Think of the new 765LT as the affordable Senna, offering nearly all the speed of McLaren’s last track car at less than half the price.
It’s hard to keep up with the speed and complexity of McLaren’s model program. Many of us are struggling to list the subtle differences that distinguish between Porsche’s Combat Sports Series and the Ferrari Supercars, especially as all McLaren’s road cars share the same core architecture. And because of the carbon fiber tube system, the mid-set twin-voltage V-8, and the almost identical dual-clutch gearbox in each variant, it’s easy to argue that the cars and driving experience are interchangeable.
However, that is absolutely not true, as demonstrated by the new 765LT. This car is based on the existing 720S, itself the lightest and fastest machine in its lightweight and fast car segment. But the LT was boosted by both thrust and dynamics while decreasing by 176 pounds compared to the already slender 720S. The result is a fast and fun car on par with Senna, although the cost is less than half that. It’s also a much more handsome proposal from all angles.
The LT stands for Long Tail, a name derived from the McLaren F1 GT developed on the track in 1997 and which has become McLaren’s modern way of pointing out track-like models while still being viable on the road. 765LT is the successor to both 675LT 2015 and 600LT last year. Like both previous cars, it will eventually give birth to a spiderman version. But after complaints from some 600LT buyers that their vehicles were not part of the limited-run — a strategy that helped protect the remaining values — production of the 765LT coupe was limited enough, appropriate enough, to no more than 765. About a third of them are expected to come to the United States. Starting at $358,000, it’s only slightly more expensive than the 675LT of five years ago.
We’ve provided you with a technological summary of the new car, with highlights including increased engine power to 755 horsepower — triggered by a higher power fuel pump, wrought aluminum pistons, and a harder head pad. The four-exhaust titanium exhaust system reduces the weight by 8.3 pounds compared to the system over 720S. Larger volumes have also been saved with lightweight racing seats, ultra-light alloy wheels, rear polycarbonate glass, and even interior carpet removal. The lightest configuration may require buyers to choose to live without air conditioning or info systems, but we guess most buyers will keep both (as free options) and live with a 25.3-pound weight penalty. Even with the A/C and the sound system, McLaren said the 765LT weighed but the 2988 pound was filled with fuel.
We suspect that many buyers will choose to make their 765LTs partly more luxurious than the company’s ideal spartan, especially the many weight gain comfort options offered for free. In addition, sports seats, power adjustments for them, and steering poles, parking sensors, front axle lifts, and even 12 Bower & Wilkins audio upgrades are available free of charge in the US. Conversely — and vice versa — you” Will be able to save ounces by paying more, the list of options even includes a “lightweight MSO Defined” front badge worth $1520. More significant cost upgrades include Senna’s skeleton ultra-lightweight carbon seat ($7580) and an upgraded braking package that delivers hypercar’s more thermally efficient carbon-ceramic propellers instead of standard carbon discs. It’s an expensive $18,030 box to tick, but when the brake experience is upgraded on the track, we can eat the benefits.
Our experience of the 765LT is exclusive to the 1.8-mile International layout at Silverstone racetrack in the UK. (In the original plan, that meant a driving factor on the road, but COVID-19.) While the short-cut program turned down the opportunity to assess the capabilities of new cars in the real world —a pity how much 600LT’s talent has evolved—it has confirmed that the 765LT is both extremely fast and easy to drive with a high percentage of capabilities.
As with all McLaren’s more core services, the cabin of the 765LT is large in carbon fiber and light of toys and toys. The core architecture is shared with the 720S and includes the same automatic folding engine pack from the regular screen to the rewinding loop meter and speed reading when the car is introduced into Raceway mode. There’s no elegant way to climb into senna-spec bucket seats that fit and negotiate their six-point straps — a regular seatbelt is also equipped — but getting into the right place of the small fiber-decorated panel is great.
While the 765’s 4.0-liter engine produced 34 horsepower less than senna’s V-8 and the LT carried slightly greater weight, the difference in performance between the two cars was small. A change in the number transfer significantly increased the acceleration of the 765 compared to the 720S. According to McLaren’s numbers, the LT can accelerate from 0 to 124 mph in just 7.0 seconds, 1.4 seconds faster than the 720S, and only two-tenths behind Senna. During the 720S test, we accelerated to 120 miles per hour in 6.9 seconds. Its time of 18.0 seconds from 0 to 186 km / h — yes, obviously that’s one thing — only half a second compared to Senna.
The reality of those acceleration forces is significant enough to cause physical discomfort — don’t drive the 765LT on the road after a big lunch. However, the large grip of the Pirelli Trofeo R track tires can be deployed with a significant bit of drama. Fully opened, the new exhaust system produces more angry noise than melody – our wait for a really good McLaren sound continues – but despite the anger (and extra lights), McLaren also gives the LT a ringing bell as it approaches the 8100 rpm turnaround.
The degree of mechanical grip is enormous. We soon realized that even what felt like bold early acceleration applications in Silverstone’s narrower corners had to be overly cautious, especially when the fast-moving traction management and stabilization system intervened to keep the LT on top of the break-up from behind, providing power back seamlessly when the steering wheel opened. A more pleasant stabilization control mode allows for sharper sliding angles at slower bends, although — as with all McLarens — the 765LT lacks a steering lock when dealing with severe over-drivers. Most owners will prefer to leave the tracking system behind their backs, especially when they intervene discreetly.
The vehicle’s cynology also helps to stabilize at high speeds. McLaren declined to say how much force the 765LT could generate, saying only that the figure was 25% higher than the total unknown equivalent of the 720S. But at Silverstone’s faster bends, one can clearly feel god’s hand pushing the car into the asphalt and increasing confidence, especially when turning into high-speed corners without front braking. While the downward strength level is obviously less than that of Senna, which generates up to 1764 pounds of cinematic support, the 765LT also feels lighter when set foot and can adjust more angles than its winged sister. The upgraded brake pack is also almost special, turning what feels like excessive late braking points into timid early points.
It took twice at Silverstone in the 765LT to feel as if we were approaching its capabilities. Even those who regularly watch supercars – or even race cars – will find it a soaring adrenaline challenge. It may not top the McLaren hierarchy in terms of price, but it is almost certainly the most thrilling choice in the current range and could be the entire supercar segment. And the thrilling is that cars like this are said to be all about, right?
2021 McLaren 765LT
mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 2-passenger, 2-door coupe
twin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 32-valve V-8, aluminum block and heads, port fuel injection
244 in3, 3994 cm3
755 hp @ 7500 rpm
590 lb-ft @ 5500 rpm
7-speed dual-clutch automatic
Wheelbase: 105.1 in
Length: 181.1 in
Width: 76.0 in
Height: 47.0 in
Passenger volume: 48 ft3
Cargo volume: 13 ft3
Curb weight (C/D est): 3000 lb
PERFORMANCE (C/D EST)
60 mph: 2.4 sec
100 mph: 5.0 sec
1/4 mile: 9.9 sec
Top speed: 205 mph
EPA FUEL ECONOMY (C/D EST)
Combined/city/highway: 15/14/18 mpg