Deliveries are expected to begin this month. Unfortunately for us here in the U.S., the new special edition 720S will only be available in the European market.

What Makes the McLaren 720S MSO APEX Collection Special?

2019 McLaren 720S APEX Collection
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Of all the McLaren models that are in the market today, the 720S stands tall as the flagship of the lineup. With its stature comes the appeal of special edition models, and the 720S has had its fair share of them since hitting the market in 2017. In two years, we’ve seen the 720S Velocity, the 720S Track Theme, the 720S Zenith Black, and the 720S Spa 68 Special Edition. Today, McLaren released the new special edition 720S, and it pays homage to five tracks where McLaren has experienced the most success throughout its long and illustrious history in motor racing.

There are 15 units of the McLaren 720S MSO Apex Collection.

Breaking it down further, three of the 720S MSO Apex Collection models pay homage to specific race tracks, including Silverstone, Hockenheim, Circuit Paul Ricard, Monza, and Spa-Francorchamps.

2019 McLaren 720S APEX Collection
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Truth be told, you won’t find a lot of exclusive aesthetic touches in the 720S MSO Apex Collection, or at least not any that will allow each of these 15 models to stand out. The good news is that each of these models comes with the 720S Track Pack, which includes add-ons like the MSO Defined gloss finish visual carbon fiber active rear spoiler and a new sports exhaust system. New hood air intakes, rear fender air intakes, and door mirror casings — all are made from carbon fiber — are also part of the Track Pack. Likewise, the 720S MSO Apex Collection sits on a set of super-lightweight 10-spoke forged alloy wheels, added in part to give the special edition supercar a more race-spec dynamic.

On the tech side, each of the 15 McLaren 720S MSO Apex Collection comes with McLaren’s Telemetry (MTT) system.

This should help prospective owners of the car analyze their performance on the race track through recorded performance times that are made possible by three integrated videos and advanced data logging.

2019 McLaren 720S APEX Collection
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Inside, the 720S MSO Apex Collection benefits from several exclusive touches, all of which are provided by MSO. If you prefer extended shift paddles, MSO can make it happen for you. A bespoke steering with a dual-color leather or Alcantara 12 o’clock marker is also part of what you’ll receive from this special edition 720S. And since this special edition is limited to just 15 units, each of the 15 units will come with an MSO Bespoke dedication plaque that identifies each model’s specific place in the collection.

Mind you, that’s not the only model identifier that you’ll see in these bad boys. Arguably the most important feature in the McLaren 720S MSO Apex Collection are the special carbon fiber side sills that you’ll see in the doorjambs of the 720S. Each side sill comes with an inscription detailing the name of a specific race track and the speed of the fastest corner at the track — the apex — that a professional McLaren driver achieved in a 720S. There is, after all, a reason why this special edition lot is called the 720S MSO Apex Collection.

2019 McLaren 720S APEX Collection
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The three McLaren 720S models dedicated to Silverstone come with a “110 mph” inscription, while the three models dedicated to Germany’s Hockenheimring come with an “85 mph” inscription.

The same holds for the three models that pay tribute to Circuit Paul Ricard in France. They’re branded with a “104 mph” inscription. Meanwhile, the three cars that honor the world-famous Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium bear the “103 mph” inscription. Finally, the three 720S models that pay homage to the Monza racetrack in Italy come with a “90 mph” inscription.

All 15 units of the McLaren 720S MSO Apex Collection are powered by the same 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 engine. The unit produces 710 horsepower and 568 pound-feet of torque, same as the stock version of the 720S. Sad to say, folks, but this special edition series, with its identity intrinsically linked to McLaren’s history in motorsports, does not come with any power and performance upgrades. It’s a bit of a bummer, sure, but it’s not necessarily the end of the world, too. The V-8 engine of the 720S is mated to a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission that sends all that power to the two rear wheels. The result is a supercar that can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 2.8 seconds and hit a top speed of 212 mph. In the greater scheme of things, these power and performance figures are more than enough to run roughshod over the five race tracks are being honoured by McLaren.

McLaren 720S specifications
Engine 4.0-litre twin-turbo V-8
Power 710 HP @ 7,500 RPM
Torque 568 LB-FT @ 5,500 RPM
Transmission 7 Speed SSG
0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) 2.8 seconds
0-200 km/h (0-124 mph) 7.8 seconds
Top Speed 212 mph
Weight 2,828 Lbs
Still, thinking about the 720S MSO Apex Collection makes you wonder if McLaren could’ve done more to really set this collection apart from all the other special edition 720S models it has released in the past.

The unique carbon fiber side sills that denote the racetrack and its corner apex speed are a cool touch that properly identifies the spirit of these models, but I’ll be honest, I would’ve liked this collection more if McLaren threw some exclusive color schemes and maybe a few more vanity add-ons to make all 15 units stand out from what we’ve gotten used to.

2019 McLaren 720S APEX Collection
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McLaren certainly has the resources to do it, so it’ll remain an important question, at least for me, on why it didn’t exhaust all efforts to make the 720S MSO Apex Collection stand head and shoulders above some of the more recent 720S special edition models we’ve seen.

It’s not much of a gripe, but it is a valid one. And since I’m already in that mood, I am bummed, too, that the U.S. market is getting shut out of the 15 McLaren 720S MSO Apex Collection models that make up this line. I understand that it’s really a love letter to five European race tracks, but a few models headed Stateside wouldn’t have been the worst thing, right? In any event, our lucky friends in Europe can get their hands on any of the 15 models, provided they’re fast enough to order one. Each unit costs £288,813, or around $356,200 based on current exchange rates. First deliveries are expected to begin in October, and if you managed to score one, do tell us all about it.

Further reading

2019 McLaren 720S Spider Interior Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2019 McLaren 720S Spider.

2019 McLaren 720S Spider by MSO
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Read our full review on the 2019 McLaren 720S Spider by MSO.

2018 McLaren 720S High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 McLaren 720S.

McLaren 720S Velocity Is The First MSO Special-Edition Super Series High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 McLaren 720S Velocity.

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