Made for the track

McLaren 675 LT’s body has gained a se­ri­ous dose of rac­ing at­ti­tude

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING - SCOTT COL­LIE

McLAREN hasn’t been mass-pro­duc­ing road cars for very long, but that hasn’t stopped it from rapidly adding sta­ble­mates to the F1, which was de­signed by Dur­ban’s Gor­don Mur­ray.

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 recog­nise where the LT des­ig­na­tion has come from. Mur­ray inspired the McLaren F1 GTR Long­tail in 1997, which was a mas­sive 64,1 cm 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.

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-litre V8.

Thanks to the ex­ten­sive use of car­bon fiber, the car is 100 kg lighter than the 650S. It also pro­duces 40%more down­force, and will hit 100 km/h in 2,9 sec­onds on its way to 330 km/h.

The car’s tur­bocharged 3,8-litre V8 is the same ba­sic unit as the one hid­ing un­der the 650S’s 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 makes 496 kW.

“It’s all been about get­ting the weight down, max­imis­ing 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 it 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. 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.

PHOTO: MCLAREN

Made for the race­track, not the road, all mod­els of the McLaren 675LT is nev­er­the­less al­ready sold out.

PHOTO: LOZ BLAIN/GIZ­MAG

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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.