The ‘Longtail’ story that began with the McLaren F1 GTR race car in the 1990s and, since 2015, has seen road-legal LT models introduced has a new chapter with the introduction of the new 765LT. Lighter, more powerful and with even higher levels of performance on both road and track, the 765LT is said to be the most dynamically advanced and engaging LT model ever from McLaren Automotive.
The LT promise of being ‘limited to the few’ is also fulfilled, with just 765 individually numbered cars available globally for customer order. Deliveries are set to start from September although with the current lockdown situation in the UK, this may be changed.
Advanced carbonfibre technologies
Advanced carbonfibre technologies and bespoke carbonfibre LT body panels and aerodynamic features are key to an 80-kg weight reduction over the 720S. Together with power of 765 ps/800 Nm from the 4-litre, twin-turbocharged McLaren V8 engine, transmission gearing optimised for scintillating in-gear acceleration and LT-specific suspension springs and dampers, this is the basis for the wholly immersive driving experience the new 765LT delivers.
“The 765LT is the most accomplished and exhilarating LT model ever from McLaren Automotive. Incredible performance and astonishing levels of driver engagement – the result of hundreds of detailed engineering actions undertaken to ensure the purest possible connection between driver and car – are the stand-out attributes of an LT developed with single-minded determination to deliver a wholly immersive driving experience to those who secure one of the 765 available to customer order,” declared Mike Flewitt, CEO of McLaren Automotive.
Highest levels of driver engagement
The McLaren Super Series chassis dynamics have been further enhanced in the 765LT to provide the ‘communication and feel’ that allow a driver to fully exploit the extreme performance of the car when appropriate, but also enjoy it at lower speeds.
The steering retains McLaren’s distinguished electro-hydraulic assistance but has been further honed with a quicker ratio and a stiffer torsion bar for even purer driver feedback. The state-of-the-art, linked-hydraulic Proactive Chassis Control II suspension introduced with the 720S features updates to both software and hardware to meet the dynamic requirements of the 765LT; advances made during the development of the McLaren Senna and Speedtail have seen the suspension system algorithms revised to ensure even greater precision and control.
In comparison to the 720S, front ride height is reduced by 5 mm and the front track is 6 mm wider, changes that together improve both grip and balance. New lightweight main springs feature additional ‘helper’ springs to reduce unsprung mass and maintain load in the suspension on full rebound, while the use of two springs saves weight in comparison with one larger dual-rate spring. Roll stiffness is increased, further enhancing vehicle stability.
The aerodynamic performance is key to the abilities of the car on track, but also influences higher-speed road driving behaviours. The extended front splitter and elongated active rear wing work in conjunction with the carbonfibre floor, unique door blades and the extended rear diffuser to deliver aerodynamic downforce 25% greater than that available to a 720S driver, adding a further dimension to already excellent aerodynamic performance.
The new, high-set static position of the ‘Longtail’ active rear wing aids powertrain cooling by drawing hot air out of the engine bay as well as increasing downforce, while the airbrake functionality reduces dive sensitivity under heavy braking. This allows the front springs to be softer than would be required if they were solely responsible for maintaining the front ride height, which in turn enables improved front axle compliance characteristics, to the benefit on-road driving.
Braking performance is immense with latest-generation carbon-ceramic discs, together with calipers from the McLaren Senna. Formula 1-inspired integrated caliper cooling – a technology introduced with 765LT – delivers cooling air to the front calipers and discs, reducing brake pad temperatures by up 50 degrees during track driving and ensuring that both consistency of pedal feel and outright braking performance remain impeccable.
“A McLaren LT really challenges us to push the boundaries of what is possible – especially with regards to weight reduction – and the 765LT is no exception. The 720S is already very light, helped by innovations developed in previous LT programmes, but we have investigated every area of the car to deliver even further savings: ‘helper’ springs in the suspension enable a 1.5- kg reduction, a bespoke lightweight centre tunnel saves 1.4-kg and optional carbonfibre fenders are 1.2kg lighter than the standard panels,” revealed James Warner, Chief Engineer for the 765LT.
The use of carbonfibre throughout the track-focused interior brings further weight-optimisation. The standard lightweight, carbonfibre-shelled racing seats are a combined 18 kgs lighter than the 720S sports seats. The central tunnel of carbon composite material has a panel thickness of just 0.8 mm. More weight reduction is possible by specifying even more carbonfibre options from the MSO Defined range developed by McLaren Special Operations.
The primary hub in the 765LT for driver convenience, comfort and connectivity functions – including McLaren Track Telemetry – is an 8.0-inch, high-resolution Central Infotainment Screen that works in conjunction with a Folding Driver Display to provide an integrated driver information platform.
The Folding Driver Display and Central Infotainment Screen surrounds are available in carbonfibre to complement the finish of the window switch surrounds, steering wheel clasp and Active Dynamics Panel surround.
The 765LT is not a car for those wanting to keep a low profile and the standard colour choices reflect this. There are 17 exterior paint colours, including two – Nardo Orange and Smoked White – unique to the new LT. Of course, a customer can also specify a personal choice of colour which MSO Bespoke commission will provide.