Week In Pictures: Mclaren To The Power Of X

The pick of this week’s images lean heavily on two new cars: one expected, the other one absolutely not. Has there been a more off-the-wall car in recent memory? The unique X-1 concept is a product of McLaren’s Special Operations black-ops division, a one-off bespoke car for an anonymous customer with very specific taste.

The owner, bless him, already had a McLaren F1, Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren and 12C, so felt the need for something a little different to complete the set. Discussions began three years ago, as the plans for the 12c were being finalised, and images of the stunning result have just been publicly released.

The X-1 is based on the MP4-12C’s carbon-fibre MonoCell, but has a completely new body which draws influence from a number of classics.

The McLaren design team drew together a collection of reference images to use as inspiration; some of the design cues that inspired them are easy to spot, like the 1971 Citroën SM, 1939 Mercedes-Benz 540K and 1953 Chrysler D’Elegance Ghia. Others are slightly more conceptual, like a 1959 Buick Electra and 1961 Facel Vega. And the Gugenheim museum. And a picture of Audrey Hepburn.

Initial 30 percent scale models were follow by full-size hard foam models: there were no corners cut on this project. Absolutely everything on the car is bespoke, down to the lights and wheels. After road-testing in Spain, the car was stripped down and rebuilt to concours standard.

The rear wheels are enclosed by retracting carbon panels; a spoiler sits flush on the rear, ready to deploy at speed. The chassis and engine are from the 12C, but the idea was to get away from the mid-engined supercar look and recreate a piece of timeless automotive art that drew inspiration from across the decades. I think they’ve succeeded.

The X-1 was unveiled at the Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance, where McLaren also launched the drop-top variant of the 12C – the company seem to be increasingly referring to the car in this shorthand, perhaps realising that MP4-12C was rather a mouthful… The Spider uses a retractable hard-top folding roof system – when raised, you even get more luggage space. Now, if that’s not practicality I don’t know what is.

The Friends Of Carroll Shelby, which includes Ford, Shelby America, Ford Racing and several other organisations, have got together to create this one-off tribute to Carroll: the 2013 Shelby GT500 Cobra.

An even more aggressive bodykit has been developed and the car is appropriately decked out in Guardsmen Blue with Wimbledon White stripes, as a Cobra should be. There’s 850hp on tap from a 4-litre Whipple supercharger. Carroll would approve.

One of the rarest and most valuable Bentleys in the world, the 4.25-litre ‘Embiricos’ special, is making an historic appearance at the marque’s headquarters in Crewe in the UK. Fresh from taking part in the Louis Vuitton ‘Serenissima Run’ in Venice and featuring at the Le Mans Classic as part of the Bentley line-up, this magnificent car takes pride of place in the Lineage Showroom at the firm’s Pyms Lane factory until September. The 1930s ‘Embiricos’ Bentley was capable of a sustained 114.64 mph (184.5 km/h) over an hour at Brooklands, yet was also used by its commissioning owner, André Embiricos, as his daily driver. Sold in 1939, the ‘Embiricos’ raced in three post-war Le Mans 24-hour races, achieving a commendable sixth place in 1949.

Toyota continue to ramp up excitement over the GT86: they’ve just launched a multi-million pound TV ad campaign in the UK: ‘The Real Deal’.

Part Inception, part Scanner Darkly, the ad follows the breaking out of CGI man from his artificial existence courtesy of a GT86…

Watch the ad here!

They’ve also just racked up their first race win in the UK with an 86: the stripped-out car was otherwise virtually standard spec, and won a round of the Toyota Sprint Series.

Mercedes-Benz have confirmed the spec of their new motorway barge, the CLS Shooting Brake. It’s got enough space in the luggage area to fit a regular CLS, self-levelling rear air suspension to cope with the weight of the spare CLS and an AMG sport pack option if you want to double the horsepower to 557hp.

Aston Martin are planning to spam the upcoming Salon Privé event in London at the beginning of next month with a deluge of their latest models, which is a good excuse to put up some more desktops of the Vanquish and V12 Zagato.

Aston will present a One-77 and Rapide alongside the above models. And a One-77 themed bicycle, which sells for an eye-watering £25,000. At that price I assume it comes with someone to pedal it for you.

2012 is a special year from fans of the BMW M series, as the division celebrates its 40th birthday this year. A big celebration took place at the Oldtimer Grand Prix, held at the Nürburgring a couple of weeks back, and BMW have just released these pictures of the cars on track.

Among the list of cars attending were a collection of 2000, Group 5 320, Group A M3, STW 320i and…

…Group 4 and Pro Car M1s.

Did I mention there were M1s?

There were also some M1s present. Deep breath.

As with McLaren, BMW have also just launched a new drop-top at Pebble Beach, the Zagato Roadster to complement the Coupé.

Another unique build, the Roadster was the result of the continued collaboration between Zagato and BMW – a relationship that stretches a long way back through many stand-out classics and concepts.

The front grill gets the Z-logo treatment and the nose shares the same styling as the Coupé.

The exclusive paintwork gives the car the appearance of being wrapped in liquid metal, changing depth depending on the light that hits it.

The rear is where the major differences are (apart from the missing roof of course): it has a smoother, lower-slung tail. The Roadster tips its hat to the traditional Zagato double-bubble roof by extending the lines of the roll-hoops to the rear, aping ’50s sports racers. The helicopter comes as extra.

Jonathan Moore



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That X1 is a true abomination. Hope the new owner is happy though. The BMW roadster on the other hand, well done!


i agree, the X1 is hideous. "does my ass look big in this, YES IT DOES!"


I like the X1, it truly looks like something out of the future. Would I take it over an MP4-12C, though? Absolutely not!
The new BMW Zagato coupe is SEXY!!


I can just imagine a commercial for the 86 in the uk - "with a quarter mile time of nearly 16 seconds the gt86 is sure to upset the labor party" cans of silly sting not included.


The Zagato Coupe looks like a baby MP4-12C. Definitely digging it as well!


Love these articles, easily the best regular post on Speedhunters


gt-86 video was sick!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I wish i had 25k in the states to by the scion fr-s..............If only..............