It’s interesting how many ultra-performance brands have hallowed two-letter suffixes that are reserved for their most extreme offerings. In the case of Porsche, it’s RS (for Rennsport), while Lamborghini has used SV (for Super Veloce – Italian for Superfast) for the ultimate versions of its Murcielago and Aventador. Across the English Channel, McLaren rolls out the LT (for ‘Long Tail’) suffix for only its most specialised offerings.
The latest wearer of these two letters is the just-revealed 600LT, which follows in the wheeltracks of the lauded 675LT, a lightweight track evolution of the 650S. The bespoke model scored a raft of engine and chassis upgrades, but its piece de resistance was a new rear wing/air brake assembly that was 50 per cent larger than that worn by the 650S. There was also previously a ‘longtail’ version of the McLaren F1 GTR that was produced for endurance racing back in 1997.
As per its ancestors, the new 600LT is graced by an extended tail that adds downforce (apparently 100kg of it at 250kph), enabling the new low-volume car to lap a race circuit even faster than the more powerful 675LT that preceded it. Although the 600LT might not appear drastically different from the 570S from which it is derived, McLaren says almost a quarter of the parts have been changed for the LT.
Weight saving is a key part of the recipe, and to this end the 600LT benefits from carbonfibre body panels, lighter wheels (shod with bespoke Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tyres) and lightened brakes, suspension components and anti-roll bars. It also gains lightweight seats (they save 24.6kg) from the Senna and it ditches air-con to prune another 12.6kg. Then there’s a lightweight exhaust plus a raft of other weight-saving measures elsewhere.
The 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 has been uprated to eke out 592bhp (600PS, hence its model designation), enabling the car to rocket from 0-200kph in 8.2sec – quicker than a Lamborghini Huracan Performante. Given the car’s extreme performance potential, McLaren is offering a free day of driver training for buyers, giving them what it calls a Pure McLaren Road Owner Track Day.