McLaren’s all-new Super Series flagship is the 765LT, the firm’s fourth ‘track-focused’ Longtail model and an even lighter, sharper and faster version of the 720S that it launched at the Geneva motor show three years ago.
The 765LT shaves an impressive 80kg from the 720S’s kerb weight, leaving it at a class-leading 1229kg. As with the three previous LT models, McLaren lists enhanced driver engagement, minimised weight, track-focused dynamics, refined aerodynamics, increased power and rarity as the car’s standout properties, and again its creation has entailed “hundreds of detailed engineering and design changes”.
McLaren’s familiar mid-mounted twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine gets stronger, lighter forged aluminium pistons and a three-layer head gasket from the Senna. These plus a higher-flow fuel system, a recalibrated ECU and a lower-back-pressure exhaust system lift power from 710bhp to 754bhp and boost torque from 568lb ft to 590lb ft.
These enhancements, along with a lowering of the overall gearing, have resulted in 15% quicker in-gear acceleration, placing the 765LT usefully ahead of its rivals. McLaren quotes 0-62mph acceleration of 2.8sec and a 0-125mph time of 7.2sec; the latter figure puts the 765LT 0.4sec ahead of the Ferrari 488 Pista and a clear second ahead of the Porsche 911 GT2 RS.
Even more impressive is the fact that engineers say the 765LT’s lap time at “a reference track” undercuts that of the 720S by about 2.5sec, and that its braking distance from 125mph to a standstill is 110 metres – almost identical to the Senna. That’s small wonder, given that the 765LT’s carbon-ceramic discs and pads are shared with the Senna and its nose incorporates Formula 1-style caliper cooling ducts that cut pad temperatures by 50deg C.
However, McLaren stresses that this car works for drivers of all abilities at all speeds. “Our cars should work across the whole speed range with driver confidence at the forefront,” said chief test driver and Indy 500 winner Kenny Bräck. “We go about our tuning with this in mind. Take a 765LT on a mountain road in any weather and you’ll feel totally in control.”
The 765LT is clearly related to the 720S in its overall styling but considerably different in detail, mostly because of a comprehensive new set of aerodynamic parts to boost downforce and high-speed stability.
This is the first car to use carbonfibre components sourced from McLaren’s new composite factory nearSheffield. These include the front floor, rear bumper, ‘Longtail’ active rear spoiler, front bumper, splitter, side skirts and lengthened diffuser.