It may be the world’s most famous classic car show, but a growing number of automakers are using the annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance as background for the debut of their newest products – a list that this year includes British sports car manufacturer McLaren Automotive.
Making its debut on the concept lawn alongside a number of other new models, the McLaren 570GT by MSO Concept takes the current 570 to new extremes with features like an electrochromic glass roof and a titanium exhaust system.
‘This is the second consecutive year that McLaren Special Operations has used the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance to demonstrate our capabilities on Sports Series cars,” said Paul Mackenzie, executive director of the MSO unit, ahead of the official unveiling of the 570GT.
Like its ultra-exotic competitors, McLaren has recognized there’s demand for extensive customization, even for vehicles that are produced in such low numbers to begin with. Debuting the 570GT at Pebble Beach is appropriate, as MSO made its own debut at the Concours in 2012.
The 570GT adds a number of what McLaren calls “styling, feature and material enhancements.” That includes the MSO’s titanium exhaust, which is 30% lighter than the stock stainless steel system. It’s also claimed to deliver an “improved aural experience.”
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Visually, the car’s heat shields are finished in a golden titanium nitride tint – but that changes to a blueish purple, McLaren explains, as the exhaust heats up under hard acceleration. The color harkens back to the legendary McLaren F1.
Visually, the MSO Concept is finished in Elite Pearl White paint, contrasted by a iano black finish to the wheels, side skirts, and front and rear door inserts.
One of the higher-tech features is the electrochromic roof. Using a touch-sensitive control, a motorist can choose from five degrees of transparency, down to a dark, near opaque shade. The system “would be well suited to the needs and demands of customers in sunnier and warmer climates,” Mackenzie suggested.
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Inside, the McLaren 570GT by MSO Concept is fitted with Saddle Tan leather seats and finishes, and for those who tire of listening to the “aural experience” of the new Titanium Exhaust, there’s a 12-speaker, audiophile-quality Bowers and Wilkins sound system.
The MSO Concept features a revised suspension tuned for long-distance comfort, McLaren noted, with spring rate stiffness reduced 15% up front and 10% in the rear. The independent adaptive dampers, meanwhile, offer a variety of settings
The 570GT carries over a McLaren-developed 3.8-liter twin turbo V8 M838TE engine putting out 562 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque. All of that oomph is delivered to the rear wheels using a seven-speed seamless-shift transmission with adjustment through Normal, Sport and Track settings to produce one of the most rewarding and engaging driving experiences in the sports car class, the maker notes.
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Those numbers add up to supercar-like performance, including a zero-to-62 mph time of 3.4 seconds and a top speed of 204 mph.