SOLD - TO A MYSTERY MAN: The only McLaren 650S Le Mans sold so far in South Africa, one of only 50 to be assembled, has been sold. The buyer's name was kept secret. Image: Supplied
Cast your mind back to the 1995 Le Mans 24 Hour when five McLaren F1 GTR entries crossed the line 1-3-4-5 and 13th - it was a monumental victory.
Why? Because the super-reliable cars defeated the much-fancied Le Mans prototypes.
Flash forwards 20 years and McLaren Special Operations has created a special-edition 650S to celebrate the anniversary of this result: and one has been bought to South Africa! For at least
ONLY 50 IN BUILD
Only 50 McLaren 650S Le Mans will be available globally, their design inspired by the race-winning #59 McLaren F1 GTR.
South Africa's appetite for supercars shows no signs of letting up and McLaren SA has already recieved an order.
IMAGE GALLERY: 2015 McLaren 650S Le Mans
Grant Dryden, general manager of McLaren Automotive SA, said: "The moment the announcement was made by McLaren about the limited edition 650S my client called to place an order - he's a racing enthusiast and has followed the history of McLaren racing.
"To receive this beautiful machine in our Sandton showroom, albeit only for a day or two prior to delivering it to the new owner, was an absolute honour. The 650S Le Mans looks so mean and powerful in metallic Sarthe Grey with a splash of the famous McLaren orange."
The name of the buyer was not released (anybody dare to tell us, send us a pic?). The price? Well, we calculated the equivalent of R4.3-million in the UK - but then all sorts of import duty have to added on arrival in SA.
The answer in SA - a cool R6 000 000.
POWERS REMAINS UNCHANGED
Power and torque figures for the McLaren 650S Le Mans are unchanged from the standard model - 478kW/678Nm - and can hit 100km/h in three seconds. Top speed: 333km/h.
Exposed carbon-fibre is used throughout the limited model, including the front splitter and rear bumper. The coupé also has extended side blades and a distinctive rear diffuser. The metallic Sarthe Grey exterior was inspired by the colour of the race-winning 1995 McLaren F1 GTR.
A dedication plate on the door sill identifies the limited nature of the model.
The interior is a mix of black leather and Alcantara, the sports seats finished in black with contrasting orange Alcantara in the centre. A Le Mans logo is embossed on the head restraint of each seat and on the floor mats.
The McLaren 650S Le Mans, designed by MSO in consultation with Peter Stevens, designer of the McLaren F1, borrows styling from the race winner, most notably the roof-mounted snorkel air intake to feed the 3.8 twin-turbo V8.
The front wings have subtle louvres to reduce pressure over the front wheels and increase downforce.
‘Le Mans Edition’ rims - 19" front, 20" rear - also salute the wheels of the 1995 racers and have Pirelli P Zero Corsa tyres.
Carbon-ceramic brakes as standard along with orange callipers.