McLaren Special Operations debuts 650S Spider Al Sahara 79

New model to be sold exclusively to the Middle East

McLaren Special Operations has revealed a new version of the 650S Spider called the Al Sahara 79. The customised model is to be sold exclusively in the Middle East, and as such features bespoke details to cater for that market’s distinctive tastes.

Outside, the modifications are subtle. The car’s shape is unchanged, but it does feature a carbonfibre front splitter, rear diffuser and side intakes as standard. To match, the car’s forged alloy wheels are finished in gloss black, and MSO-branded side skirts complete the list of new trim. 

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MSO has painted the car pearlescent white gold, but it’s added 24-carat gold particles into the mix as a nod to the region’s love for the precious metal. This theme continues inside, as the interior features black and Almond White leather upholstery, contrasted by button surrounds finished in gold.

The changes are only skin-deep however, because the Al Sahara 79’s drivetrain and chassis remain completely unchanged. That means power comes from the same 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V8 as the regular 650S, producing 641bhp and 500lb ft of torque. 62mph arrives in a claimed three seconds and top speed is 204mph – all identical to the regular 650S Spider

The arrival of the 650S Spider Al Sahara 79 in the Middle East cements the region’s importance to McLaren’s customisation division – it says that 25 per cent of all models sold there receive some sort of MSO personalised content.

The Al Sahara 79 is on sale to Middle Eastern customers for 1,456,308 AED, which equates to £262,471 at exchange current rates. That price should ensure the model will remain fairly exclusive – it’s about £64,000 more than a regular 650S Spider in the region.

The car will make its first public appearance at the Dubai International motor show on the 10th November. It’ll do so alongside a 570S Coupe and customised example of the P1, marking the first time a car from each of McLaren’s model tiers – Sports Series, Super Series and Ultimate Series – will be displayed together in the Middle East.


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