McLaren 600LT Lives Up to the Legacy of the 675LT
McLaren 600LT swings its (light) weight around the famed Hungaroring, may be the best McLaren longtail yet.
McLaren’s legacy as a manufacturer is cemented in stone. From the racetrack to the street, from the MP4/4 to the Senna, McLaren has been killing it since 1963. The rare 2015-2017 675LT is another one of McLaren’s greatest hits. It was evolution of the 650S, made for the track and capable of hitting 62 mph in just 2.9 seconds from a standing start, topping out at 205 mph on the long straights.
Though the 675LT is no longer in production, the McLaren Longtail legacy continues on with the 2019 600LT. Carfection host Henry Catchpole gets a chance to experience all the 600LT has to offer with a few laps around Mogyoród, Hungary’s Hungaroring.
“The name’s not as catchy as Senna or Granchi,” says Catchpole, “but this car is a mouth-watering prospect. For your 185,500 pounds, you get a dry weight of 1,247 kilos, you get bespoke Trofeo R tires that were developed alongside the car, you’ll get quicker steering and more linear torque delivery, and those amazing top-exit exhausts.”
So, about $200,000 USD, a 2,900 pound curbweight, big tires and big power, sounds good to us.
The 600LT already bests its successor around the track, boasting higher cornering speeds than the 675LT, and hitting 125 mph in 8.2 seconds from a standing start. The shifts in sport mode are less smooth than in track mode, while the brake feel isn’t as firm as it is on the Senna, “but it’s really [a] solid feeling from the top of the pedal, really confidence-inspiring.”
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“The nice thing about this car is that even when it does cut loose, it doesn’t feel like the sort of car. It doesn’t feel unnatural. It doesn’t make your heart race, [or] spike,” Catchpole says. “And it has got that LT emotion and interactivity that the 675 had. It seems crazy that a 600-horsepower car doesn’t feel ridiculously quick in a straight line. That’s the world we’re living in these days.”
Though the 600LT may not have hundreds upon hundreds of horses to use like other supercars and hypercars, the new McLaren longtail can corner and brake with the best of them, if not better. When compared to the McLaren 570S, whose driving dynamics are “pretty loose and mobile under hard braking, the 600LT is much more secure” with its more precise handling when braking, and weightier steering via the 600LT’s hydraulic steering system.
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“The other far-reaching change over the 570S, of course, is the 100-kilo reduction in weight,” says Catchpole. For the 600LT, McLaren went all-out on reducing weight on its new longtail, from the carbon fiber bodywork, suspension components, and braking system, to the stainless steel top exhaust tips, Alcantara trim, and the lack of door pockets, satnav, and air conditioning. All of that amounts to the equivalent of “81 bags of sugar and a 19-kilo trolley.”
“I’ve been impressed by certain aspects of recent McLarens like the 720S and Senna,” Catchpole explains, “but I admit they haven’t really gotten under my skin. Even in the all too brief time I’ve had in the 600LT, however, I was rather smitten.” His fear the 675LT “might have been a one-off” has been thankfully put at ease with all McLaren has done with the 600LT, conjuring up the same “beguiling, intangible characteristics, the ones that are about more than just pure speed, ones that make you smile, rather than just nod in acknowledgement of the target achieved.”