The 765LT’s carbon-ceramic discs and pads are shared with the
Senna and deliver stupendous deceleration, braking from 125mph to a standstill
in just 110 metres. Driver and passenger are protected by the McLaren’s
carbon-fibre Monocage II architecture, while driver aids include Launch
Control, Anti-Lock Braking (ABS), Traction Control (TCS), Electronic Stability
Control (ESC), Hill Hold Assist and Downshift Limit. McLaren’s unique Variable
Drift Control allows the person at the wheel to precisely set their preferred
level of oversteer before the traction control system intervenes.
The new 765LT is 80kg lighter than the 720S and generates 25 per cent more downforce. Although LT stands for Longtail the new 765 LT is only 10mm longer at the back than the 720S, though the huge new front splitter adds a further 40mm to overall length. All body panels are now carbon fibre, saving 14kg. These include the front floor, rear bumper, active rear spoiler, front bumper, new aero splitter, side skirts and lengthened diffuser. Even the windscreen and front windows are made using thinner glass, while the rear windscreen and quarterlights are polycarbonate. The 765LT sits 5mm lower, with a wider track and features side intakes inspired by the 675LT. But one of the most dramatic angles of the 765LT is the rear, where an all-new diffuser draws the eye to the four centrally mounted tailpipes from the full titanium exhaust. Inside, the Alcantara-clad interior is totally driver focused with light, all-enveloping carbon-fibre seats and a carbon-fibre centre tunnel. Kerb weight, including all fluids and a 90% fuel load is just 1,339kg.
To begin at the beginning; the 765LT is powered by McLaren’s advanced M840T 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8. In this guise it shares key components with the Senna, including its fuel pump, pistons and head gasket, enabling McLaren engineers to boost power to 765 metric horsepower, with 800Nm of torque. That power reaches the rear wheels via a 7-speed Seamless Shift gearbox and the final drive ratio is lower than that of the 720S. As a result the 765LT’s 0-62mph time is just 2.8 seconds and 0-124mph takes 7.2 seconds, the latter a full six tenths of a second faster than a 720S. Dynamic chassis technologies include adaptive damping and McLaren’s Proactive Chassis Control II system, while the double-wishbone suspension features stiffer, lighter, single-rate springs front and rear.
Verdict: though based on the 720S the new McLaren 765LT is the spiritual successor to the most recent McLaren Longtail, the 675LT. It maintains that nameplate’s tradition of being the crème de la crème when it comes to track performance, yet it remains tractable and civilised enough to be driven with pleasure on the road. A future icon.