Lighter, louder, faster…that is the new McLaren 675 LT in a nutshell. We had our first opportunity to take the 675 LT out on track at Silverstone and on the roads of Great Britain. McLaren promises major differences over the 650S but do we agree? Keep reading to find out!
Together with the 650S, the McLaren 675 LT forms the McLaren Super Series. LT stands for Longtail, a subtle reference to the iconic McLaren F1 GTR Longtail from the 90s. Unlike the title might suggest, the 675 LT is only slightly longer than the 650S but there is more that connects the idea behind the 675 LT with the F1 GTR Longtail.
Thirty three per cent of the parts on the 675 LT are new, a huge change considering only 500 LTs will be build and the 650S is not a particularly slow car to begin with. Not a single element of the 650S is left untouched with only exception being the luggage compartment in the front that still fits a decent luggage set for a weekend away.
At the heart of the 675 LT is a completely overhauled version of the 650S V8 engine. 50% of the engine parts have been redesigned and replaced. The results are staggering – 675 hp, 700 Nm of torque, 549 hp per tonne, 0-100 km/h in 2.9 seconds and 0-200 km/h in just 7.9 seconds. These are numbers which will make many hypercar owners nervous.
And there is more – the 675 LT is 100 kg lighter than its brother. Most of the weight-saving comes from the new seats (15.6 kg), wheels (6 kg) and carbon fibre body parts (15 kg). The diet is the main reason the McLaren 675 earned its LT name tag. Like the F1 GTR Longtail of the 90s, weight saving was a key objective to raise the performance to unseen levels.
On the outside, the 675 LT is characterised by an aggressive front bumper, new side skirts with additional air inlet and wider side air intakes. The rear is completely carbon fibre. It features a wide rear diffuser and a new air brake which covers the full width of the car. The air brake is in part responsible for a 40% gain in downforce as it is able to balance out increased front downforce.
The 675 LT is 20 mm lower at the front and the track is 20 mm wider. The new wheels are available in three different styles – we prefer black – and run on Pirelli Trofeo R tyres that are ideal for track use.
The rear springs are 60% stiffer and together with a quicker steering ratio they give the 675 LT a stronger rear bias but more on that later. Sound is playing a more and more important role and McLaren chose to develop a new titanium exhaust system. Flaps inside allow for lower sound levels in normal mode but as soon as you switch to sport or track you are treated with some of the best sounds a McLaren has ever made.
Aiding to the auditory experience is the newly developed ‘Ignition Cut’ technology adopted from Formula 1 which sees a momentary cut of the fuel spark on gearshift. This delivers the fastest change possible, and is accompanied by a dramatic aural ‘crack’ on both upshifts and downshifts
The result is a loud bang at every gear change under pressure caused by fuel igniting in the exhaust; a lovely feature that not only provides audible joy but also makes the ride more emotional.
Inside is very similar to the 650S with the exception of the seats which are modeled after the examples in the McLaren P1. They fit perfectly and kept me exactly where I wanted to be. Customers can chose to order a wider or smaller sample on request. The 675 LT comes standard with the McLaren Telemetry function which allows you to keep track of your lap times and even per lap differences which is both fun and useful. Optionally this can be expanded with three cameras that film every move you make and store it onto a USB stick.
Navigation, climate control and a nose lift system are all maintained which makes the 675 LT quite suitable as daily driver as well. But those luxury amenities aside, the McLaren 675 LT is meant to be a track car. In addition to the standard equipment, you can order a Club Sport pack that includes a titanium roll cage, fire extinguisher and four point harness.
So what is it like on the track? We took the McLaren 675 LT around Silverstone and toggled through the different drive modes. The two handling and performance switches in the middle console both have three settings; normal, sport and track. Inside these switches are two additional buttons for ESP and Manual. Below are two more buttons for ‘aero’ – to push the wing up and ‘launch’ to activate launch control.
In normal mode things go smooth, the gearbox changes up early and the ride is quite comfortable. Change the handling to sport and the ride stiffens and the ESP allows a little more slip in this mode too. But the real change is when you switch ESP off. It’s been awhile since I drove a car that takes you by the balls like this. It really is mind blowingly quick and even more nimble and twitchy than a McLaren P1.
But it is not just about speed, more so than any other McLaren which came before, the 675 LT is about fun! Talking to the engineers and test drivers, it is no longer all about lap times and building the fastest car but it’s about sound, drifting, burnouts and donuts. The McLaren 675 LT successfully demonstrated these elements. At the same time, it also demonstrated its ability to be a killer track car.
The telemetry function allows you to see which corners and segments you did slower or faster than your fastest lap which helps a lot in improving the ideal line and finding the braking sweet spot.
On the road, the McLaren 675 LT is in a league of its own and sspecially in our red test car as it turns heads everywhere. Compared to the 12C and even the 650S, it really sounds a world apart. Overtaking a car or two takes rarely more than the blink of an eye and when moving it seems to have endless power.
The only drawback we could find was the navigation system which sometimes provides commands at the very last second. With that being said, it is nothing short of amazing that a 1230 kg track car comes with navigation, nose lift and climate control at all.
The McLaren 675 LT combines incredible performance and track focus with comfort for everyday use and street appeal. It looks stunning in red with black wheels and the revised front and rear facias. The ignition cut technology reduces shift times but at the same time adds this very addictive crack on up and down shifts.
McLaren succeeded in their objectives, managing to not just built an incredibly fast, nimble and brutal super sports car but also one that is genuinely fun. There is just one catch…all 500 McLaren 675 LTs have been sold…