It has become clear that the McLaren MP4-12C is car that can match Ferrari and Aston Martin in terms of outright performance, and with vehicles like the X-1 Concept, we're starting to believe that the company can hang with the big boys in terms of special editions, too.

Case in point is this six-example "Project Alpha" model that's headed to McLaren's Chicago dealer. The Project Alpha supercar – revealed to Autoblog via a sales brochure in PDF form – represents a stylish amalgam of bits and pieces from the company's Special Operations catalog.

"These are cars commissioned by our Chicago dealer in response to customer demand..."

A representative of Chicago McLaren was able to confirm that the 2012 model-year special edition is fully loaded in terms of the current options sheet, while also offering all of the functional upgrades due out on the 2013 model: 616 horsepower, revised shift and throttle logic, and a retuned exhaust.

The Project Alpha Mac features a host of cosmetic upgrades, too, which set it apart from the, uh, pack. A gloss black finish can be found on the roof, front splitter, rear deck lid and inner surfacing of the wheels, while carbon fiber rear vents and front fender louvers complete the exterior modifications. In the cabin, badging on the driver's door identifies the model, and a host of "Project Alpha" branding hammers the message home.

The expected retail price for the MP4-12C Project Alpha is around $335,000, though 4 of the 6 examples have already been spoken for.

Michele Shapiro, Public Relations Manager for McLaren North America, tells Autoblog "These are cars commissioned by our Chicago dealer in response to customer demand using options from the existing McLaren Special Operations catalogue." Shapiro continues, "MSO offers a specialization service that varies from trim and bodywork changes – as witnessed by this car – to a whole new car, for example the X-1 project recently shown at The Quail in Monterey, California."

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      A Catalog full of Ego-stroking Key-words for people with Lots of money to "customize" their new toy with AutoParts decals.... Profit Much?
      • 2 Years Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      shows the level of corruption in the great windy city =(
      Wes Mantooth
      • 2 Years Ago
      the first sentance is stupid. it doesnt take much to hang with aston martin in terms of performance. heck the entire porsche lineup including cayenne (yeah i said it) is probably faster than a db9. thats what AM gets for using an ancient v12 that only makes 510 hp
      Jonathan Wayne
      • 2 Years Ago
      There is a white McLaren MP4-12C sitting in the showroom of Bentley Gold Coast in Chicago right now. I wonder if this is it?
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jonathan Wayne
        It's not. It's through Lake Forest Sportscars, Chicago's authorized McLaren dealer.
      • 2 Years Ago
      I visited Chicago recently, there a lot of real nice cars on the streets. Bentley's and Rolls are strikingly common. My favorite site, however, was an Ariel Atom. I've seen them at the track, but never before on the street. Echoing off of skyscrapers, that thing is LOUD. Also, not sure if Aston Martin, with their elegant GT cars, is the right brand to compare to for outright speed.
      Rob Gomes
      • 2 Years Ago
      37Signals' David Heinemeier Hansson bought a one-off Pagani Zonda a few years ago (DHH Edition) -- I wonder if he's one of the buyers. The guy has a thing for fancy hardware, and I wonder if racing in Le Mans is giving him enough of a fix to put off buying more toys.
      • 2 Years Ago
      So Mclaren just "rebadged" one of their regulars........and charged a "begeezus" amount for a so called "special model".....pppfffftttt
      Jonathan Ippolito
      • 2 Years Ago
      After the way the MP4-12C turned out I would have expected more from a special edition than some paint,additional vents, and an ECU remapping ! This is not a very special edition when a tuner could have done a much better job for less money .