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The beauty of the McLaren is its wide range of abilities, and the 675LT is able to flatter the novice driver with its confident control and predictable response.

BT_20161028_SEMCLAREN282_2568052.jpg
The beauty of the McLaren is its wide range of abilities, and the 675LT is able to flatter the novice driver with its confident control and predictable response.

Ballistic missile

The limited edition McLaren 675LT is a track-focused model which even the novice driver can appreciate.
Oct 28, 2016 5:50 AM

MCLAREN'S naming convention for its cars is manifestly easy to understand, given that the numerals, for example in the McLaren 650S, refer to the maximum power.

But when it comes to the 675LT, the simple alphanumeric nameplate does not quite capture the sheer prowess of this limited edition model.

Like the mid-engined two-seater 650S it is based on, the 675LT is a McLaren from the Super Series (there are two other series, Sport and Ultimate).

But unlike the 650S, the 675LT is restricted to 500 examples each in coupe and spider bodystyles.

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The 675LT is a track-focused model and substantially different from the 650S. LT refers to Longtail - not the rickety speedboat found in a Bangkok canal but the Longtail airbrake behind, which is 50 per cent bigger than the one on the 650S for a whopping 40 per cent increase in downforce. In fact, the whole back end with its twin round exhausts is different.

Then, there is the drastic weight loss programme that cuts 100 kg for a dry weight of 1,230 kg. Titanium, for example, is used for the exhaust manifold and wheel bolts, while polycarbonate replaces glass for the engine cover. And the body panels of the rear end are exclusively made of carbon fibre, not aluminium.

Underneath, the front and rear track are 20 mm wider, and the 675LT is also 20 mm lower.

The twin-turbo 3.8-litre V8 driving the rear wheels is heavily re-engineered and more than half of the powertrain is new. There are lightweight components, a new camshaft, and revised cylinder heads and turbines, among others.

The unit produces, as its model name implies, 675 hp and 700 Nm, or up 25 hp and 22 Nm respectively from the 650S.

Extra power requires extra cooling, so the side intakes are enlarged for increased air flow, while new software for the seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox allows it to shift twice as quickly.

But it is only on the track where all the changes make a visceral impact. The 650S is a super sports car but the 675LT is nothing less than a guided missile.

A recent outing at the Sepang International Circuit saw one 675LT Coupe and one 675LT Spider scythe around the 15 corners with surgical precision.

Floor the accelerator and the first thing that registers will be the back-thumping torque. The 675LT has tonnes of it and speed builds up so very quickly.

Stamp on the brakes for the corner and the carbon fibre discs with six-piston callipers in front and four-piston callipers behind reel it in without drama.

Take the corner and the second thing that registers is the fantastic grip. With the wider track, it is leech-like, and the superbly weighted steering delivers uncensored feedback.

Front/rear weight distribution is identical to the 650S at 42.5/57.5, and so is the body rigidity. With its strong carbon fibre tub, the 675LT powers over the kerbs without complaint. The carbon fibre racing seats not only save 15 kg but also keep you snugly in place around the hairpin.

Where some cars may run out of breath before the end of Sepang's long pit straight, the 675LT's deep reserves of power propel it easily across.

But even as a street-legal track car, the 675LT is able to flatter the novice driver with its confident control and predictable response. The beauty of the McLaren is its wide range of abilities. It can change its personality with the turn of a knob in order to achieve the extreme engine and chassis settings required to satisfy an expert driver.

Best of all, its sublime damping lets it perform in every situation with the maximum cushioning possible.

SPECS

McLaren 675LT Coupe

Engine 3,799cc V8 turbocharged

Gearbox 7-speed dual clutch transmission

Max power 675 hp @ 7,100 rpm

Max torque 700 Nm @ 5,500 rpm

0-100 kmh 2.9 secs

0-200 kmh 7.9 secs

Top speed 330 kmh

CO2 emissions 275 g/km

Price S$1.55 million (without COE)

Distributor Eurokars Supersports

Tel 6251-6888

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