English supercar manufacturer, McLaren, has chosen Silverstone, the home of British motorsport, to officially launch its newest super sports car – the 675LT.
The ‘LT’ is short for ‘Longtail’ and pays homage to the fastest version of the iconic F1 supercar – the McLaren F1 GTR, which notched up a string of podium finishes in the 1997 sports car season including second and third overall at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The McLaren 675LT will sit above the 650S and becomes the lightest, most powerful, fastest and most track-focused, road legal model in the company’s Super Series. It’s also the most exclusive car in the range and limited to just 500 examples – all of which have already been sold.
When it comes to outright pace – the 675LT’s mid-mounted 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 develops a staggering 496kW and 700Nm of torque. It’s capable of catapulting the McLaren from 0-100km/h in a blistering 2.9 seconds. Top speed is a claimed 330km/h.
More importantly, the car has been completely stripped of any excess weight – tipping the scales at a remarkably lean 1230kg, or precisely 100kg less than its 650S sibling – a car that was already the lightest in its class.
Apart from the liberal use of carbon fibre, weight saving has been an obsession for the engineers working on the 675LT. Titanium wheel bolts shave 0.4kg per wheel, while ultra lightweight wheels save another 14.4kg. The titanium exhaust saves 1.1kg while the seat shells help save another 15kg. Changes to the electrical system, too, shed another 3kg.
There’s also been a sharp focus on aerodynamics with this latest McLaren. The 675LT generates 40 per cent more downforce than the 650S. There’s a massive airbrake at the rear of the car that’s balanced by an extended carbon fibre front splitter. Ultimately, the car is 20mm wider and 20mm lower at the front.
The bonnet, front guards and roof are all aluminium, while everything from the B-pillar rearward is carbon fibre. The fluted engine cover is polycarbonate instead of glass, and at the front of the car, the windscreen thickness has been reduced by around half a millimetre, saving another 2kg.
There are also some major software changes, as well, according to McLaren’s Mark Vinnels – Executive Director-Product Development.
“We changed the way we calibrate the driving modes, so the differences between Normal, Sport and Track are quite significant in terms of acoustics, and particularly with regard to gearshifts.
With Sportshift, we now have cylinder cut, which is really technology for racecars. Rather than just cutting the fuel between gearshifts, we are cutting the spark, so shift speed is much quicker at just 40 milliseconds - twice as fast as it used to be,” he explained.
The 675LT is significantly more track-focused than the 650S with stiffer springs front and rear (27 and 63 per cent, respectively) improving body control and response. The steering ratio has changed, as well.
“It’s quicker on the 675LT than any other car we produce, including the P1.
“We’ve also got a stiffer tyre, so the combination of all these changes amount to a much sharper driving experience by comparison with the 650S,” added Vinners.
High-performance Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tyres have been developed with McLaren, and are unique to the 675LT. They feature a stiffer internal structure and provide six per cent more grip than the similarly track-biased P Zero Corsa.
McLaren has also fettled the car’s ESP system for even more driver engagement during driving-on-the-limit situations. The system has been designed with the intention of making it easier for drivers to switch it off.
“We’ve now introduced Dynamic ESP, so one press of the button in Sport or Track mode for easier oversteer, but still with ESP watching on," described Vinners.
"If you want to slide the car sideways, the system can be completely switched off", he added.
Despite the substantial weight loss program, the 675LT is reasonably well equipped.
There’s full Alcantara trim, with carbon fibre racing seats and embossed leather detailing. Technology includes McLaren Track Telemetry, a Meridian sound system with Bluetooth connectivity and satellite Navigation with digital radio (DAB).
The McLaren 675LT will kick off in Australia priced from $616,250 plus on-roads.
Stay tuned for the full review of the 675LT next Tuesday.In the meantime, please head to our Facebook page to see the car perform a launch-control start.