Many luxury carmakers offer bespoke programs, where buyers can get their cars uniquely customized, but McLaren took the notion of bespoke design a bit further with the X-1. At the request of an anonymous buyer, McLaren, which makes the car with a unique, carbon fiber body., designed and build a completely custom
The X-1, which was unveiled during the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, is based on the tub and chassis of the MP4-12C. The design was informed by such historic cars as the 1953 Chrysler D'Elegance Ghia, 1959 Buick Electra, and 1939 Mercedes-Benz 540K. The obviously very wealthy buyer had McLaren hold a design competition for the project, with the eventual winner being McLaren's own Hong Yeo.
The X-1 uses carbon fiber body panels throughout, which keeps its weight the same as the MP4-12C. Looking like a retro-Batmobile, the X-1's sides are heavily styled, although Yeo says "No details are simply visual cues, every one has a purpose." The doors open in the same manner as those of the MP4-12C, while the panels over the rear wheels are hinged. The wheels themselves are also a custom design.
A power-operated rear wing, designed to work as an airbrake, is made from aluminum. The engine is the same 3.8-liter six cylinder, with twin turbos, as found in the MP4-12C. It generates 592 horsepower.
Although McLaren will not reveal the name of the buyer, the company does say he also owns a McLaren F1 and a Mercedes-Benz SLR, both earlier McLaren models.