Having recently seen the new McLaren in the metal at the Middle East launch, our man muses about the 675LT’s future, and why a limited edition production run could be a miscalculation.[Not a valid template]
After its debut at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, the new 675LT has now landed in the Middle East. And according to McLaren, it’s much more than just a facelift.
In the process of creating the 675LT, McLaren totally stripped down and rebuilt the 650S to fit your average racing enthusiast’s needs without touching the bubble of the P1. Indeed, in a brief discussion with crankandpiston.com during the launch event, regional director Ian Gorsuch and McLaren UAE director George Duncan mentioned that though the 650S is perfect on road and great on track, the 675LT is perfect on the road and even better on-track. And that got me thinking.
I’ve always admired the 650S, both in the way it looks and how it drives (I’ve been a moving marketing banner since my last go at the wheel). To me, it is among the best – and probably the best – supercar money can buy today, being both blindingly quick in a straight-line and superbly accurate through the turns, but also impressively involving to drive. And supposedly the 675LT will be even better.
And that does make me wonder why, with a potential hit on its hands, McLaren has opted to limit production of the 675LT to just 500 units. I mean, why?
The 675LT must, after all, be a track maniac. Available only in coupe form to emphasise, as McLaren puts it, the ‘focused nature’, the car’s uses a wider suspension setup with P1-inspired parts, excessive use of carbon fibre, and now has 40 per cent more downforce than the 650S. Take a second to think about that…
The same M838T engine has been carried over from the 650S but rebuilt with lighter components and given a thorough remap that pushes power up 25bhp to 666bhp and torque up 16lb ft to 516lb ft. Once again, the 650S was hardly sluggish, but 0-100kph now dips below three seconds in the 675LT, while 0-200kph takes only 7.4 seconds.
And again, only 500 examples of this phenomenal machine will be sold.
McLaren no doubt has its reasons (these limited edition models do help balance the company chequebook after all) but it seems a crying shame that an even better version – up to 50 per cent if you believe some of the rumours – of perhaps THE best supercar today will be available to only the most astute collectors. And I’ve not even mentioned the looks yet.
Majorly inspired by the ’97 F1 GTR ‘Long Tail’, the 675LT boasts additional air intakes for better circulation, a remodelled front bumper, and a new bum with the ducktail-ish spoiler and round dual exhausts I could spend hours looking at and sighing over dramatically. It’s a well-balanced combination of heritage, modernity and out-and-out menace, one that few other supercars can challenge, let alone beat. Had the display model at the launch also boasted Volcano red paint, my bank manager would have had a surprise first thing the following morning.
And once again, only 500 customers will get to savour these looks everyday. In a way it draws to mind the LFA: brilliant beyond measure (to the point that Lexus actually made a loss on each one) but sold in such limited numbers that it perhaps never truly captured the public imagination in the way that your ‘average’ Ferrari or Lamborghini can. It seems a shame that the only time most of us can experience an LFA is when we find one parked on the road (unlikely), or behind the security railing at a motor show.
It seems McLaren’s 675LT is destined to follow the same route, with most likely to spend their lives under wraps waiting for the market price to go up. The 675LT, potentially one of the greatest supercars of our generation in my opinion, could in years to come be more famous as a reclusive garage queen than the track weapon we know it’s capable of being. And that for me would be a tragedy.