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2020 August
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Car and Driver: Show the Weave! McLaren Strips 675LT Spider of Its Paint, Creates MSO Carbon Series LT

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McLaren MSO+Carbon+Series+LT_02

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Supercar buyers, it turns out, like to see—and show—the carbon fiber their cars are made of. McLaren, having learned that lesson with the ultra-limited-run P1 by MSO (MSO = McLaren Special Operations), the company’s special ops division is now giving the 675LT Spider a similar treatment, with the result being the MSO Carbon Series LT.

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McLaren MSO+Carbon+Series+LT_01

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Unlike the bare-carbon P1, which was unveiled at this past Geneva auto show and featured a blue-tinted carbon-fiber body, the MSO Carbon Series LT gives its carbon fiber a special gloss finish. (Also at the Geneva auto show, MSO did a one-off 675LT Spider with some exposed carbon fiber, but that car still was mostly painted—in an intriguingly retro blue-gray hue.)

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The standard 675LT Spider is not a fully carbon-fiber-bodied machine, so this Carbon Series LT replaces an additional 40 percent of the bodywork with carbon bits. In the standard car, the front bumper, splitter, and underbody tray; side skirts, intakes (upper and lower), and lower body; rear fenders, deck, bumper, diffuser, and air brake all are the black-weave material. The Carbon Series LT replaces the rest of the visible body work with the stuff, all in the same gloss finish. It also comes with the optional Track Telemetry package (with three cameras to record the driver’s heroics) and louvered front fenders styled after those on McLaren’s GT3 car.

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Under all that shiny carbon fiber is the same mechanical package of the standard 675LT Spider—which is even more extreme than that of the 650S from which it’s derived. That means a mid-mounted twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V-8 good for 666 horsepower and 516 lb-ft. It’s not known whether the extra-carbon-intensive MSO car is any lighter than the 675LT, but McLaren is quoting the same 2.9-second 0-to-60-mph time and 203-mph top speed.

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Production starts this fall and is limited to 50 cars (that’s in addition to the 500 regular 675LT Spiders); sadly, it’s already too late to claim one, as McLaren says the model is sold out. But if it’s an exposed carbon-fiber supercar you seek, another opportunity may come along—we’re betting this trend is far from over.

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