Long respected in the world of professional motorsport, McLaren Automotive successfully transitioned into the world of production cars with the introduction of the MP4-12C in 2011. In only its third year the company notched a profit, an unheard of achievement in the hyper-competitive world of upper echelon street rockets.
Which isn’t surprising, after all, considering McLaren originally entered the “street” car game back in 1993 with the legendary F1 — what many consider the greatest four-wheeled vehicle ever brought to life. Not only was it the world’s first supercar, but the million-dollar F1 was engineered exploiting McLaren’s three-decade-plus experience in Formula One (hence the “F1” moniker). The F1 featured engineering never before seen on a streetcar — such as a carbon fiber monocoque tub and central seating position.
Today, a little over a week before the 85th installment of the illustrious Geneva Motor Show, McLaren lifts the sheets on its latest tech-bristling opus: the 675LT. On a stated (and quite ambitious) mission to release one new car every year, McLaren’s 675LT is being billed as a successor to the spectacular 650S. While more like a mid-cycle refresh than a new model — one taking place only one year after the debut of the 650S — the 675LT sheds 220 lbs. from its already lithe frame. This weight loss is mostly accomplished by adding a handful of more carbon fiber bits, such as an extended front splitter and extended door blades. The 675LT claims it has 33% new parts upgraded from its predecessor, including twin titanium exhaust pipes and a massive carbon fiber Airbrake wing that is 50% larger than the 650S’s, yet sheds weight due to its material construction.
The name for the 675LT derives from the 1995 Le Mans-winning F1 GT “Long Tail”, a very rare (and valuable) racetrack-focused version of the F1 that sported a massive rear spoiler. Like its inspiration, the 675LT is a heavily track-focused car, but unlike the F1 GT the 675LT is totally street legal.
With all its stripping down, the new McLaren weighs in at just 2,711 lbs (1,230kg), while its twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V8 has been tweaked to generate a peak power output of 666 bhp (675PS). That’s 25 more horses than the 650S, resulting in a nearly peerless power-to-weight ratio of 4 lbs per bhp. Expect the 675LT to burst from a standstill all the way to 124 mph in a blistering 7.9 seconds (or 0-62 mph in 2.9 seconds, like the 650S), en route to a 205 mph (330 km/h) top speed.
The Big Question:
Does the 675LT really update enough to warrant a model differentiation from the 650S?
Disrupt Your Feed:
Owners of the MP4-12C were not thrilled when McLaren unexpectedly unveiled the 650S, sending resale values of their supercars plummeting. Is it possible the 675LT will do the same to the 650S?
Just The Facts:
McLaren is breaking up its small line-up into two groups. The “Super Series” includes the Asia-only 625C, the 650S and now the top-tier 675LT, while its upcoming “Sport Series” will aim to be a more affordable entry into the brand. Its first offering will be revealed this April at the 2015 New York Auto Show.
More looks at the McLaren 675LT Supercar after the Jump…