Lighter, more powerful and with even higher levels of performance on both road and track, the McLaren 765LT is the latest in a line of ‘Longtail’ McLarens and the most dynamically advanced and engaging LT model ever from McLaren Automotive. Advanced carbon fibre technologies and bespoke carbon fibre LT body panels and aerodynamic features are key to an 80kg (DIN) weight reduction over the 720S. Together with power of 765PS and torque of 800Nm from the 4.0-litre, twin-turbocharged McLaren V8 engine, transmission gearing optimised for scintillating in-gear acceleration and LT-specific suspension springs and dampers, this is the basis for the wholly immersive driving experience the new 765LT delivers. The McLaren 765LT opens a new chapter in the ‘Longtail’ story that began with the McLaren F1 GTR race car in the 1990s and since 2015 has seen road-legal LT models introduced. The new car elevates to new levels the attributes that underpin every LT: driver engagement, track-focused dynamics, minimised weight, optimised aerodynamics and increased power are all amplified – particularly the first two. The LT promise of being ‘limited to the few’ is also fulfilled, with just 765 individually numbered cars available globally for customer order.
The aerodynamic performance of the McLaren 765LT is key to the abilities of the car on track, but also influences higher-speed road driving behaviours. The extended front splitter and elongated active rear wing work in conjunction with the carbon fibre floor, unique door blades and the extended rear diffuser to deliver aerodynamic downforce 25% greater than that available to a 720S driver, adding a further dimension to already excellent aerodynamic performance. The increased surface area and new static position of the wing – 60mm higher than on a 720S coupé – ensure additional downforce is created even with the wing fully retracted. The increased performance of the rear wing and aerodynamic performance overall is particularly showcased on high-speed, high-downforce circuits where greater rear aero bias is beneficial. The new, high-set static position of the ‘Longtail’ active rear wing aids powertrain cooling by drawing hot air out of the engine bay as well as increasing downforce, while the airbrake functionality reduces dive sensitivity under heavy braking. This allows the front springs to be softer than would be required if they were solely responsible for maintaining the front ride height, which in turn enables improved front axle compliance characteristics, to the benefit on-road driving.
The renowned McLaren Super Series chassis dynamics have been further enhanced in the 765LT, to provide the ‘communication and feel’ that allow a driver to fully exploit the extreme performance of the car when appropriate, but also enjoy it at lower speeds. The steering of the 765LT retains McLaren’s distinguished electro-hydraulic assistance but has been further honed with a quicker ratio and a stiffer torsion bar for even purer driver feedback. The state-of-the-art, linked-hydraulic Proactive Chassis Control II suspension introduced with the 720S features updates to both software and hardware to meet the dynamic requirements of the 765LT; advances made during the development of the McLaren Senna and Speedtail have seen the suspension system algorithms revised to ensure even greater precision and control. The dynamic ability and precision of the McLaren 765LT on both road and track is simply outstanding, taking circuit performance to new heights and making every road drive a joy. Driver satisfaction is guaranteed by extraordinary levels of engagement between driver and car, the result of absolute focus on delivering unparalleled feedback and connection. In comparison to the 720S, front ride height is reduced by 5mm (rear is unchanged) and front track is 6mm wider, changes that together improve both grip and balance. New lightweight main springs feature additional ‘helper’ springs to reduce unsprung mass and maintain load in the suspension on full rebound, while the use of two springs saves weight in comparison with one larger dual-rate spring. Roll stiffness is increased, further enhancing vehicle stability.
Gearbox and suspension characteristics are adjustable through Comfort, Sport and Track modes settings using the Powertrain and Handling settings within McLaren’s trademark Active Dynamics Panel. A new ‘limit downshift’ transmission function is introduced on the 765LT. Previously, a downshift would be refused by McLaren’s 7-speed Sequential Shift Gearbox if the resulting change would over-rev the engine; on the new LT, the transmission software will acknowledge the downshift request and change gears accordingly when the engine speed and road speed can be harmonised. This feature is designed to give a driver greater freedom on when to select gear changes as well as creating audible drama inside and outside the car by allowing the engine revs to ‘bounce’ momentarily on the rev-limiter before the next gear engages. The performance of the 765LT more than lives up to the expectations set by its looks. The engineering philosophies that underpin the car have their roots in the first-ever LT, the McLaren F1 GTR ‘Longtail’ race car, but push onwards in the 765LT well beyond the credentials developed with the previous road-legal modern-day models.
The new McLaren 765LT is the most powerful and responsive road-legal McLaren LT to date. A 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 McLaren M840T engine – which has a flat-plane crankshaft and dry sump lubrication, together with ultra-low inertia twin-scroll turbochargers and electronically controlled wastegates – features LT-specific forged aluminium pistons, a three-layer head gasket used in the McLaren Senna and ultra-efficient, carbon-coated followers in the valve train. An additional fuel pump and revised oil pump optimise flows and a recalibrated engine management system controls the increased power, with torque delivery and throttle response tuned for maximum driver engagement. Peak power is 765PS (755bhp) at 7,500rpm and maximum torque 800Nm (590lb ft) at 5,500rpm. Transmission gearing is optimised for acceleration, delivering virtually instant response to throttle inputs and in-gear acceleration up to 15% quicker than the class-benchmark 720S, itself a remarkable car in this respect. The extraordinary performance of the 765LT is summarised by its benchmark acceleration statistics: 0-100km/h (62mph) in 2.8 seconds (0-60mph in 2.7 seconds) and 0-200km/h (124mph) in 7.2 seconds.
The highly intense, emotional connection is further enhanced through the unique full-titanium, quad-exit exhaust. The ‘LT soundtrack’ the McLaren 765LT produces is not merely the result of the material choice, but also the design, diameter, angle and spacing of the four, centrally mounted round exhaust pipes. The pipe diameter increases the exhaust volume, while the relative position of each pipe to the others 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. Stiffer engine mounts are used not only to meet dynamic performance targets, but also to increase the physical and emotive engagement with the V8 powertrain by transferring and radiating 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. Tightly packaged and engineered to reduce weight, the exhaust system has no tailpipe finishers to add weight. Depending on where the vehicle is sold, two titanium valves are additional to the titanium exhaust pipes; standard-fit under EU legislation, this arrangement enables a quieter exhaust note at lower engine speeds, or a more engaging tone and sound at higher revs.
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