Driven a McLaren 720S lately? We have—it’s almost too quick. Not on the track, of course, because there you can actually use all the performance, but on public roads, it’s just ballistic. But when has too fast ever been a problem for McLaren? It’s a car we all knew was coming, but that doesn’t make it any less shocking.
Allow us to introduce the McLaren 765LT—a harder, faster cousin to the 720S and the car that could make a Ferrari 488 Pista look pedestrian.
How do you make something quick even quicker? You know the drill—more power, more downforce, less weight. The 765LT sticks to the formula, producing (as the name suggests) 765hp, or 45hp more than the 720S. It also weighs 80kg less. As a result, it’ll do 0-100kph a tenth faster than the 720S, in 2.8sec, and 0-200kph in 7.2sec—that’s a full six-tenths faster and, to keep the marketing department happy, just four-tenths behind the Senna and the P1. Top speed: 330kph.
Let’s start with the diet: All the body panels are now carbon fiber—that’s 14kg saved. You get the seats from a Senna—18kg right there. There’s new lightweight forged 10-spoke wheels fitted with Trofeo Rs as standard—total saving 22kg. And there are even titanium wheel nuts to shave off a few more grams. You get the Senna brake calipers as standard, and as an option, you can opt for the Senna’s extremely special carbon-ceramic discs that take seven months to cure for ultimate fade-free performance. It’ll stop from 200kph-0 in just 110 meters, and probably tear your eyes out their sockets in the process.
And that’s not even the nerdy stuff. The rear windscreen and the rear quarter windows are polycarbonate, there’s thinner glass for the windshield and the windows, no carpets, a new carbon-fiber center console without an armrest, and McLaren’s first full titanium exhaust. Lighter, noisier, and fitted with quad pipes that remind us of a Bugatti Chiron Sport, the pipes, like on the 600LT, are the defining design cue—the thing that lets supercar spotters know they’re not looking at a normal 720S.
The styling, then...not subtle is it? Overall, it produces 25% more downforce than the 720S does, which dictates the way it looks. The huge carbon front splitter is all-new; GT2 RS-style vents in the top of the front wheel arch are also new and relieve pressure to reduce lift. Larger and more pronounced carbon side skirts stick out the sides, and round the back you have an active wing that’s 20% bigger than the one on the 720S, as well as a substantially larger rear diffuser.
Surprise, surprise, the engine is McLaren’s 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8, producing, 754hp and 799Nm of torque—that’s thanks to the addition of fuel pump, pistons and head gasket from the Senna. The suspension is a refined version of the 720S’s linked-hydraulic Proactive Chassis Control II setup, now with 11% stiffer spring rates front and rear, a 5mm lower ride height at the front, and a 6mm wider front track. Final drive ratio is 15% shorter than in a 720S, the lowest of any McLaren, which should make the in-gear acceleration feel...lively.
Want to show off all that lovely engineering? You’ll need the optional engine viewing port on the rear shelf. The rest of the interior is familiar 720S, but with a bit more bite. There are mats, but just a naked carbon-fiber floor underneath, seats that just swallow you up, no aircon if you’re a sadist. McLaren says the 765LT is still a road car at heart.
No word on price yet, although we know just 765 will be built (see what they did there?). But the pressure is on—this is the first ‘Longtail’ to directly succeed another LT model, the brilliant 675LT. Big boots to fill...
NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.