Abundant and featherweight horses make the new McLaren 600LT Coupe a pure “race animal”. Driving it is like being at the console of a video game. Superfluous to complain about the scarce comfort on the road
The Goodwood Festival of Speed is an exclusive event that, since 1993, takes place every summer in the homonymous estate located in West Sussex, United Kingdom. Designed by Lord March (the Duke of Richmond), over the years has surpassed the initial size of the event dedicated to sports cars and competition of all ages, to become the catwalk on which the creme of automotive production world. It is therefore not a case that the premiere debut of the McLaren 600LT Coupé it happened at Goodwood last July: we are talking, in fact, of the top model – under the technical and performance aspect – of the Sports Series family, the one that collects the McLaren so to speak “accessible”, at least compared to the Super Series range (which currently includes only the 720S Coupé). We are talking about an exclusive and pure two-seater, designed to offer the maximum driving pleasure to a few lucky (and wealthy) enthusiasts, destined to be built in a limited series for only 12 months starting from October 2018.
In the acronym of the 2019 McLaren 600LT Coupé, LT stands for Long Tail, ie long tail. The definition derives from the particular elongated design of the rear part of the best performing McLaren: the solution was used in the F1 GTR Longtail (competition variant derived from the road version launched in 1995), taken 20 years later in the small series models with the 675LT and 675LT Spider, and today revived in the 600LT. In this case the starting point is the 570S Coupé, as you can easily guess by observing the sinuous body that also keeps the doors that open by rotating forward upwards (they arrive, with the upper edge, about two meters in height ). The rear area, however, has several innovations, such as the flashy fixed wing and other specific elements that increase the length of the car by 47 mm; in addition, 27 mm more we find them in the front, with the result that the 600LT measures 460 cm in total against 453 cm of the 570S. Compared to the latter, the exhaust system also changes: the upper outlet type, is resolved into two “chimney” terminals that emerge from the rear hood, downstream of the rear window and upstream of the wing (those of the less powerful model are , instead, integrated on the sides of the diffuser). It is hardly worth noting that the overall “presence” is impressive, as the car is over 2 meters wide and only 1 meter and 20 centimeters high.
New McLaren 600LT Price
The aim of the designers was to work on weight reduction, on increasing the power and on the aerodynamic efficiency to achieve an extreme supercar, more specialized and paid to the use not only compared to the model from which it derives, but also to the previous one (e in absolute terms more lending) 675LT, accredited 675 HP. The McLaren Sports Series 600LT Coupé can be ordered from October 2018. But the price, set at € 236,000 (€ 42,000 more than that of the 570S), is destined to rise a lot if you draw on the extensive list of options: just to stay within the confines aesthetics, suffice it to say that the most complete packages with parts in visible carbon fiber (Visual Carbon Fiber Exterior Upgrade) costs € 7,360, and that there are various special paintings available.
The displacement of the V8, housed behind the passenger compartment (in the rear-central position) and revised in the supports, remains 3.8 liters as in the other Sports Series. It is a very compact engine, with variable timing distribution, supercharged by a double turbocharger and equipped with a dry sump lubrication circuit: the latter solution, derived from competitions, eliminates the classic oil pan in favor of a separate tank . Thanks to changes to the control unit mapping, to the different exhaust system (which generates less back pressure, with positive effects also on the sound) and to the different flow of air that improves the cooling by 6%, in the McLaren 600LT Coupé 30 hp more than its counterpart used in the 570S, reaching the peak of 600 hp at 7500 rpm (but the limiter intervenes 1000 rpm higher); the torque, however, is worth the beauty of 620 Nm available from 5500 to 6500 rpm. The “beer” is sent to the rear wheels (20 “, the front ones are 19”) through a 7-speed robotized gearbox (in this edition with reduced inertias to make even more immediate the relationship steps), which can work in automatic or sequential mode acting on the steering wheel paddles.
According to Mike Flewitt, CEO of McLaren, the race in search of ever greater powers is an ineluctable fact, but in the meantime his company is already winning the race of weight reduction: a factor that – the other variables remain – allows to improve a little ‘all the dynamic qualities, in addition to inducing a virtuous circle in the entire design process, with a general mass saving on all the components. In the case of the 2019 McLaren 600LT Coupe, one speaks of a lightening of about 100 kg, “filed” intervening wherever possible, even in the interior upholstery, and extending the use of composites. Therefore, the bodywork makes extensive use of carbon fiber (the same material used to build the monocoque chassis, one of McLaren’s refined features), used for mudguards, roofs, side air intake conveyors and lower aerodynamic hangers. The aforementioned “high” exhaust made it possible to eliminate 12.6 kg, and “slimmed” – among other things – the braking system (-4 kg, thanks to the 390 mm diameter carboceramic discs in the front and 380 mm behind , and the lightened Super Series derivation pliers), suspension (-10.2 kg, using overlapped forged aluminum triangles and stiffened anti-roll bars) and forged alloy wheels (-17 kg, optional at 5.270 euros including Pirelli P covers -Zero Trofeo R). Another 21 kg were “cut” thanks to the new seats, 17 eliminating the air conditioner, the sound system and even the storage compartments, and 2.1 changing the type of painting: enough to make up for a large 3.5 extra to the rear wing (supports included).
Compared to the 570S, 23% of the parts were replaced, and the result is a mass in running order comparable to that of a small car: just 1356 kg. The value declared dry, however, is 1247 kg, which makes the 2019 McLaren 600LT Coupe significantly lighter than its reference rivals, identified by the manufacturer in the Ferrari 488 GTB, the Lamborghini Huracán Performance and the Porsche 911 GT2 RS. According to the available potential (and the weight / power ratio of 2.1 kg / hp with the car in the lightest configuration) the official performance data, which speaks of “0-100” of only 2.9 seconds (8, 2, instead, those declared in the “0-200”) and 328 km / h of top speed (after trying it, we can say that we believe blindly …). In the framework of specialization “pistaiola” of 600LT are also included the changes to the anti-roll bars, front stiffened by 50% and behind by 25%, in addition to interventions on the calibration of the steering.
In addition to redefining the trim, lowered by 8 mm (also specifies the calibration of electronically controlled dampers, stiffened by 13% in front and 34% behind), to make the McLaren Sports Series 600LT Coupé aerodynamically more efficient than the 570S have been redesigned also the front wing and side skirts; in addition, the underbody (also in carbon fiber) complements the brake cooling ducts. Thanks to the more extended rear wing, the downforce was increased, that is the force that “crushes the ground” to the car, increasing road holding and stability at a high speed: according to the house, at 250 km / h the aerodynamic load on the rear reaches 100 kg.
McLaren 600LT Interior
The hollowed-out and super-light carbon fiber shells (-3.6 kg compared to the standard ones) are offered as a free option, accentuating – if needed – the racing atmosphere of the cockpit. Which, for how it is organized, does not differ much from that of the 570S, although in the McLaren Sports Series 600LT Coupé there are coatings in Alcantara or, for a fee, in Alcantara and leather (2,440 euro), as well as those of type special with one of the two materials of your choice (€ 3,860). We have said that for reasons of weight the McLaren 600LT Coupe does without the air conditioning, but the waiver is not mandatory: those who want can request it at no cost, and the same applies to the “restoration” of the basic audio system with 4 speakers and integrated satellite navigator.
Extensive, as for the exterior, the customization possibilities of the McLaren Sports Series 600LT Coupé, which also include rich packages such as Carbon Fiber, which includes the inserts in composite material (7.110 euros) or the Lux (9.400 euros), which provides the electric adjustment of the seats (heated) and the steering column, the Bower & Wilkins hi-fi with 12 loudspeakers, the McLaren logos in the floor and the doors with soft closing. The Security Pack with the indispensable rear view camera (without which, between the small rear window and cantilevered wing, in the “retro” maneuver blindly) costs, instead, 4,980 euros, and also includes the parking sensors, the Vehicle Lift (ie the system to raise the nose of the car by a few centimeters to avoid damaging it when facing a steep ramp) and a car cover (all accessories also available separately). Always paid, you can have the track telemetry system with triple MTT camera (McLaren Track Telemetry, € 1,700).
At the wheel of the New McLaren 600LT Coupe we had the very strong sensation of being thrown into a video game. With the complicity of the ups and downs of the Hungaroring (the theater of our test, a few kilometers from Budapest), everything happened at extraordinary speed: the distance of the curves, the overtaking of slower vehicles, the progression of the engine, which made all the damn short straights. The English supercar leaves almost no time to think: when you decide to push you must already be perfectly tuned to the car and only when you acquire the right pace you have the feeling of the steering wheel, gear, brakes and accelerator with the automatism with which you act on a joystick. The only thing that happens “slowly” is the access to the cockpit, especially if you are more than 180 cm tall and anything but thin: the choreographic opening of the doors to the top leaves just a hole to fit into the very low driving position, hollowed out in a carbon fiber shell. But you have to be even more agile to go out, which is why it is advisable to use a particular technique: put your left foot on the ground, place your right elbow on the windshield upright, pry up and pull up.
In comparison with the LT, driving the 570S (which was made available to familiarize with the circuit) seemed like a child’s play: almost comfortable, sweet but poor in torque at low revs (pushes hard only after 5000 laps) . More than the 30 bhp of advantage, it is the exuberant couple and very well distributed at low and medium regimes to make the difference, and to “shoot out” from the curves almost violently, so as to always force to dose the accelerator carefully. In short, a bit ‘from all the regimes above 3500, the McLaren 600LT Coupé pushes like a tame and sticky to the seat even in the third (where in the passage of gear you can also feel a gratifying slip of the tires). In short, almost a progression from racing motorcycles, underlined by a surprisingly acute exhaust tone, and by a peremptory extension up to 8500 rpm.
Only those who are well prepared physically can try to exploit it thoroughly, since the commitment (not only psychological) required at the limit is very high. The steering wheel, extremely direct, needs very small angles to insert the car when cornering and take it to the rope, but must always be firmly gripped in the long bends in support because it tends to re-align with stubbornness. At the exit, the car should then be left gently, without, however, ever abandon the grip of the steering wheel. Very high the limit of this supercar, which boasts a formidable grip in the corners, and knows how to always remain beautiful flat and controlled even on the undulations. We are convinced that when you push hard the feelings transmitted by the McLaren 600LT Coupé are very close to those that you feel aboard a Formula 1: very fast gear changes as machine guns that are manifested with very dry shots in the rear, the steering wheel vibrates and seems to want to run away from the hands, accelerations and decelerations able to take your breath away in your throat. In short, you do not have time to squeeze the gears that you must immediately stick to the brakes (carbo-ceramic series), which in addition to a full-strength endurance, provide incredible power (in the early laps they even took us on the counterattack leading us to decelerate too early, forcing us to give another tap of gas to enter the curve at the right pace).
McLaren 600LT Coupe Review – Verdict
The 2019 McLaren 600LT Coupe was born in a moment of great ferment for the British house, fresh in sales records (3,340 copies in 2017) and with great future ambitions: at the Goodwood Festival of Speed was presented the plan called Track25, which updates the previous one at the beginning of 2016 and sets the production target at 6,000 units / year by 2024. The program, supported by investments of around 1.2 billion pounds, provides for the introduction of 18 novelties between unpublished models and derivative versions (such are considered, for example, GTs based on S); Also announced are plug-in hybrid power units with a fast charging system and a Formula 1 style boost function, like the one that could equip a future successor to the iconic P1 manufactured from 2013 to 2015. The brand – whose independence in the as part of the McLaren Group – it will keep production in Woking, England, and will continue to assemble its cars with artisanal methods, while the sales network in the world will be expanded from the current 86 to 100 dealerships.