McLaren 600LT Sport Se­ries goes ex­treme

McLaren’s sub­lime Sport Se­ries gets its edgy, out-there LT €lag­ship – re­sis­tance is fu­tile. By Ben Miller

CAR (UK) - - Contents -

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 speed-blurred 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-burst­ing 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 paucity 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 fa­mil­iari­sa­tion, is ev­ery bit the de­lec­ta­ble cre­ation I re­mem­ber: small, ag­ile, friendly and ex­ploitable. On the road it feels in­domitable and dron­estrike 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 has seen fit to fuse two of its finest ma­chines, the 570S and the long-since sold-out 675LT, to cre­ate what’s now prob­a­bly the pick of its range, the 600LT. A Porsche 911 GT2 RS or Fer­rari 488 Pista ri­val on pa­per, the LT’s list price is the right side of £200k – £185,500 be­fore you delve into the (ad­mit­tedly tempt­ing) op­tions. Your money (which should be safe4

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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.