What Makes a Long Tail: More Details on the McLaren 600LT

© Car and Driver   McLaren reveals the specifics of its higher-performance variant of the Sports Series, the 600LT. Read more and see pictures of the new McLaren at Car and Driver.

By Mike Duff, Car and Driver

The success of the McLaren 675LT-named after the “Long Tail” version of the McLaren F1 GTR-made it a certainty that McLaren would revisit the formula. That the letters LT will continue as the British brand’s designator of the most track-focused examples of its street-legal cars has been confirmed with the introduction of the 600LT. But while the 675LT was based on the 650S, the new car has been spun off from the cheaper Sports Series. (McLaren places its cars into a hierarchy that walks from Sports Series to Super Series to Ultimate Series.) The 600LT coupe will go on sale in the fall, with a Spider version likely to follow shortly after, and McLaren has now released more details about the car ahead of its debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed later this month.

The success of the McLaren 675LT-named after the “Long Tail” version of the McLaren F1 GTR-made it a certainty that McLaren would revisit the formula. That the letters LT will continue as the British brand’s designator of the most track-focused examples of its street-legal cars has been confirmed with the introduction of the 600LT. But while the 675LT was based on the 650S, the new car has been spun off from the cheaper Sports Series. (McLaren places its cars into a hierarchy that walks from Sports Series to Super Series to Ultimate Series.) The 600LT coupe will go on sale in the fall, with a Spider version likely to follow shortly after, and McLaren has now released more details about the car ahead of its debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed later this month.
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© Car and Driver   McLaren 600LT: More Details on the More Extreme Mini-Mac
That’s nearly as light as the stripped-and-whipped hellion that was the 675LT. The 675LT also cost around $350,000, and while we don’t have final pricing for the 600LT, we’re told to expect it to carry a premium of about 25 percent over the 570S, which would put it under $250K. That’s still a nontrivial amount of money for most of us, but it does mean this LT undercuts its predecessor by a significant margin-even more notable given McLaren chief engineer Paul Burnham’s claim that the 600LT actually will be faster than the 675LT around most racetracks.

Changes to the powertrain are relatively modest. Like the 570S, the 600LT uses the familiar 3.8-liter version of McLaren’s twin-turbocharged V-8, which has been turned up slightly to produce 592 horsepower (the “600” of the model designation refers to Europe’s metric ponies). Torque rises slightly, from 443 lb-ft in the 570S to 457 lb-ft. Burnham says those increases are the maximum that could be extracted without the need for bigger and heavier heat exchangers. (Look at the steroidal contours of the McLaren Senna to see how much cooling the 4.0-liter version of this V-8 requires when called upon to deliver really big numbers.) More notably, the 600LT also gets a funky new top-exiting exhaust system-necessary to make room for the bigger rear diffuser required to increase downforce. The redesigned exhaust system has a far more aggressive soundtrack than the regular 570S, we’re promised, as well as the ability to shoot flames on the engine’s overrun. The exhaust’s location means the midsection of the wing requires a special heat-resistant coating, capable of withstanding temperatures of up to 482 degrees Fahrenheit.

© Car and Driver   McLaren 600LT: More Details on the More Extreme Mini-Mac
The 600LT has been designed to perform on the track, but we’re promised that it will be slightly more refined on the road than the brutal 675LT. Suspension changes include forged-aluminum control arms, recalibrated adaptive dampers, an 0.3-inch reduction in ride height, and stiffer, hollow anti-roll bars. The 600LT wears bespoke Pirelli Trofeo R tires, with 285/35R-20s at the back and relatively skinny 225/35R-19s up front. McLaren engineers admit the 600LT can carry more speed into corners than the 675LT, although it is slightly slower on longer straights. But the company’s performance claims also show that the 600LT has effectively jumped a segment, with a 2.9-second zero-to-62-mph time and an 8.2-second zero-to-124-mph time making it quicker than the factory-stated figures for the Lamborghini Huracán Performante and the Ferrari 488GTB. McLaren also says the 600LT will go 204 mph. To haul it down from those speeds, the 600LT’s carbon-ceramic brakes come straight from the 720S, while its brake booster is taken from the almighty Senna.

Weight has been shaved from almost every part of the car. The 600LT’s lightweight bucket seats are 46 pounds lighter than the standard items, with optional super-lightweight versions taken from the Senna removing another eight pounds. The wheels save 38 pounds, the lightweight suspension takes off 23 pounds, and the exhaust is 28 pounds leaner. Removing most carpeting has shed another 12 pounds, and thinner-gauge window glass shaves five more. Although the no-cost air-conditioning delete saves 28 pounds, McLaren admits it expects few owners to go that route or to skip the audio system to save eight pounds. Most will also continue to specify the front axle-lift system, which is chosen by 98 percent of Sports Series buyers worldwide. The truly dedicated will be able to pay extra for a full-carbon roof, carbon front fenders, and titanium wheel bolts to save even more mass. Regardless of specification, every 600LT is going to be substantially lighter than any obvious rival.

Production will begin in October and will be limited, although McLaren hasn’t decided just how few will be built yet-for reference, the 675LT was restricted to 500 coupes and later 500 Spiders. But even before we’ve driven it, we wouldn’t be surprised if the 600LT becomes the most desirable version of the Sports Series.

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Autos - U.S. Daily News: What Makes a Long Tail: More Details on the McLaren 600LT
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