While, yes, the 675LT was developed from the 650, do not think – even for a moment – that this is anything but a truly special supercar. Yes, it starts with the same ultra light and ultra strong carbon tub as the 650, but every single system in the car has been revised to suit the 675.
It’s so thorough that I’ll hit you with these two mega nerd facts. First, all of the carbon you see around the car is finished in a matte coat instead of gloss because it’s lighter. Two, the radiators’ angle of attack is increased for better thermal efficiency. That’s just two anecdotes about this wicked supercar…but wait, there’s even more.
Suspension changes start with a 20mm wider track, as well as stiffer front and rear springs but you wouldn’t know it because McLaren’s sophisticated hydraulic damping system can turn the platform from comfortable and compliant to track day rigid at the push of a button. Yes, it’s that good. And get this – just the front end has been lowered by 20mm, not the rear. Why is that? To get the airflow under the car moving faster, making the rear diffuser more effective and moving the centre of pressure forward for more front downforce. Only McLaren would think of that.
Perhaps my favourite tweak is the faster steering rack and I love it. There’s nothing like a good, fast steering rack and they’re few and far between, even on supercars.
Standard specification for the 675LT means that air conditioning is optional, just like this retina scorching green preproduction test car. That saves 11 kilos and thankfully the weather isn’t too warm during our test and the cabin is actually staying relatively cool.
The one-piece carbon buckets save 15 kilos over the standard 650 seats and their rigid construction and simple mounting to the floor gives you amazing feel from the chassis.
35 kilos of the 675’s weight savings come from the body work which includes the front bumper, splitter, end plates, under body panel, side skirts, side intakes, rear fenders, bumper, diffuser, and airbrake. They’re all engineered in carbon fiber and every panel from the B pillar back is 675-specific. It’s all about managing airflow and cooling, and those titanium exhaust pipes peeking out of the rear fascia add a massive cool factor.
Even the wheels are specifically engineered for the 675LT and the lightest McLaren has ever offered.
The front and rear glass are thinner for a total savings of 3.5 kilos. So thorough is the weight savings program that the 675’s unique engine cover is simply bolted shut, and there are no struts to hold it up, which you’d find on other cars. For that reason, we have to peer through the glass to see the highly revised 3.8-litre twin turbo.
Speaking of which, the 675’s engine gets unique turbos with machined compressor wheels, instead of cast. There’s also a new fuel pump designed to match the increased power output, among other changes.
The transmission is a seven speed dual clutch box that works flawlessly, even in automatic mode. The gearbox will even cut engine spark on up and downshifts for faster gearchanges – and then when the unburned fuel ignites in the exhaust system, it sounds mega.
One of the things I love about McLarens is what they call the Active Dynamics Panel, which actually refers to the two rotary dials for Handling and Powertrain drive modes. With a press of the Active button you can instantly go from a relaxed grand tourer mode to all coiled up and ready to attack mode.
With the IRIS infotainment unit, its as if McLaren went to the market, had a look around at systems that were available and said, “Forget that nonsense, we can build a better one.” Indeed they have and it’s utterly Apple-like in its lack of buttons and ease of use.
Great forward visibility, really amazing, and out the back, well, it doesn’t matter what’s behind you, though there’s a backup camera for parking purposes.
This McLaren 675LT is one of those cars that’s haunting me. When I put it away at night, I can’t wait to jump back behind the wheel. I suppose it comes down to two reasons. The first is that there’s an unrivalled man-machine connection here. It’s the kind you dream about. The second is that its raw speed and huge performance envelope got me to stand up and pay attention. Not many supercars do that.
2016 McLaren 675LT Coupe
Base Price: $349,500 (all pricing USD)
As Tested: $392,741
Notable Options: Carbon fibre roof, $11,831; Carbon fibre exterior upgrade pack, $10,690; Vehicle lifter, $5,050
Drivetrain: 3.8-litre, twin-turbocharged V8, 666 hp, 516 lb-ft, seven-speed automated dual clutch transmission, rear-wheel drive
Performance: 0-100 km/h in 2.9 sec; top speed 330 km/h
VVUZZ Recommended: Without reservation, but they’re all sold. The premium you’ll pay on the second hand market is worth it.
Image courtesy of Nick Busato, VVUZZ Photo Editor.