McLaren has announced the introduction of a Feather Wrap option for its 570GT model. Offered through the company’s bespoke McLaren Special Operations (MSO) division, nearly 10,000 carbon-veined artificial feathers are applied to the sleek two-door body. The process, which is done by hand, takes 300 hours.

The 570GT was chosen as the initial recipient for the new body finish as it’s the McLaren most suited to long, flight-like journeys across continents. Such use is where the aerodynamic benefits of the feather, one of nature’s best inventions, is most noticeable, Woking says.

“Our engineers and designers have long been inspired by nature in our aim to create the lightest and most aerodynamic shapes on the road. We call this biomimicry. And it was on a beautiful day walking around our Woking campus that one of us looked up at the birds circling our lake, then picked up a feather from the ground and placed it on a car. That turned into a conversation with the craftsmen and women at MSO that led to the creation of the Feather Wrap,” explained McLaren’s Biomimicry Specialist Robin Crane.

The synthetic feathers are seven cm long and are coated with a pearlescent lacquer. They are applied to the car parallel to the forward direction, cushioning the effects of air flowing over the body of the car. The feathers act as grooves contributing to a reduction in surface drag.

As the speed of the car increases the feathers start to vibrate, further reducing drag by delaying the transition from a laminar to turbulent boundary of air. Furthermore, the Wrap adds only 2.5 kg to the weight of the car – no more than metallic paint.

“We’re not usually ones to crow about our achievements but I think we’ve scored a birdie with this one,” a proud Crane added. The Feather Wrap will be available to order as an option for the McLaren 570GT on April 1, 2017.