Having first broken cover in March, the new McLaren 765LT has now made its way to Malaysia as part of a world tour. Not to be confused with its predecessor, the 675LT, the latest track-focused Super Series model takes the already-potent 720S to the absolute extreme for maximum performance.
The Longtail moniker – applied to only the third production McLaren, after the 675LT and 600LT – refers not to any lengthened bodywork, but the active rear spoiler nine millimetres longer than stock. Together with the 48 mm longer front overhang, this makes the 765LT 57 mm longer than the “standard” 720S.
The wing has an upwards flick towards the trailing edge, which helps it generate more downforce even when it isn’t raised. The effect this design has on drag is minimal, so aerodynamic efficiency has increased by 20%. It also has a central cutout to improve rear visibility and ensure that the heat from the titanium exhaust’s high-mounted quad pipes doesn’t singe it after extended track running.
Plenty of other performance-enhancing addenda can be found throughout the car. The front end has been extensively remodelled, featuring a new front splitter that comes with integrated flics and vertical fins. These fins guide airflow around the front wheels, working in concert with the vents that duct air from the radiators.
Along the side, small door blades complement the larger main blades, controlling the turbulent air exiting the front wheel arch. This air is then drawn into the expanded air intakes ahead of the rear wheel arch. Over at the top, the expansive all-around glazing now carries thinner, lighter glass and a polycarbonate rear screen – the latter allows for a double-bubble shape that directs air over the rear wing and helps cool the exhaust.
The rear bumper features a multitude of vents to vent hot air from the engine bay; it has also been drawn further inboard to expose the rear wheels, reducing air pressure in the wheel wells. The changes – plus a redesigned carbon fibre floor – all add up to a 25% increase in downforce over the 720S.
The 765LT rolls on ten-spoke lightweight forged alloy wheels as standard, measuring 19 inches (with 245/35R19 tyres) at the front and 20 inches (with 305/30R20 tyres) at the rear. Together with the titanium bolts, they save 22 kg over the standard 720S’ rollers. The Pirelli Trofeo R rubber is bespoke for this car.
Further weight-saving measures include the use of carbon fibre in the front splitter, front and rear bumpers, front floor, side skirts, rear wing, the lengthened rear diffuser and even the number plate holder. You can also specify the aluminium bonnet, fenders and doors to be made from the lightweight material instead.
The cabin is trimmed in lightweight Alcantara and carbon and gets a bespoke carbon composite centre tunnel, no floor mats, manual steering column adjustment and door stowage nets instead of pockets. Even the standard carbon-shelled bucket seats are 18 kg lighter than the regular 720S’ pews, but the ones you really want are these double-skinned carbon shells from the Senna, which weigh just 3.35 kg each.
There’s also no air-conditioning or speakers as standard (jettisoning the latter saves 1.5 kg), but you can specify both back in at no extra cost – although the top-end Bowers & Wilkins sound system is a cost option. The aforementioned titanium exhaust drops another 3.8 kg and the lithium-ion battery shaves a further three kilograms. All-in-all, the 765LT weighs just 1,339 kg at the kerb in its lightest specification, representing a weight saving of 80 kg over the 720S.
Having shaved as much fat as it could, McLaren then set about turning the engine up to 11. The familiar M840T 4.0 litre twin-turbocharged flat-plane V8 gets new forged pistons, a three-layer head gasket and carbon-coated cam followers, plus a revised ECU, a tweaked oil pump and an additional fuel pump. So equipped, the mill makes the namesake 765 PS at 7,500 rpm and a heady 800 Nm of torque at 5,500 rpm.
For even more vivid acceleration, the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission gets shorter ratios to boost in-gear acceleration by as much as 15%. The performance stats are immense – zero to 100 km/h is dispatched in just 2.8 seconds, and the 765LT will run to 200 km/h in a blistering 7.2 seconds.
This brutal speed is amped up by the V8’s louder rasp, thanks to stiffer engine mounts and the redesigned exhaust. The increased performance means more work for the chassis, so upgrades have been introduced to rein in the horsepower.
The front end has a six-millimetre wider track width and sits five millimetres lower, and new helper springs maintain suspension load on full rebound – with the added benefit of reducing weight compared to using just a single dual-rate spring. Roll stiffness has also been increased.
Other new features include a “limit downshift” function for the gearbox that will perform an early downshift request when possible instead of flat-out rejecting it, as well as the latest carbon-ceramic brake discs clamped by the Senna’s massive callipers. The options list including a track brake upgrade that throws in Senna discs and bespoke pads.
All these upgrades don’t come cheap, with the 765LT retailing at a starting price of RM1,488,000 – and that’s before excise tax and duties. You can, of course, ramp up the final bill with a startling array of options, such as exposed carbon fibre panels and a striking roof scoop from McLaren Special Operations (MSO). A three-year, unlimited-mileage warranty is included, with a coverage of up to 12 years possible through extensions.
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