McLaren's 765LT Longtail: A new supercar flagship from Woking
McLaren has given its barnstorming 720S a steroid injection, a liposuction treatment and a set of buttock implants with the announcement of the new 765 LT, or longtail. Longer, stronger and stripped back, it's built for serious, hard driving on the racetrack or the road, and probably in that order.
The British company scrambled in the wake of the Geneva Motor Show's cancellation to host its own "McLaren Motor Show" at its extraordinary facility in Woking, where it pulled the covers off what CEO Mike Flewitt believes will be the brand's next classic, and the new top dog in its Super series (not to be confused with the Ultimate series, which is where the really crazy stuff starts).
As with previous LT cars, the 765LT extends the 720S design, adding a surprisingly large active rear wing. Oddly, the front of the car has been extended more than the rear, but the difference is only 57 mm (2.2 in) anyway. You might get a bit more car, but thanks to a lightweighting regime that includes carbon racing seats, ultra-lightweight forged alloy rims, thinner windows, a full titanium exhaust and a complete lack of air con and stereo gear, it's some 80 kg lighter than the 720S at 1,229 kg dry.
The 4-liter twin-turbo V8 engine has been lightly jazzed up to boost its output to 755 horsepower (563 kW) and 590 lb-ft (800 Nm) of torque. This has been done with new forged aluminum pistons, a three-layer head gasket, carbon-coated followers in the valve train, an extra fuel pump and a good old-fashioned tune up in the ECU. The result: a very quick 2.8-second sprint to 100 km/h (62 mph), or 7.2 seconds to double that speed if you're on a track. Top speed is listed at 205 mph (330 km/h), which is enough for most of us.
A jolly little (optional) glazed hole in the back parcel shelf allows one to gaze lovingly at the engine from the cabin, which is nice, and also makes it louder in the cabin. That's probably nice too, in this sort of car. McLaren's turbos do tend to take the edge off the engine sound a little, although with the titanium 'zorst on board, the 765LT seems to have plenty to say for itself.
The rear wing, as well as larger, full carbon underbody aeros, contribute to give the 765LT a downforce-to-drag ratio some 20 percent higher than the 720S. As befits a track monster, the suspension has been lowered, re-sprung, re-valved and reprogrammed with some of the secret sauce developed for the Senna and Speedtail.
More power, more downforce, lower, harder suspension, less weight. Jolly good, then. It appears to have won the favor of McLaren's chief test driver Kenny Bräck, who praised the overall balance and driveability of the thing: "It's not all about performance, and believe me, this car has a lot of power, it's about getting the linearity and predictability. And when that happens, it's an amazing feeling. That's an LT."
Only 765 individually numbered cars will be built – a fact that may or may not change your plans for the day. Check out a video below, or a series of highly saucy photos in the gallery.