Four down but even more to come!

Making performance versions of performance cars somehow seems like a needless operation, but the likes of the Ferrari Speciale, the Porsche GT3 RS, or the Lamborghini Performante showed there is a market for these types of performance cars. Within the McLaren macrocosmos, we have the so-called LT line up. It is still a small lineup, but with the recent introduction of the fascinating, 600LT, the LT offering now includes the 675LT, the 675LT Spider, and the 600LT. However, there was a fourth LT car. The one that all modern McLaren LT performance beasts take a bow to. Their grandfather, if you like - the McLaren F1 GTR Longtail.

Matured under the watchful eye of McLaren racing engineers in the 90s for the 1997 racing season, the McLaren F1 GTR Longtail had such an imposing expression that it became an icon.

The McLaren Long Tail history may not be long, but it is full of cars that moved the bar within their respective segments.

McLaren F1 GTR Longtail

McLaren F1 GTR Long Tail for sale
- image 305514
The tail is 25 inches longer compared to the “standard” F1 GTR

The most impressive fact about the F1 GTR Longtail isn’t actually its speed or its results in the 1997 FIA GT Championship, but the fact that this car was very much based on top of a road car. All other race cars from that period were actually intentionally built for racing. So, translating this name onto new generation McLarens obviously proves that the Woking-based company still works under the same assumption of formulating road cars that are as close to race cars as possible. Based on top of the standard McLaren F1, the GTR Longtail gained a rather incredible tail. The tail is 25 inches longer compared to the “standard” F1 GTR. The addition of a longer tail was a necessity as the competition created cars with far more downforce and better aero efficiency compared to what McLaren did with their F1 GTR.

However, apart from making the F1 GTR longer, thus granting it the Longtail name, the engineers had to make a number of other important modifications. These mods made the F1 GTR Longtail the most extreme F1 ever produced. Lowering its weight by almost 300 lbs, the F1 GTR Longtail, despite being 25 inches longer, tipped the scales at 2,018 lbs. It was a featherweight, really, considering it retained a BMW developed V-12. In this iteration, the engine developed 592 horsepower. It was easily enough to lead the F1 GTR Longtail to five wins that season (out of 11 races) and make it No. 1 and 2 at the podium of the 24 Hours of Le Mans race for the GT1 class.

In this regard, we can’t say that the F1 GTR Longtail was an undisputed champion of its time, but that is not even important when it comes to adding the LT name to new cars. What is important is that the F1 GTR Longtail race car also made its way to the streets. Companies like Lanzante transformed some of the F1 GTR Longtail cars to make them eligible for road use. Many other racing cars of the time simply were all too different to be converted into road going cars. Now, with the new generation of LT cars, McLaren honors that legacy.

1997 McLaren F1 GTR Longtail drivetrain specifications

Engine 6.0 liter V-12
Horsepower 592 HP @ 7,500 RPM
Torque 480 LB-FT @ 5,600 RPM
Transmission 6 speed Sequential

Read our full review on the 1997 McLaren F1 GTR Longtail.

McLaren 675LT

2016 McLaren 675LT High Resolution Exterior
- image 638213

If you go all bare naked with purchasing this one, you may not even get a freaking air-con inside. This is only another important fact that tells a lot about the racing nature of the most hardcore version of the McLaren 650S - the 675LT. Yet, while based on the 650S, McLaren made some really important changes. McLaren P1 suspension elements found their way down the line and landed on the 675LT. The carbon fiber front lip and front hatch lowered the weight further, and the addition of 1.5 inches in length, courtesy of the rear spoiler and the front lip, promoted the downforce. People who actually drove the thing are mostly unanimous - the 675LT is a blast to drive and is very enjoyable on the track. Heck, it may be even better than the McLaren P1 in some respects.

Even though power was only increased by 25 horsepower, McLaren insists that they have changed up to 50 percent of all internals found in the 3.8-liter, V-8 engine compared to the one in the 650S. This one is geared towards the best possible track performance. It shows, too, as the 675LT can accelerate to 62 mph in 2.9 seconds, to 124 mph in 7.9 seconds, and tops out at 205 mph.

Yet, despite the mad performance, the sheer scope of the changes on the 675LT Coupe is quite extraordinary. It seems that the bodywork from the B-pillar has been completely changed towards the rear. Some of it is due to aerodynamic requirements and some due to the sheer necessity to make the new - premium-priced coupe - somewhat unique.

Much to McLaren’s surprise, the demand for the car greatly surpassed expectations. After the initial production of 500 units of the 675LT Coupe, all of which had been spoken for in a matter of days after disclosing info about the production, McLaren announced a limited edition 675LT Spider.

2016 McLaren 675LT - drivetrain specifications

Engine Configuration 3.8-liter, V-8
Power 666 HP @ 7,100 RPM
Torque 516 LB-FT @ 5,500-6,500 RPM
Transmission 7 Speed SSG
CO2 275g/km
0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) 2.9 seconds
0-200 km/h (0-124 mph) 7.9 seconds
Top speed 330 km/h (205 mph)

Read our full review on the 2016 McLaren 675LT.

McLaren 675LT Spider

2017 McLaren 675 LT Spider High Resolution Exterior
- image 678365

Accepting all the changes of its coupe brother, the 675LT Spider is definitely one of the sharpest and meanest roofless cars ever. With it, McLaren actually announced that the LT will become something of a performance arm of McLaren and the 675LT Spider with 85ish lbs more of downforce compared with the 650S proves just that. The car itself isn’t much behind the 675LT coupe in terms of performance. After all, the carbon fiber monocoque tub is much the same with only slight mods on the upper end made for the creation of a Spider. Not only is it light, incredibly aero efficient, and bare naked on the inside, but this McLaren will surge to 62 mph in the same time as the coupe: 2.9 seconds. It is a tad slower to 124 mph - it will get there in 8.1 seconds , and finally, its top speed is at 200+ mph.

As is the case with its Coupe brother, the 675LT Spider was limited to 500 units and it featured all the important pieces presented on it. Wider track meant the integration of new, longer suspension arms. All other suspension parts were updated, as well as the steering (with new “faster” steering rack) and wheels - Pirelli P Zero Trofeo rubber custom made for the 675LT Spider.

The fact it was a Spider made McLaren engineers rethink the weight strategy of the 675LT. While almost as stiff and rigid as the Coupe, the roof mechanism did add a bit of heft to it - about 85 lbs. A rather small weight penalty indeed. The 675LT Spider tends to be as sharp and as eager as its Coupe brethren.

The most important feature? The air brake works perfectly on this one as well. The massive spoiler at the back, which basically makes the Longtail a Longtail, acts as an airbrake thanks to hydraulically controlled arms. At high speeds, this really helps braking.

2016 McLaren 675LT Spider - drivetrain specifications

Engine Configuration 3.8-liter, V-8
Power 666 HP @ 7,100 RPM
Torque 516 LB-FT @ 5,500-6,500 RPM
Transmission 7 Speed SSG
CO2 275g/km
0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) 2.9 seconds
0-200 km/h (0-124 mph) 7.9 seconds
Top speed 203 mph

Read our full review on the 2017 McLaren 675LT Spider.

McLaren 600LT

2019 McLaren 600LT Exterior
- image 785289

The latest addition to the LT lineup is the 600LT. Although the least powerful compared to its modern namesakes, the 600LT may be the most interesting. Based on top of the 570S, McLaren managed to remove 200+ lbs of its weight, install new carbon-fiber bodywork, and massage the engine to 592 horsepower. Some may say this isn’t enough power to launch the 600LT into the world of proper supercars.

Well, I disagree as this car also gained bespoke wheels and Pirelli tires, a 720S carbon-ceramic braking system, and an exhaust more impressive than the one on the McLaren Senna.

No, McLaren did not disclose information about the specs, but it would be a surprise if the 600LT could not crack 60 in less than 3 seconds. As far as the looks go, the car gained a new front lip, some added details on its fenders, and a fantastic rear spoiler. It is actually a heat-resistant unit as it does sit directly behind the upward shooting exhaust. You don’t want your car on fire when pushing the limits, do you?

LT cars continue to be rare commodities. McLaren capped the production of this one too, although they did not make a decision on the number. We do know its production will last for exactly one year starting in October this year. Some really lucky buyers (read VIP buyers) will get their cars by the end of this year. Although McLaren did not disclose the pricing details about the 600LT, it is fairly possible that the company has sold every planned unit already. Something similar happened with both of their previous LT production runs.

2019 McLaren 600LT drivetrain specifications

Engine twin-turbo, 3.8-liter, V-8
Horsepower 592 HP
Torque 457 LB-FT
0 to 60 mph 3.1 seconds (est.)
Weight 2,749.2 lbs

Read our full review on the 2018 McLaren 600LT.

Conclusion

The New McLaren 600LT is the Fourth "Longtail", What Are the Other Three? Exterior
- image 785280

We can see that the McLaren LT lineup is rooted in McLaren’s most famous racing car. The Longtail designation survived to this day and the new 600LT seems to fit perfectly within the exclusive LT group. It may even be that it has more crucial changes compared to the car it is based on than the 675LT or the 675LT Spider over the 650S. Nevertheless, the Longtail name is certain to give us a number of new cars in the coming years. The 720S needs to be updated; although, I do not know exactly how as this is a scalpel of a car. For now, the 600LT has enough unique touches to proudly wear the Longtail name as a homage to the fantastic McLaren F1 GTR Longtail from 1997.

Further Reading

McLaren F1 GTR Long Tail for sale
- image 305508

Read our full review on the 1997 McLaren F1 GTR Longtail.

2016 McLaren 675LT High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 638218

Read our full review on the 2016 McLaren 675LT.

2017 McLaren 675 LT Spider High Resolution Exterior
- image 678361

Read our full review on the 2017 McLaren 675LT Spider.

The New McLaren 600LT is the Fourth "Longtail", What Are the Other Three? Exterior
- image 785283

Read our full review on the 2019 McLaren 600LT.

no article
- image 745017

Read more McLaren news.

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: