McLaren celebrates their 1995 Le Mans 24-Hour win with 720S Special Edition
McLaren special editions are as common as James Bond special edition Omega watches; so if you don’t like the current one – and let’s face it, it’s a lot to shell out – then be patient and another will come along shortly.
The current McLaren special edition celebrates the company’s Le Mans 24-hour race win in 1995 – and as the Le Mans 24-hour race is cancelled this year, it is sure to attain instant nostalgia points as fans try to fill the gap left in their diaries. On paper it seems an awkward nondescript year to be celebrating, but although it doesn’t seem that long ago, it is in fact now a quarter of a century since that famous win.
The June 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans was the 63rd Grand Prix of Endurance and was not only famous for McLaren’s unlikely win pitched up against faster purpose-built competitor prototypes, but it is also remembered for the non-stop rain making conditions rather tricky and causing many mechanical problems.
The 6.1-litre engine V12 McLaren F1 GTR became McLaren’s first win at the company’s very first attempt in the GT1 category – a pretty special moment. The race was won with a hint of irony too, as Gordon Murray had originally intended the F1 GTR to be an all-conquering road car – racing the GTR had not been on his mind. The final Le Mans result saw McLaren GT1 cars also finish in 3rd place as well as 4th, 5th and 13th with only McLarens not finishing. Maybe being essentially a road car, the McLaren F1 was better suited to coping with the awful conditions.
So to celebrate this special moment in history, McLaren has given us the 720S Le Mans, each with a VIN number starting with ‘298’ to mark the number of laps the 1995 winner completed. ‘Le Mans 25’ badging tells you it’s a special edition with ‘McLaren 25 Anniversary Le Mans’ on the side skirting, but McLaren has actually been quite restrained about it overall.
Inside, you get carbon-fibre seating with either Dove Grey or McLaren Orange accents, but outside the big difference are the special edition’s alloys, designed to hint at the 5-spoke design that the original winning McLaren F1 GTR wore. Colour-wise, you get a simple choice of McLaren Orange or Sarthe Grey, which is a mid-dark grey with a titanium feel to it. Both colour variants feature a black roof. The rear window is polycarbonate, the trim is gloss black and the car features a roof scoop too.
If you want more, then the 720s benefits from the plethora of McLaren Special Operations styling add-ons if you want to shell out a bit more on getting a more unique car. Such options include a titanium harness bar and 6-point harnesses as well as more gloss black trimmings.
The 720s will run a 4-litre V8 bi-turbo engine putting out 711bhp, giving a 0-62mph of 2.9 seconds and a top speed of 212mph. So nothing extra here; the 720s is pretty much a cosmetic venture. Pricing will be £254,000 with a total of 50 models being produced. 16 of these 50 McLaren 720s models will be available in Europe, and deliveries are planned for commencement in September.
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