Automotive

Inside McLaren's latest supercar – the 675LT

Inside McLaren's latest superc...
The McLaren 675LT's body packs a real punch, especially when you compare it to the 570S on which it is based
The McLaren 675LT's body packs a real punch, especially when you compare it to the 570S on which it is based
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There are a number of wheel options on the 675LT - the ones on this car are the lightest option
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There are a number of wheel options on the 675LT - the ones on this car are the lightest option
The car's rear diffuser works with the larger airbrake to provide extra downforce on the 675LT
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The car's rear diffuser works with the larger airbrake to provide extra downforce on the 675LT
That bigger airbrake adds a little bit of length to the Longtail
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That bigger airbrake adds a little bit of length to the Longtail
This car's Chicane Grey paintjob is one of the colors only available on the 675LT
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This car's Chicane Grey paintjob is one of the colors only available on the 675LT
The car's stance is far stronger than the 650S'
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The car's stance is far stronger than the 650S'
The LT will hit 100 km/h in just 2.9 seconds
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The LT will hit 100 km/h in just 2.9 seconds
The car's exhaust system is a new lightweight titanium unit
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The car's exhaust system is a new lightweight titanium unit
Just in case you weren't sure...
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Just in case you weren't sure...
The car's basic styling is still inexorably linked to the 650S' design
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The car's basic styling is still inexorably linked to the 650S' design
The 675LT is 100 kg lighter than the 650S
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The 675LT is 100 kg lighter than the 650S
Air conditioning is optional, highlighting the car's racy intentions
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Air conditioning is optional, highlighting the car's racy intentions
The mesh at the back of the car gives onlookers a peek at its inner workings
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The mesh at the back of the car gives onlookers a peek at its inner workings
Most owners will spend big bucks optioning their cars
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Most owners will spend big bucks optioning their cars
The car's titanium exhaust saves weight, and looks brilliant to boot
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The car's titanium exhaust saves weight, and looks brilliant to boot
This LT was fitted with orange and black bucket seats that really stood out against the grey paintwork
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This LT was fitted with orange and black bucket seats that really stood out against the grey paintwork
There's a surprising amount of room for tall drivers inside the cabin
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There's a surprising amount of room for tall drivers inside the cabin
McLaren's Iris system now includes trackday data logging software
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McLaren's Iris system now includes trackday data logging software
The LT's dials are simple and easy to read
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The LT's dials are simple and easy to read
The bucket seats hold you tight, perfect for flat out trackday work
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The bucket seats hold you tight, perfect for flat out trackday work
The wheel is button free, adorned with only the gearshift paddles behind it
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The wheel is button free, adorned with only the gearshift paddles behind it
The car's hips and rear diffuser give it a strong presence on the road
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The car's hips and rear diffuser give it a strong presence on the road
The car's 3.8-liter V8 produces 666 hp
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The car's 3.8-liter V8 produces 666 hp
The carbon detailing on the splitter is gorgeous, even if it is optional
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The carbon detailing on the splitter is gorgeous, even if it is optional
The perspex screen over the engine is so thin it bends when you touch it
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The perspex screen over the engine is so thin it bends when you touch it
The 675LT gives other drivers a sneak peek at what's under its skin thanks to the mesh at the back
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The 675LT gives other drivers a sneak peek at what's under its skin thanks to the mesh at the back
McLaren expects most owners to spend plenty of time at the track
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McLaren expects most owners to spend plenty of time at the track
The LT's front end looks far meaner than the 650S on which it's based
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The LT's front end looks far meaner than the 650S on which it's based
The McLaren 675LT's body packs a real punch, especially when you compare it to the 570S on which it is based
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The McLaren 675LT's body packs a real punch, especially when you compare it to the 570S on which it is based
The car's dihedral doors are a classic supercar touch
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The car's dihedral doors are a classic supercar touch

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.

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.

The mesh at the back of the car gives onlookers a peek at its inner workings
The mesh at the back of the car gives onlookers a peek at its inner workings

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.

The bucket seats hold you tight, perfect for flat out trackday work
The bucket seats hold you tight, perfect for flat out trackday work

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:

The McLaren 675LT

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