McLaren 675LT Review - Toybox

By: Andy Enright, Photography by: Andy Enright

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McLaren pulls the wraps off their Aussie range-topper. Andy Enright is there to finger the canapes

 

McLaren 675LT

Trade secret time. Most of the time we go to look at a car here on Unique Cars, we’re either behind the roller doors of some suburban factory unit or sharing a packet of Tim Tams in a windswept pit garage somewhere. So, when the opportunity arose to take a look at the first McLaren 675LT in the country and lever as much of Ron Dennis’ finger food as possible into the old mouth part, naturally we jumped at the chance.

As good as the sugar glider satay sticks were, and to be truthful, the food was so exotic, I wasn’t at all certain what was being served, the car stole the show. Even in primer, sorry, Chicane Grey.

McLaren’s product planning can appear somewhat opaque. They had the MP4/12C which morphed into the 650S. From that, the company has spun a Spider, this 675LT ‘Longtail’, comprising the ‘Super Series’ as well as two cars in the ‘Sport Series’, the 570S and the 540C. A case of Russian dolls then?

That’s far from the case. McLaren had the 675LT in the same room as the 650S and the 570S, and while the Longtail has clearly been spawned by the 650S, it’s a far more aggressive thing. Lower, angrier and with a titanium crossover exhaust that glows blue at flat chat, the 675LT has a track that’s 20mm wider, it sits 20mm lower at the front, 100kg of weight has been shaved away, 25ps of power added and downforce is up by 40 per cent. There’s still a 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V8 amidships, but 50 per cent of the components of the M838TL engine are new.

| Interview: McLaren chief designer, Robert Melville

The Longtail moniker harks back to the iconic McLaren F1 GTR Longtail of 1997, and while the 675LT isn’t anything like as extreme in its reimagining of a previous shape, everything aft of the B-pillar is unique to this model, with an extended rear deck, bumper, rear diffuser and airbrake. Performance? Lots. Think 0-100km/h in 2.9 seconds, which is pretty crisp for a rear-driver on road tyres. McLaren’s customary silky ride quality has taken a back seat in this track-focused model, with spring rates increased by 27 and 63 per cent front and rear respectively. There are Normal, Sports and Track settings for suspension and both Sport and Track settings for the ESC stability control. The ‘Brake Steer’ function mimics the effects of a torque vectoring diff, introduced during the 1997 F1 season and then quickly banned.

The 570S was also on display, and although the family resemblance is obvious, virtually every part of this car was different. It was only by putting the two cars side by side and trying to play ‘spot the common parts’ that you began to realise how different they are. McLaren ultimately expects the three Australian dealers to divide sales of the Super and the Sports Series 50:50, with buyers of the former coming from Lamborghini and Ferrari, and buyers of the latter graduating from Porsches, hot Audis and junior Astons.

The bad news? McLaren has completely sold out its 500-car production run of 675LTs and is only bringing a handful to Australia. The worse news? They didn’t seem too keen to lend us this one for a six-month sojourn in Unique Cars’ Our Shed section. We did get a 1:43 scale model though. On the plus side, you can pretty much park that anywhere.

SPECIFICATIONS

McLaren 675LT

BODY Carbon fibre panels /carbon fibre tub
ENGINE 3799cc twin-turbo V8
POWER 503kW @ 7100rpm
TORQUE 700Nm at 5500-6000rpm
PERFORMANCE 0-100km/h 2.9s, 330km/h top speed
GEARBOX 7-speed dual-clutch sequential
BRAKES Carbon ceramic discs (front: 394mm, rear: 380mm)
PRICE $657,000 on the road
WEB cars.mclaren.com

 

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