Longtail vs range-topping performance

A few years ago, McLaren was still a very small company that had few models on offer. This changed in 2015, when the Brits added a new lineup, the Sports Series. Placed under the Super Series family which includes the 650S and 675LT, among others, the Sports Series is the brand’s most affordable line of cars. It debuted with the 570S and 540C, but it soon grew to include the 570S Spider, the less track-focused 570GT, and the race-spec 570S GT4 and 570S Sprint. In 2018, McLaren finally granted the Sports Series access to its exclusive Longtail lineup and launched the 600LT.

Essentially an upgrade to the 570S, the 600LT uses more extreme aerodynamics and a more powerful engine. It’s quicker and more agile on the race track, yet it remains road-legal, sliding just under the track-only 570S GT4. So how does it compare to the 570S, the lineup’s range-topping model for three years? Let’s find out in the comparison below.

Continue reading for the full story.

Exterior

McLaren 600LT vs McLaren 570S Exterior
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Essentially a road-legal version of the track-only 570S GT4, the 600LT goes wild with extra carbon-fiber and retuned aerodynamics

Inspired by the P1 supercar, the 570S is as aggressive as they get. The mid-engined layout helps a lot, but so do the pointy nose, the sporty splitter, the side vents, and the sizable diffuser. We’ve seen it from every angle, we’re already familiar with its design, and we can agree that it trumps rivals from Ferrari and Lamborghini design-wise.

The 600LT turns the styling knob to 11.

Essentially a road-legal version of the track-only 570S GT4, the 600LT goes wild with extra carbon-fiber and retuned aerodynamics. The front section is by no means extreme, but the carbon-fiber splitter and the vertical winglets on each side of the bumper help it stand out from the pack. The trunk lid carries over unchanged, so there are no extra vents to talk about, but the front fenders got extra outlets toward the doors.

McLaren 600LT vs McLaren 570S Exterior
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Things become a bit more extreme at the rear, where the 600LT gained a fixed wing and a race-inspired diffuser

Changes continue onto the sides with sportier carbon-fiber side skirts that feature "600LT" logos. McLaren also added carbon-fiber mirror caps. Granted, you can get these on the 570S too, but only through the MSO program. The 600LT also rides on new multi-spoke wheels that are lighter than those offered on the 570S. The track-prepped sports car is also a bit longer than the standard model, a common feature for Longtail versions, but the extra 2.9 inches are hardly noticeable.

Things become a bit more extreme at the rear, where the 600LT gained a fixed wing and a race-inspired diffuser with massive vertical blades. These features alone turn the 600LT into a race for the road, at least in terms of looks. But upgrades don’t stop here. McLaren also revised the panel between the taillights, while the bumper has scooped sides and vertical winglets for improved aerodynamics. But by far the biggest change here is that the exhaust pipes were relocated from the bumper corners on the engine hood. The top-exiting exhaust helps the 600LT lose even more weight, but it also makes the rear end look more aggressive and even unique.

Needless to say, while the 570S looks aggressive enough as it is, the Longtail package makes the Sports Series irresistible if you’re a fan of race-spec features.

Interior

McLaren 600LT vs McLaren 570S
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Inside the cabin, the 570S is a cool combination of sporty and luxury features

Inside the cabin, the 570S is a cool combination of sporty and luxury features. While the seats are heavily bolstered, and the steering wheels sports a flat-bottomed design, the upholstery is made of fine leather and contrast stitching. Sure, it’s not exactly comfortable for long trips, and there are no fancy features like in a Rolls-Royce, but the premium look is there.

The 600LT leaves some of that road-going goodness behind and adds features that turn the Sports Series into a more track-oriented beast. Arguably the most important upgrade is the carbon-fiber racing seats. Borrowed from the P1 supercar, these seats provide enhanced lateral support, but also help reduce the car’s weight. The seats are wrapped in Alcantara instead of leather, for increased grip and reduced weight, but the same applies to every other feature inside the cabin.

McLaren 600LT vs McLaren 570S Interior
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Just like a full-fledged race car, McLaren replaced every inch of leather with Alcantara in the 600LT

Just like a full-fledged race car, McLaren replaced every inch of leather with Alcantara, including on the door panels and the steering wheel. The 600LT also adds extra carbon-fiber inside the cabin, with the lightweight composite noticeable on the center stack and center console. The instrument cluster was carried over from the 570S, but it now features sportier graphics.

The final upgrade is a cost option in the form of the company’s Super-Lightweight seats. Also made from carbon-fiber, these seats come from the hardcore Senna supercar and will give you the best support during a round ofhigh-speed laps around the track.

Drivetrain and Performance

McLaren 600LT vs McLaren 570S Exterior
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Output went up to 592 horsepower and 457 pound-feet of twist in the 600LT

When it introduced the 570S back in 2015, McLaren detuned the familiar 3.8-liter V-8 from the Super Series. In this model, the twin-turbo unit cranks out 562 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque, all of which is routed to the rear wheels through a seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission.

Because it’s the lightest vehicle in this niche at only 2,895 pounds, the 570S is amazingly quick, needing only 3.2 seconds to hit 62 mph front a standing start and 9.5 clicks to reach 124 mph. Its top speed is equally impressive at 204 mph.

Despite having upgraded the 3.8-liter unit into a 4.0-liter V-8, McLaren used the old mill in the 600LT too. However, output went up to 592 horsepower and 457 pound-feet of twist, which is an extra 30 horses and 14 pound-feet compared to the 570S. Not only more powerful, but the 600LT is also lighter too. With every lightweight option fitted, the lightest dry weight of the 600LT is as low as 2,749.2 pounds, a 211.6-pound reduction compared to the 570S.

McLaren 600LT vs McLaren 570S High Resolution Exterior
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The lightest dry weight of the 600LT is as low as 2,749.2 pounds, a 211.6-pound reduction compared to the 570S

Performance specs for the 600LT aren’t available as of this writing, but it should be at least a tenth-second quicker than the 570S. Expect the 0 to 60 mph sprint to come in 3.1 seconds, but a three-second run is also possible. Top speed could also be higher at around 207 mph versus the 570S’ 204-mph rating.

The 600LT is more than just an upgrade that’s quicker in a straight line. All those aero upgrades make it faster and more agile at the track too. The chassis also received updates for track use, starting with a new, double-wishbone suspension made from forged aluminum. It also has firmer engine mounts, quicker steering, and sharpened throttle and braking response. The braking system is also more powerful than usual, having been borrowed from the more expensive Super Series models. The track-focused Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tires were developed specifically for this car for increased grip.

McLaren 570S McLaren 600LT
Engine Configuration V8 Twin Turbo / 3799cc twin-turbo, 3.8-liter, V-8
Power 562 HP @ 7,400 RPM 592 HP
Torque 443 LB-FT @ 5,000-6,500 RPM 457 LB-FT
0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) 3.2 seconds 3.1 seconds (est)
Top speed 204 mph 207 mph (est)

Final Thoughts

McLaren 600LT vs McLaren 570S Exterior
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With the Super Series range having already gained two Longtail models, the 600LT was a necessary addition to the Sports Series family. Not only it enhances performance beyond that of the already potent 570S, but it also gives customers the opportunity to buy a track-ready car that can still be used legally on public roads. What’s more, the 600LT is the most affordable Longtail the company has ever made, which means that more enthusiasts have access to the great heritage of the original F1 GTR Longtail.

Further reading

McLaren 600LT vs McLaren 570S Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2019 McLaren 600LT.

2016 McLaren 570S Coupe High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2016 McLaren 570S Coupe.

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Read more McLaren news.

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