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Old 03-03-2020, 06:10 AM   #1
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Default Track-bred McLaren 765LT unleashed -


Wild 563kW supercar to out-Pista Ferrari's 488 and will even give McLaren’s Senna hypercar a run for its money

McLaren has launched an even lighter, more powerful, track-focused version of its 765LT that’s claimed to be quicker than rivals like the Ferrari 488 Pista, Lamborghini Aventador SVJ and Porsche 911 GT2.

Pricing is yet to be confirmed for the hard-core McLaren 765LT, which goes on sale in Europe this September, but in the UK the extreme McLaren road car is rumoured to cost around £280,000 ($A550,000) – around £60,000 ($A115,000) more than the 720S it’s based on.

The headline news is a car that sheds 80kg, gains 29kW and features more advanced air-bending to provide for a supercar with on-track and on-road performance that’s closer to a Senna than a 720S.

McLaren says achieving the remarkable leap in ability from the Super Series 720S to the 765LT has involved ‘hundreds of detailed changes’.

This has entailed a complete overhaul of the 720S’ svelte skin. Unlike the original 1997 ‘Longtail’ McLaren F1 that won Le Mans, the stretched 765LT gains most of its added millimetres up front, with the latest LT sporting a snout that grows by 40mm.

That’s because the aerodynamicists insisted that for maximum air-bending efficiency, the standard 720S hammerhead front-end be redesigned – including its trademark eye-socket headlights, tweaked front bumper and new front floor section.

Revised side skirts were added to the side of the car to keep the air ‘attached’ for maximum downforce, while at the back of the car a huge diffuser was incorporated and that new rear bodywork looks downright indecent, given the amount of engine and rear suspension it exposes.

Finally, to ensure the 765LT generates at least 25 per cent more downforce compared to the 720S, the designers added a larger, reprofiled active rear wing.

McLaren says the 765LT now wears an aero package that has been lavished as much attention to detail as an F1 car, and that the biggest problem engineers faced during the 765LT’s gestation was knowing when to stop.

“It was really tough, with all the knowhow we accrued from other projects, not accidentally creating a £750,000 ($A1.5m) hypercar,” admitted one insider.

Ask its creators what they’re most proud of and they’ll say it was getting the 765LT’s exhaust signed off by the bean counters.

Weighing 40 per cent less than the 720S’s system, the new titanium set-up is not only a work of art to behold but is said to deliver a more visceral soundtrack – both louder and considerably better than the standard car’s.

Speaking of mass saved, McLaren’s 80kg diet drags the total weight of the 765LT to an incredible 1229kg (dry), but that cheekily includes the deletion of air-conditioning (10kg).

That said, if you’re a masochist or enjoy saunas, you can actually beat the total 80kg reduction and carve another 12kg off the kerb weigh by specifying featherweight Senna carbon-fibre seats.

We’d imagine almost everyone would add back in the AC plus the audio system (1.5kg), but all owners will rejoice in some of the clever and innovative weight-saving measures and incredible attention to detail on display here.

This includes saving 6kg by using lightweight glazing and polycarbonate for the rear glass, lightweight springs, standard race seats (-18kg), more carbon in the interior (-2.5kg) and plenty of extra body components made of the same lightweight material.

Strangely, where necessary, weight was actually added back in to improve one of the main goals of the 765LT: not to make it faster but to make it even more engaging to drive for us mere mortals.

This included redesigning the braking system for better feel, improving throttle response and reducing the unnerving snappiness most track-biased supercars are guilty of.

As part of the changes, there are stiffer front and rear springs, while the carbon ceramic brake discs were borrowed from the Senna. The 765LT also rides on bespoke Pirelli Trofeo tyres on ultra-lightweight 10-spoke forged alloy rims.

The result is a car that’s claimed to flatter a driver’s abilities, whether they’re a track novice or a former winner of the Indy 500.

Designed to make you feel more ‘connected’ with car, the changes include more direct steering, a stiffer ride, added noise (in part caused by the lack of carpets) and a lack of creep in traffic in Drive.

Braking, meanwhile, promises to be epic, thanks to a redesigned brake booster, which sees the car stop from 200km/h in less than 110 metres.

McLaren hasn’t revealed track times for the 765LT but says it is significantly quicker than the 720S but some way off the Senna due, in part, to that car’s big aero.

On road, however, the performance advantage evaporates at speeds only above 150km/h thanks to the 765LT’s clever active aero that reduces drag automatically in a straight line.

Rest assured though, against the Ferrari 488 Pista and Porsche 911 GT2 McLaren has its rivals licked.

Massaging the 720S’ twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 to produce an additional 29kW (now 563kW) was no small task and involved adding forged aluminium pistons, a higher-fuel flow system, ECU tweak and the aforementioned titanium exhaust.

The extra power belies the actual performance improvement felt behind the wheel, where engineers fitted the 765LT with shorter gearing to deliver 15 per cent quicker in-gear acceleration.

On paper, that translates to a 0-100km/h time of just 2.8 seconds – on par with the 911 GT2 – and hitting 200km/h takes just 7.2sec. That’s 0.4sec quicker than the Ferrari 488 Pista that, until the McLaren arrived, was the fastest in its class.

Top speed, meanwhile, is an aero-limited 330km/h.

Despite being rumoured to cost around $600,000 when it lands Down Under, there’s still a long list of extras available for the 765LT – and that’s before you even consider McLaren’s MSO personalisation options.

For those who regularly take to the track there are both Clubsport and Clubsport Pro packs that add extra safety equipment like a titanium roll hoop and fire suppression system.

Following the McLaren 765LT coupe in around a year’s time will be the 765LT Spider roadster.
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