2019 McLaren 600LT: Form Meets Function
McLaren's latest limited-production creation - the 2019 600LT - is one of the most gorgeous cars to be announced in 2018. Yes, if we were to be so bold, we'd argue this 570S with a bodykit is in fact easier on the eyes than Aston Martin's latest Vantage or DBS Superleggera. We would even say it looks prettier than the McLaren F1 but we'd risk losing even more UK-car loving fans. Still, as far as sculpted carbon fiber body panels go the 600LT is pretty enough to be parked in front of the Louvre as a testament to kinetic art. Or as our desktop background instead of the Swiss Alps.
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In truth, there's only a few changes to the exterior of the 600LT. The front splitter has been reshaped. There's a new side skirt bearing a 600LT badge. The rear end has been redesigned to include an enormous rear diffuser. There are now floating ducts behind the rear wheels. A new low-profile rear wing has been added. And the exhaust tips which used to exit at the traditional lower corners of the bumper now shoot flames and noise just aft of the engine bay. This short exhaust (Shorter than the McLaren Senna exhaust) accomplishes three things: Lower backpressure, lighter weight, and an exhaust note that would make John Williams cry with tears of joy. All for the pleasure and experience of the 600LT's driver.
All that noise originates from an upgraded powerhouse. Sitting behind the driver is a 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 turning out 592 horsepower and 457 lb-ft of torque. An improvement of 30 horsepower and 14 lb-ft over a standard 570S. A 7-speed dual clutch transmission lies after its flywheel and sends all of its power strictly to the rear wheels. That extra horsepower is a result of an upgraded engine cooling system and less restrictive exhaust.
LT may mean Long Tail but the 600LT's 2.9-inch stretch doesn't impede McLaren's ability to shed weight in the face of increasing dimensions. All new lightweight carbon fiber body panels, optional carbon fiber roof, customizable carbon fiber seats, and available carbon fiber front fenders drop the 600LT's dry weight down to a mere 2749 lbs (1246 kg). A 240 lb difference between the base 570S coupe and the 600LT. McLaren says they've achieved their goal of reducing the 570S DIN weight by 211.6 lbs. Leave it to the McLaren engineers to pick that exact number as a goal.
Going along with its newly lightweight body is its track-focused-but-still-livable-everyday drivetrain upgrades. The 600LT features forged aluminum control arms, a lighter braking kit, stiffer engine mounts, a faster steering rack, more sensitive throttle and brake pedals, and a set of bespoke 225/35 R19 with 285/35 R20 Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tires. We predict the zero-to-100 kmh to be at minimum 3.0 seconds flat.
For McLaren, the LT name is equivalent to the Porsche GT2. It's a signature of heritage and represents their success in motorsports crossing into street legal road cars. The original 1997 McLaren F1 GTR Longtail set a benchmark for chassis and engine development when it won multiple GT1 championships. The second Long Tail, the 2015 McLaren 675LT and 675LT Spider, won the hearts of every single driver that had the privilege of taking it around a track.
This upcoming third Long Tail iteration is bound to be as special and adored as the cars that preceded it. McLaren was nerdy enough to say 23% of its parts are new compared to the 570S. They're nerdy enough to formulate a machine that responds to and enhances a gearhead's passion for cars.
The 600LT will be built in Woking, Surrey, UK alongside the Senna and Senna GTR. Production limits and price to be announced.