McLaren's hasn't been mass-producing road cars for very long, but that hasn't stopped it from rapidly adding to its range. Having created and launched the new entry-level Sports Series, the British marque has expanded the top of its Super Series, with the new 675 LT. Gizmag took a close look at the 675 LT before chatting with David McIntyre, McLaren's Asia Pacific Regional Director.
Whereas the McLaren 650S is designed to be driven predominantly on the road, the 675LT is focused on the racetrack. Racing fans will recognize where the LT designation has come from. The McLaren F1 GTR Longtail was created in 1997, and was a massive 641 mm (25 inches) longer than the F1 GTR that shook up the Global GT Series in 1995 and 1996.
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The 675's "Longtail" isn't nearly as dramatic as the F1 GTR's – although it is longer than the regular 650S, it is just 3.4 cm (1.34 in) longer than a regular 570S. In addition, the 675 LT's body has gained a serious dose of racing attitude.
From the rear, the car's massive diffuser and central titanium exhaust give it a sense of purpose unmatched by anything else in the McLaren lineup. The sense of theater doesn't stop with the diffuser – the 675 LT's rear is covered with mesh, which gives anyone lucky enough to pull up behind it a peek at the braided hydraulic lines for the airbrake, and the immense amount of heat shielding shrouding the car's 3.8-liter V8.
Thanks to the extensive use of carbon fiber, the car is 100 kg (220 lb) lighter than the 650S. It also produces 40 percent more downforce, and will hit 100 km/h (62 mph) in 2.9 seconds on its way to 330 km/h (205 mph).
The car's turbocharged 3.8-liter V8 is the same basic unit as the one hiding under the 650S' hood, albeit with a bunch of new components. Thanks to more efficient turbos, detail changes to the cylinder heads, a new camshaft and lightweight connecting rods, the 675LT is packing 675 PS (666 hp/496 kW) – that's 25 PS more than the 650S manages.
"It's all been about getting the weight down, maximizing power to weight," said David McIntyre, McLaren's Asia Pacific Regional Director.
This is not a car for people who want to own a McLaren and they want to drive in on the road most of the time, and occasionally on track."
If they want to use a car on track quite frequently and sometimes on the road, this is the car for them, because this is going to be more of a harder ride."
Beyond the raw numbers, McLaren has worked on making the LT feel a bit more ragged, which means that drivers can now turn traction control off all the way for tail-out shenanigans.
Inside, the cabin is reflective of the car's track-focused design. McLaren's deep, supportive buckets grab you tight as soon as you've jumped into the car and there is plenty of space for taller drivers – with the seat set as far back as it would go, even my gangly six-foot-six frame fit comfortably.
The airy, open feel that is so prominent in the Sport Series McLaren's cabin is absent in the cabin, and there are hints everywhere that this car isn't designed to be used every day, like the lack of storage pockets for small items like sunglasses and phones. Then again, you don't buy a track-focused supercar for its capacious glovebox, do you?
Ultimately, the 675LT offers up something special beyond the regular 650S. Looking at the two cars side-by-side, the 675's extra presence and purpose is immediately obvious.
The bad news is that all 500 production cars are sold, so if you've got your eyes on an LT, it might be time to start scanning the classifieds.
Here's McLaren's launch video for the 675LT: