McLaren has begun producing its 765LT (Longtail), which utilises myriad carbon-fibre components and technologies from its Senna sibling to rocket from standstill to 200 kph in 7 sec – 0.2 sec faster than the brand initially claimed!
The Woking-based manufacturer first unveiled the 765LT (powered by a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 that produces 563 kW and 800 Nm) in March 2020. And the newcomer’s a particularly lean machine by virtue of myriad weight-saving measures – in its leanest, most stripped-out configuration, the Mclaren tips the scales at 80 kg less than the 720S (for a dry weight of only 1 229 kg and a power-to-weight ratio of 36.9 kW/tonne).
McLaren says expressions of interest in the 2021 production run of the 765LT "now exceed total number of cars available".
At the time the 765LT was announced, Mclaren said its newcomer could accelerate from 0 to 100 kph in 2.8 sec and 0-200 kph was said to take 7.2 sec, now the firm has confirmed the latter figure is, in fact, 7 sec and the model's standing quarter-mile (400m) acceleration is a blistering 9.9 sec.
Suffice to say carbon fibre is used extensively for the construction of the McLaren’s front bumper and splitter, one-piece front floor, side skirts, rear bumper and wing, the lengthened aft diffuser and even the car's licence-plate holder. But that's the standard specification – additional panels can be optioned in carbon fibre as well – in fact, the demo model shown here has a clear-gloss-finished visual carbon-fibre body.
The Strata orange, red and black paint scheme was reportedly inspired by a city skyline.
The Woking based company also unveiled the Strata “art in motion” paint scheme – a tri-colour design that is said to have required “390 hours of hand painting and finishing”. Strata’s Azores orange base colour is fused with Memphis Red and Cherry black, the two overlay colours running through the paint scheme in opposite directions to meet and blend on the panels of the 765LT’s dihedral doors. The brake calipers form part of the colour blend: the front calipers being Volcano Red and the rears Azores Orange.
Extensive weight-saving programme
Compared with the 720S, the 765LT’s carbon fibre-shelled racing seats save 18 kg, the 10-spoke forged alloy wheels (with titanium bolts) 22 kg, full-titanium exhaust system 3.8 kg, lithium-ion battery 3 kg, the "helper" suspension springs 1.5 kg (more about those later), a bespoke centre tunnel 1.4 kg and the optional carbon fibre fenders 1.2 kg.
By channelling hot exhaust emissions over its active rear ring, the 765LT effectively plasters its tail end to the asphalt.
Over and above the optimisation of powertrain and chassis parts and deletion of comfort/convenience features (although most of them can be specified at no extra cost), the McLaren’s wind- and rear screens and side glass have been made thinner.
The 765LT’s front splitter sits closer to the ground because of a 5-mm reduction in front ride height to increase vehicle rake and create more front downforce. The nose section is 48 mm longer (the front bumper and -splitter have been moved forward), while the new active rear wing stretches rearwards by an additional 9 mm, all of which adds 57 mm to the car’s overall length.
Mclaren has revised the 765LT's Proactive Chassis Control II suspension system algorithms for even greater control.
Upgrades to the 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 include LT-specific forged aluminium pistons, a 3-layer head gasket (shared with the Senna) and ultra-efficient, carbon-coated followers in the valvetrain, an additional fuel pump and revised oil pump. The motor delivers peak power at 7 500 rpm and maximum torque at 5 500 rpm and the transmission’s gearing is optimised to deliver in-gear acceleration up to 15% quicker than the 720S.
Compared with the 720S, the newcomer’s front track is 6 mm wider, while lightweight main springs feature additional "helper" springs to reduce unsprung mass and maintain load in the suspension on full-rebound (when the car hits a road imperfection at high speed, for example). Roll stiffness has also been increased to further enhance vehicle stability, plus advances made during the development of the Senna have enabled the Woking-based firm to revise the 765LT's Proactive Chassis Control II suspension system algorithms for even greater precision and control.
Longtail indeed! The new active rear wing stretches rearwards by an additional 9 mm compared with the 720S.
Of course, the aerodynamic performance of the 765LT is key to the car's on-track abilities, but also optimises its higher-speed road driving behaviour. The extended front splitter and active rear wing – which stands 60 mm higher than on a 720S – work in conjunction with the carbon fibre floor, door blades and the extended rear diffuser to deliver 25% more aerodynamic downforce than the latter.
And what about stopping power? The newcomer comes equipped with the latest generation carbon-ceramic discs with calipers from the McLaren Senna, which are equipped with F1-inspired integrated cooling technology that the Woking-based firm claims reduces brake-pad temperatures by up 50C during track driving to ensure consistency of pedal feel and, of course, braking performance.
Apart from carbon fibre accoutrements, McLaren has festooned the 765LT's cabin in swathes of Alcantara.
But for all of the 765LT’s astonishing technology and lightweight construction, driving aficionados may appreciate the detail improvements that McLaren has made the most... The newcomer’s electro-hydraulic assisted setup endures, but it has been further honed with a quicker ratio and a stiffer torsion bar for improved feedback. What’s more, a new “limit downshift” transmission function has been introduced to allow a driver to over-rev their 765LT – a little – by allowing the engine revs to “bounce” momentarily on the rev-limiter before a lower gear is engaged.
Stiffer engine mounts are used not only to meet dynamic performance targets, but also to increase the physical engagement with the V8 powertrain. They effectively radiate the engine's low-frequency sounds into the cabin. “Every change in rpm is amplified, not only to occupants' ears but also as a feeling through the seats because low-frequency sounds can be both heard and felt,” McLaren says.
The clear-coat exterior finish is dramatic, but the MSO Carbon Fibre Body is available in a number of bespoke tints.
The “highly intense, emotional connection” between driver and machine is further enhanced through the unique full-titanium, quad-exit exhaust… The pipe diameter increases the exhaust volume, while the relative position of each pipe delivers the precise harmonic content required to create a high-pitched, engaging note that becomes sharper as it builds to an incredible crescendo at high engine revs.
Only 765 individually-numbered units of the 765LT will be hand-assembled at McLaren’s Production Centre and deliveries will begin at the end of this month, the firm says.