There's more to the latest McLaren 600LT than a longer tail and top-side exhausts pointed at the sky, though that's already reason enough to want one. The 600 "Longtail," devised in the spirit of the McLaren 675LT Coupe and Spider as well as the McLaren F1 GTR "Longtail" race car, takes the basic 570S Coupe and throws out everything that's not needed in the name of weight savings. McLaren shaved 211.6 pounds over the 570S Coupe in creating the 600LT, but the extreme diet was merely the start of the creation process of the fourth McLaren Longtail model in the company's history.
As its name implies, the latest track-focused but road-legal model wears longer bodywork -- 2.9 inches longer -- along with a stretched rear diffuser, a fixed rear wing and a stretched front splitter. The Longtail's carbon-fiber body was designed not only to stretch the efficiency of its aerodynamic performance but to lower overall weight. Top side exhausts, meanwhile, bring the soundtrack a little closer to the driver while also saving weight -- an engineering solution that we wish more cars would adopt.
Power comes courtesy of a twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V8 engine churning out 592 hp and 457 lb-ft of torque, giving the 600LT a bump of 30 hp and 14 lb-ft of torque over the 570S Coupe. And this iteration of the V8 features an upgraded cooling system and an exhaust system with reduced back pressure, a system that McLaren calls "more extreme than that of the McLaren Senna." Special Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tires make sure all of that power is sent down to the pavement, where it belongs.
"The McLaren 600LT is only the fourth ‘Longtail’ McLaren in more than two decades," said Mike Flewitt, CEO of McLaren Automotive. "The McLaren F1 GTR ‘Longtail’ that began the lineage was one of the purest race cars in modern motorsport history. The 675LT resurrected the revered name, creating the purest distillation of the sheer driving pleasure embodied by all McLaren cars."
There's more yet to the 600LT: The Alcantara-covered interior now offers carbon-fiber racing seats first seen in the McLaren P1, or the carbon-fiber seats from the McLaren Senna for ever greater weight savings. Vented carbon-fiber front fenders and a carbon-fiber roof are also on the menu, offered by McLaren Special Operations (MSO) for those looking to cut a few extra pounds off the curb weight. In fact, in its lightest form, the 600LT has a dry weight of just 2,749.2 pounds. In all, 23 percent of the parts on the 600LT differ from the standard 570S Coupe.
McLaren will make sure that the 600LT remains an exclusive item in its lineup: Production will start in October of this year and last just 12 months, with McLaren aiming to make it far rarer than its Sports Series siblings. The automaker will hand-assemble the 600LT at its McLaren Production Centre in Woking, Surrey, scheduling the build slots around existing Sport Series and Super Series models.