This is the special edition McLaren 650S Spider Al Sahara 79, just unveiled at the Dubai Motor Show, made with actual, real 24 carat gold.

Designed by McLaren Special Operations, the Al Sahara 79 will be available in the Middle East. The name derives from the Arabic for desert and the atomic number of gold.

McLaren says the Al Sahara 79 was inspired by “the styles, cultures and landscape” of the Middle East. Wanting to recreate the bright shimmer of desert sand, MSO developed a pearlescent white paint mixed with particles of 24 carat gold.

The white-and-gold theme continues inside, with almond leather, white trim on the centre console and a dark gold finish on the switchgear and vents. There’s much carbonfibre on the outside – side intakes, splitter, diffuser, side blades – while the forged alloy wheels and hard top are painted gloss black.

The engine remains unchanged, but then the 3.8-litre, twin-turbo V8 produces 641bhp and 500lb/ft of torque already, which is plenty. 0-62mph take 3.0secs, with a top speed of 204mph. Combined fuel economy is quoted at 24.2mpg, with Co2 emissions of 275g/km.

More than 25% of McLaren’s bought in the Middle East feature some sort of MSO customisation. MSO boss, Paul Mackenzie, said: The 650S Spider Al Sahara 79 project offered an exciting opportunity to create a truly bespoke car inspired by the rich history and culture of the Middle Eastern region, which is dominated by the beauty of the desert.

“It was fascinating to hear the feedback from McLaren owners, and to then assimilate this into a truly bespoke project that reflected the region’s long history of luxury and craftsmanship – which are the foundations of the MSO brand.”

It’ll cost the equivalent of £262,500.

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By Only Motors