Fans of the British performance brand will no doubt recognise the name ‘Longtail’ (or LT for short) from the nineties when McLaren took their legendary F1 road car, racing. They found that at very high speeds, elongating the rear end made the car more stable, and with that a motor racing icon was born, better known to throngs of fans as the F1 GTR Longtail.
Thereafter in 2015 it was the turn of the 650S model to get the Longtail treatment, which was subsequently named the 675LT and it was a lean mean monster like the rest of its family. That said, the next street legal Longtail model would have some rather large shoes to fill. Enter the McLaren 765LT.
“The 765LT is the most accomplished and exhilarating LT model ever from McLaren Automotive. Incredible performance and astonishing levels of driver engagement – the result of hundreds of detailed engineering actions undertaken to ensure the purest possible connection between driver and car – are the stand-out attributes of an LT developed with single-minded determination to deliver a wholly immersive driving experience to those who secure one of the 765 available to customer order” said Mike Flewitt, CEO, McLaren Automotive.
As the pictures show, this new LT model is based off the already ballistic 720S model. However, in this scenario, the 720S was put on a diet to shave off 80kg – which makes it 50kg lighter than its rival – to attain a kerb weight of just 1,339kg, more on this in a bit.
Couple the weight loss to the power gain and the LT formula starts to take shape. The 765LT is powered by McLaren’s mid-mounted M840T mill – which has a flat plane crank and a dry sump – measuring 4.0-litres in displacement, and is boosted by a couple of twin-scroll ultra-low inertia turbochargers with electronically-controlled waste gates. The exhaust system is made from titanium which delivers lower back pressure which means improved performance and saves 10.9kg as compared to a steel system.
The engine also features LT specific bits such as forged aluminium pistons, a triple-layer head gasket and carbon coated followers in the valve train. McLaren also revised the oil pump for better flow and recalibrated the engine’s electronic management system which they say boosts not only the power output but also sharpens the throttle response and torque delivery. The culmination of all these changes made to the powertrain equates to an output figure of 563kW and 800Nm of twist.
Power is sent to the rear wheels via McLaren’s seven-speed dual-clutch transmission that is apparently able to swap cogs 15 percent faster than the unit in the 720S. This means the 765LT can rocket to 100 km/h in just 2.8 seconds, which is just mega.
Stopping the 765LT is a set of carbon-ceramics discs, which the brand says are 60 percent stronger than conventional carbon ceramic disc with four times the thermal conductivity, together with callipers from the hardcore McLaren Senna. The braking system also gets improved cooling courtesy of Formula One know how, as result the brakes are some 50 degrees cooler under harsh conditions. Surrounding the brakes are a set of 10-spoke Ultra Lightweight forged alloy wheels with titanium wheel bolts. The wheels are then wrapped with bespoke Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tyres.
The 765LT is claimed to be the leader in its segment when it comes to tipping the scales. Upfront there is an elongated front splitter, new front bumper, front floor, side skirts, rear bumper, rear wing and lengthened rear diffuser, which are all constructed from carbon fibre and all bespoke to the 765LT. The bonnet, front fenders, doors and rear fenders are made from lightweight aluminium as standard while carbon fibre construction is optionally available.
Inside, the weight saving exercise continues with the addition of carbon fibre-shelled seats, which are 18kg lighter than the ones on the 720S, along with the carbon fibre switch surrounds and steering wheel clasp. Even the Alcantara fabric – which is used throughout the cabin – has been put on a diet. The thickness of the side window’s glass has been reduced and the same goes for the windscreen, while the rear windscreen is formed from lightweight polycarbonate just like a racing car. The dihedral doors, too, are lighter thanks to the addition of carbon panels in the upper section.
With power gains and weight reduction in the bag, the only thing left to complete the recipe is aerodynamics. In the case of the 765LT, the nose of the car has been lengthened by 48mm with the front bumper and splitter moving further forward, while the splitter itself sits 5mm closer to the ground. The new ‘Longtail’ active rear wing stretches rearwards by an additional 9mm. In total, the entire car is now 57mm longer as compared to a ‘regular’ 720S.
The car’s bodywork has also been designed to dissipate heat from the engine bay as much as possible while reducing air pressure within the wheel arches. The rear wing now sit in a new static position which increases downforce even when the wing isn’t deployed. The wing is also some 20 percent larger than the one found on a 720S and has been fettled to deliver better aero efficiency.
The marque is also offering the LT with a variety of custom options courtesy of the McLaren Special Operations department. Pricing information hasn't been announced yet. Deliveries will begin later this year.