Well here's a complete non-surprise. McLaren is taking its latest and greatest road car to the track with the intent of racing and winning. Christened the 675LT, it's loaded with enough technology and boasts enough performance to be a serious contender right off the trailer, and although success in racing is never guaranteed, betting against McLaren has often been shown to be a fool's errand.
Set to make its first appearance at this year's Geneva Motor Show, the McLaren 675LT displays a clear focus on performance, and the team from Woking says the 675LT will be lightweight and offer "ultimate levels of driver engagement." The LT, in case you're wondering, stands for "Longtail," and giving extra length to the trailing edge helps the aerodynamics considerably.
The 675LT is only available as a coupe only and McLaren says it will be the company's "most track-focused, yet road legal" model in its Super Series range, which comprises the 12C, 650S and Asia-only 625C. It is also the lightest and most powerful of that Series, going from 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in just 2.9 seconds, thanks to what the company describes as "controlled torque delivery ensuring optimized traction off the line." That's a nice, vague way of saying that they've tweaked the software of the traction control system so it fires off the line like an excited greyhound. And it's not all at the bottom end either. The 675LT hits 200 km/h (124 mph) in 7.9 seconds, and tops out at 330 km/h (205 mph). And yes, you can hang license plates on it, it's road legal.
The pre-Geneva shots of the new car show that it's very aggressively styled. McLaren has been getting more and more extreme with each new ride out of the shop, but styling-wise, it looks like they haven't found the outside of that envelope yet. From the extended carbon fiber front splitter, to the extended door blade and the added cooling intake, all the way to the circular twin titanium exhaust pipes, the 675LT is not subtle in visibly proclaiming how fast it is.
And out back is the real show stopper, an active "Longtail" Airbrake that is 50 percent bigger than the airbrake fitted to the down-model 650S unveiled in Geneva 12 months ago. Since the LT's big flapper is made of carbon fiber, it is actually lighter. All of this adds up, or down to be precise, to an all up dry weight of just 1,230 kg (2,712 lb), which is very light considering the power this thing puts out. It also gives the car a power-to-weight ratio of 549 PS (541 hp) per tonne
That power comes from a blown 3.8 liter V8 plant, with half of the engine's parts having been upgraded. Improvements involve new, more efficient turbos, a host of detail changes to the heads and exhaust manifolds, a new camshaft, lightweight con-rods, and a high-flow fuel pump and delivery system. All this fiddling about in the engine room means the mill now cranks out 675 PS (665 hp), which is where the name comes from.
However, here's where the cold, clear logic of Ron Dennis' shop flies out the window, and things bow to the needs of their exclusive clientele.
The 675LT will come in five "By McLaren" hero specifications, which is a rather annoying way of saying that the 675LT will come in four new colors: Silica White, Delta Red, Napier Green and Chicane Grey, while also being available in "McLaren Orange." And it is here where we feel the need to point out that the proper name for Bruce McLaren's favorite color is Papaya Orange.
On the inside it's about as racy as you'd expect. There's ultra lightweight carbon fiber-shelled bucket seats swathed in Alcantara, and modeled on the chairs from the McLaren P1. There's a subtle 675LT logo on the headrests and on the tach.
The McLaren 675LT will roll out at the 85th Geneva Motor Show next month, where our own CC Weiss will be on deck to check it out first hand.
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