Mclaren 600LT

McLaren’s sub­lime Sport Se­ries gets its edgy, out­there LT flag­ship — re­sis­tance is fu­tile

Car India - - CONTENTS - Story: Ben Miller

McLaren’s sporti­est flag­ship yet? We find out

If I could pause real life, I’d hit the but­ton right now. The view through the panoramic, vaguely Group C wind­screen is split at the hori­zon into two con­trast­ing worlds: above, the un­bro­ken blue of a serene Septem­ber sky and, be­low, a speed­blurred streak of hot Grand Prix cir­cuit. Pinch me.

The McLaren and I have made our best fist yet of the Hun­garor­ing’s first four cor­ners: brake-bust­ing Turn One, end­less Two, in­ter­linked Three and the blind-on-en­try, over-a-crest rush of Four. In third gear through daunt­ing Turn Four ev­ery­thing’s just so, the car smear­ing out to the edge of the track with just the right bal­ance of front/rear slip. And we surge on into the rest of the lap, happy like cats up to our ears in cream.

Thing is, this is the 570S I’m driv­ing, not the new 600LT . Smaller, less com­pli­cated, and con­sid­er­ably less ex­pen­sive than the ex­traor­di­nary 720S (and the out­lier that is the Senna), for me the 570S is a melt­wa­ter-pure ex­am­ple of McLaren’s thing: stun­ning steer­ing, se­ri­ous per­for­mance, and a re­fresh­ing ab­sence of non­sense. The cock­pit, for ex­am­ple, is beau­ti­fully gim­mick-free and sparse like an East Ber­lin apart­ment block, if eas­ier on the eye.

And to­day the 570S, on hand for cir­cuit fa­mil­iar­iza­tion, is ev­ery bit the de­lec­ta­ble cre­ation I re­mem­ber: small, ag­ile, friendly, and ex­ploitable. On the road it feels in­domitable and drone-strike ac­cu­rate but here, with laps, you won­der if a few tweaks might un­lock still greater bril­liance. The en­gine, for ex­am­ple, is om­nipresent but here it feels a touch breath­less, its ul­tra-flat torque curve a lit­tle lack­ing in drama. Then there’s the slight fuzzi­ness when you re­ally lay the car into the longer, faster cor­ners, a mo­ment’s de­lay be­fore you un­der­stand ex­actly where you stand and how much harder you can — or can’t — push. And couldn’t the rear end just be a lit­tle less keen to move around dur­ing the lap’s two heavy brak­ing events?

Clearly, McLaren won­dered the same and have seen fit to fuse two of their finest ma­chines, the 570S and the long-since-sold-out 675LT , to cre­ate

600LT loves to keep things neat, tidy, and fast. Or do this

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