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McLaren’s New 765LT Is the Company’s Meanest Supercar Yet


March 3, 2020 Cars By
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Nobody would ever accuse the McLaren 720S of being slow. The 710-horsepower supercar punches so far above its weight in terms of raw performance, it humbles cars that cost twice the price; it practically bends space-time. If it’s not wild enough or fast enough for you, you oughta check your pulse.

Well, McLaren might need a defibrillator, because the British carmaker just made the 720S faster and even more wild. Meet: the McLaren 765LT.

At first blush, you might mistake the 765LT for its (slightly) lesser sibling — at least from the front and side, which look much the same, albeit with a bigger, exaggerated front splitter. Look to the tail, though, and you’ll see some major differences. Chief among them are the high-mounted quad tailpipes jutting from the center of the tail; a new diffuser helps channel the air beneath the car, while new vents behind the wheels help it stand out even more.The rear spoiler has been moved 2.4 inches higher, to provide added downforce even when stowed.

But aero isn’t everything. Cutting weight is a big part of turning a Macca into an LT (which, for the record, stands for “Long Tail,” though the 765LT’s rump looks to be the same size as the 720S’s); the 765LT weighs in at 176 pounds less than the car it’s based on. Credit even more use of carbon fiber than on the carbon fiber-intensive 720S, as well as extra use of lightweight materials like titanium and Alcantara. Even that quad-pipe exhaust is meant to add lightness (as well as sound awesome); it’s 40 percent lighter than the version on the “lesser” car.

McLaren also added more power to go with that reduced mass. The twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 now spits out 755 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque, which the carmaker says enables it to blast from 0-60 miles per hour in 2.7 seconds and from 0-124 in 7.8. It’s faster on the roll, too; in-gear acceleration (i.e. shift into third, then mat the gas) is 15 percent quicker than the 720S.

Somehow, it should handle better than the supernatural 720S as well, thanks to the aerodynamic changes and a revised suspension. The remarkable Proactive Chassis Control II system is still there, but now it’s joined by LT-specific springs and dampers, a wider front track and a lower nose. Carbon-ceramic brakes come standard, but if you plan on hitting the track, you may want the upgrade that takes the carbon-ceramics from the McLaren Senna.

So, what makes this car McLaren’s meanest supercar? It’s all in the definition. Unlike many other carmakers, McLaren breaks down its model lineup into distinctive tiers that align nicely with common car categories. At the bottom lies the Sport Series — cars like the 570S and 600LT that still qualify as “sports cars,” albeit as potent and extreme as a car bearing that broad term can be. At the top lies the Ultimate Series — the hypercars, like the aerodynamically-optimized high-speed Speedtail, the track-ravenous Senna and the spectacularly well-rounded P1.

Between them lies the Super Series — the supercars. When McLaren launched its road car line in 2011, it did so here, with the MP4-12C; that begat the 650S and 675LT, which in turn led the way to the 720S…and now, the 765LT, the angriest version of the line yet.

If you want to park on of these mean machines in your driveway, well, act fast. Just 765 will be made (though McLaren will probably build another 765 drop-top Spider versions in a year or two). Price? Not stated…but definitely not cheap.

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Will Sabel Courtney

Will Sabel Courtney is Gear Patrol’s Motoring Editor, formerly of The Drive and RIDES Magazine. You can often find him test-driving new cars in New York City, cursing the slow-moving traffic surrounding him.

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