McLaren has revealed its very first Sports Series ‘Longtail’ model, complete with more power, less weight and more downforce, for supreme on-track agility and handling that would make a flea dizzy.
Longer by 74mm, the new 600LT is the flagship creation at the top of McLaren’s entry-level range of cars, not that any of them feel particularly entry-level to drive. It’s only the fourth McLaren to bear the Longtail name so far, and was teased three weeks ago.
It gets its name from its 600 metric horsepower, equivalent to 592bhp from the familiar 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8. McLaren says over a quarter of the parts have been changed versus the 570S’s version, presumably to incrementally improve response and increase longevity under track-type use.
On their own, that extra 30bhp and a 14lb ft boost to 457lb ft wouldn’t make much difference, but an astonishing spec-for-spec 96kg has been cut from the car’s flesh. That’s the same as one fairly heavy person getting out of the car and cuts the 600LT’s lightest-possible dry weight to 1247kg. We haven’t been given performance data yet, but expect a 0-62mph sprint of about 3.0 seconds.
You’ll notice the new carbonfibre bodywork spanning a front splitter, side sills, angry-looking extended diffuser and a very neat rear wing. What you might not spot straight away are the gorgeous top-exit exhausts pushing waste gas at high speed right over the rear wing. Clever.
Naturally, the 600LT is more of a track animal than its Sports Series counterparts. Bespoke P Zero Trofeo R boots from Pirelli are designed to give maximum feedback and aggressive turn-in, as well as plenty of raw grip.
Double-wishbone suspension and lightweight brakes are stolen from the Super Series range. Elsewhere, you’ll find what are fast-becoming regular LT tricks: firmer engine mounts, faster throttle response and a plethora of lightweight optional extras to play with.
McLaren doesn’t say how much downforce the 600LT produces, but does call it ‘substantially increased’ versus the 570S. The 675LT had 40 per cent more than the 650S, but we couldn’t get hold of official figures anywhere. We’d expect a similar increase here as a minimum.
Continuing the track theme is an interior bedecked in layer upon layer of lightweight Alcantara and the same carbonfibre racing seats as used in the P1. Or, if you’re really hardcore, you can spec the ultra-lightweight chairs from the Senna.
Production is ‘strictly limited’, McLaren says, but won’t say exactly what to. We do know it can’t extend beyond about October 2019, because after that a new Sports Series will take over.
We suspect it’ll be strictly limited to the highest commercially viable number that the firm can make time to build. Prices start at £185,500 including UK VAT, and for that you also get a tuition-based Pure McLaren Road Owner Track Day at a race circuit.