The 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed in the U.K. kicks off on Thursday with the dynamic world debut of the all-new McLaren 600LT, the quickest, most powerful and most track-focused model in the brand’s Sports Series. It also marks the beginning of the next chapter in McLaren ‘Longtail’ history, being only the fourth such car to hit the road in more than two decades.
“The new McLaren 600LT is our most extreme road-legal Sports Series model and possesses the optimized aerodynamics, increased power, reduced weight, track-focused dynamics and enhanced driver engagement that are the hallmarks of any McLaren LT,” said Mike Flewitt, Chief Executive Officer, McLaren Automotive. “The 600LT redefines expectations of super-sportscar performance, delivering astonishing acceleration and outstanding track cornering speeds with a truly extraordinary dynamic connection between driver and car.”
The wizards at McLaren recalibrated the engine management system of the 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V8 and reduced back pressure from the exhaust system (which is even shorter and more extreme than that of the McLaren Senna, by the way), allowing the 600LT to generate up to 592 horsepower at 7,500 rpm and a maximum torque of 457 pound-feet at 5,500-6,500 rpm. Are you more impressed with the 0-100 km/h acceleration time of 2.9 seconds (just a tenth slower than the 675LT Super Series model) or the 0-200 km/h sprint in 8.2 seconds? What about its top speed of 328 km/h?
Physically, the new McLaren 600LT stands out with an extended front splitter, lengthened rear diffuser, fixed rear wing and a silhouette that’s five centimetres longer than the 570S Coupe. Also, you can’t see it, but there’s a flat carbon fibre floor. With 220.5 pounds of downforce at 250 km/h, drivers will enjoy more grip and greater high-speed stability on the track.
Speaking of carbon fibre, the entire chassis is made of this exotic material and proves roughly 25 percent stiffer than a comparable aluminum chassis. The car weighs just 2,749 pounds, and with the optional super-lightweight carbon fibre racing seats developed for the Senna, it is a remarkable 220.5 pounds lighter a 570S Coupe. But wait, there’s more: McLaren Special Operations has developed two different packages for buyers who would like to go to another level of weight-saving.
In terms of handling, the McLaren 600LT gets lighter and stiffer suspension components from the 720S, including forged aluminum double wishbones, to go along with significantly re-engineered continuously variable adaptive dampers. The braking system also comes from the Super Series. Ride height is lowered by eight millimetres over other Sports Series models, while the front track is increased by 10 millimetres. The ultra-lightweight alloy wheels are wrapped in custom Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tires that were developed as a crucial element in the enhanced dynamic abilities of the 600LT.
One final note to talk about the cockpit: Lightweight Alcantara is used extensively throughout and the absence of carpet in the driver and passenger footwells and beneath the seats saves 12 pounds while also exposing the carbon fibre beauty of the MonoCell II chassis construction. The glovebox has been removed and the door pockets replaced with lightweight nets. A/C, navigation and audio systems will all be available as no-cost options.
Oh, and what about pricing? The McLaren 600LT, which is set to enter limited production in October, will retail from US$240,000. Details for Canada will be announced later.