Currently reading: McLaren 765LT heads up Super Series with 754bhp
Woking's 720S flagship gets the Longtail treatment with a power boost and hefty weight loss

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 McLaren 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.

Mclaren 765lt press 0505

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 McLaren 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.”


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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.

Mclaren 765lt press 0504

However, in this model’s case, the term ‘Longtail’ is only just correct. It has new rear bodywork featuring an exquisitely designed suite of four side-by-side titanium exhaust outlets (newly tuned for a “searing” soundtrack), but its rear overhang is only about 10mm greater than that of the 720S. The increase in the front overhang (40mm) is greater, due to the highly effective new splitter.

New brakes and tyres are joined by revised suspension. This uses lighter, single-rate springs with helpers and is stiffer both front and rear than that of 2015’s 675LT, which is regarded by experts as the 765LT’s most direct and distinguished predecessor.

Engineers say their biggest headache was shaving another 80kg from the 720S, already the lightest car in its class. At launch, they issued a long list of ‘wins’, the greatest of which was cutting 22kg by switching to ultralight forged alloy wheels with titanium bolts. Race-spec seats save 18kg, deleting the air conditioning 10kg and lighter carbonfibre panels 14.3kg. Even the new coil springs save 1.5kg.


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Steve Cropley

Steve Cropley Autocar
Title: Editor-in-chief

Steve Cropley is the oldest of Autocar’s editorial team, or the most experienced if you want to be polite about it. He joined over 30 years ago, and has driven many cars and interviewed many people in half a century in the business. 

Cropley, who regards himself as the magazine’s “long stop”, has seen many changes since Autocar was a print-only affair, but claims that in such a fast moving environment he has little appetite for looking back. 

He has been surprised and delighted by the generous reception afforded the My Week In Cars podcast he makes with long suffering colleague Matt Prior, and calls it the most enjoyable part of his working week.

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NavalReserve 3 March 2020

So light!

A supercar that weighs 50kg less than a Polo diesel!!

When will this sort of weight saving trickle down to ordinary cars?

Leslie Brook 4 March 2020

NavalReserve wrote:

NavalReserve wrote:

A supercar that weighs 50kg less than a Polo diesel!!

When will this sort of weight saving trickle down to ordinary cars?

When ordinary cars are built of Carbon Fibre, and Titanium

gavsmit 3 March 2020

Eagles from Space 1999

The front of these remind me of the Eagle spaceships from the TV series Space 1999.

Not a bad thing either :)

eseaton 3 March 2020

Wouldn't 'Erect Tail' be a

Wouldn't 'Erect Tail' be a more appropriate name?