All posts in “McLaren”

McLaren 720S Le Mans limited edition commemorates 25th anniversary of race win

McLaren made its first appearance as a constructor at the 24 Hours of Le Mans back in 1995, fielding seven McLaren F1 GTRs and taking the checkered flag with a 1-3-4-5 finish. Car #59, driven by JJ Lehto, Yannick Dalmas and Masanori Sekiya was the overall winner. To commemorate the 25th anniversary of that achievement, the company is rolling out a McLaren 720S Le Mans special edition.

The 720S Le Mans is available in Sarthe Grey or McLaren Orange and features a functional gloss-black roof scoop and carbon-fiber louvered front fenders. The lower body sides, lower front bumper, and rear bumper are painted Ueno Grey. The unique five-spoke wheel design is inspired by that of the F1 GTR racer, and gold-painted brake calipers are fitted as well.

The interior is equipped with carbon-fiber racing seats and is finished in black Alcantara with gray or orange accents. Drivers who plan to do some track time themselves can specify six-point seatbelts and a titanium harness bar. Multiple option packages can add more carbon-fiber exterior elements, and the brand’s MSO Defined and MSO Bespoke programs offer further customization.

The 4.0-liter M840T twin-turbo V8 is unchanged and spins out 710 horsepower at 7,500 rpm along with 568 lb-ft of torque. Paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, it’s good for a top speed of 212 mph and a 0-to-62-mph time of 2.9 seconds.

Just 50 examples worldwide will be produced, with deliveries scheduled to begin in September. U.S. pricing has not been announced, but expect to dig a little deeper than the $299,000 (plus $2,500 destination) for the standard 720S.

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McLaren Sports Series model with V6 hybrid delayed to 2021

In the middle of May, the McLaren Group began the hunt for up to $335 million to endure the downturn caused by the coronavirus, with the conglomerate ready to put every sacred asset on the block for collateral. A few days later, McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt told Automotive News Europe, “This will have cost us probably two years. [In] 2020, we’re going to do very little. I think it’ll take us the whole of ’21 to climb back [to] where we are.” Even though the Woking firm had already moved to cut supply in anticipation of lower sales, a 67% sales drop in Q1 this year led to McLaren laying off 1,200 employees — a quarter of the workforce — across Automotive, Racing, and Applied Technologies divisions. Another casualty of current events is the timeline for the anticipated plug-in hybrid model reported to replace the 570S in the entry-level Sports Series tier. Chatter had suggested McLaren would debut the car this summer and begin deliveries in some markets before the year ended. But Evo magazine reports the coupe will be on the tardy list, a company spokesperson telling PistonHeads the schedule has slid back “a handful of months.”

The PHEV represents a big step, being a volume model built on a brand new platform, powered by a brand new engine at the heart of a brand new powertrain. The twin-turbocharged V6 said to sit behind the cockpit inaugurates a life beyond the small-displacement V8 that has powered every McLaren Automotive product since a 3.8-liter twin-turbo unit entered service in the MP4-12C. We don’t know much about the V6, but spy shots appear to show that it will rev 500 rpm higher than the V8, to 8,000 rpm, and its peak output with electrical assistance will exceed the 570 horsepower in the 570S. The plug-in hybrid component contributes an Electric driving mode to Comfort and Sport modes, the powertrain supposedly able to go 21 miles on battery power. As for looks, the compact body seems to crib from the 720 S in front, the GT in the midsection, and add a lot of cooling apertures in the rear.

The “little” that Flewitt said McLaren would do this year means focusing on the Elva roadster, 765LT, and Speedtail. A spokesperson said testing and development have resumed, and “dealers are [also] already opening for appointments.” Since we’re still not halfway through 2020, it’s hard to imagine what anything will look like when — hell, if — the dust settles. It’s good bet, though, that McLaren could need to recalibrate the two dozen or so remaining models in its Track 25 strategy that envisions 18 new models by 2025.

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McLaren 600LT Spider Segestria Borealis is a spider edition of a Spider

It’s been a year and change since we drove the McLaren 600LT Spider, and McLaren has just wrapped up building the last few of this car’s run for North America. To celebrate, McLaren Special Operations (MSO) put together 12 Segestria Borealis special edition 600LT Spiders. They will be the last 12 available for sale in the U.S.

As a quick reminder, the 600LT Spider is at the very top of McLaren’s Sports Series. At its heart is a 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 that makes 592 horsepower and 457 pound-feet of torque. That’s good for a 0-60 mph time of 2.8 seconds and a top speed of 201 mph. The 600LT Spider turns heads without a wild paint scheme, and the Segestria Borealis just makes this car stick out even more. McLaren says the design was inspired by the Segestria Florentina, a venomous spider pictured below for your nightmares. Since it’s a spider edition of a Spider, McLaren jokingly named this car the “Spider Spider.” How fitting.

The twin Napier Green stripes that run from the nose of the car to the top-exit exhaust are meant to symbolize the spider’s fangs. The spider it’s based on is black, which the Borealis Black paint is meant to represent. It’s a fairly special black that features deep green and purple undertones depending on the light. Yeah, sounds intimidating to us. There’s Napier Green pinstriping found all over the car, most of which can be seen lining the aero bits to make them stand out. The Napier Green paint also covers the brake calipers hiding inside the forged, gloss black wheels.

And of course, it wouldn’t be a spider-themed car without webbing. McLaren has used a web motif on the rear wing, side mirrors, seat headrests and the seats themselves. Yes, it is slightly childish, but it fits the theme. There are additional Napier Green accents found throughout the cabin, as well.

McLaren says each of the Segestria Borealis cars are equipped with the MSO Clubsport Pack, which includes carbon fiber racing seats, carbon fiber interior trim, titanium wheel bolts and glossy carbon fiber fender louvers. McLaren also threw in (for free!) the Bowers and Wilkins audio system, McLaren track telemetry, nose lift system, parking sensors and an alarm system upgrade. Fancy.

All of this will cost you $275,500. The Segestria Borealis 600LT Spiders should be arriving to a few McLaren dealers soon where they’ll be made available to purchase.

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McLaren Speedtail reveals its hybrid powertrain secrets, and of course it’s impressive

Until now, McLaren has been keeping secrets about its three-seat Speedtail hypercar. We’ve known it’s packing a hybrid powertrain that produces a combined 1,055 horsepower and 848 pound-feet of torque, but that’s about it. Today, McLaren is spilling the beans, and what impressive beans they are.

The combustion engine is a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8, rated for 747 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque on its own. Its output is nearly identical to that of the 765LT (rated for 755 horsepower and 590 pound-feet). And yes, the two are both equipped with McLaren’t M840T engines. However, the Speedtail’s hybrid powertrain is named M840TQ, since it features an electric motor to help it along.

And help the Speedtail along it does. McLaren says the single electric motor generates 308 horsepower on its own, which is an astounding figure for its application. The tech on display here is derived from Formula E, and McLaren is claiming it’s the “highest performing installation — including cooling and integration — of any electric motor currently in use in a production road car.” 

McLaren is also bragging about its new battery unit. It’s a 1.647-kilowatt-hour (mighty precise there, McLaren) cylindrical-shaped unit that’s “arranged in a unique way.” What way? McLaren doesn’t say. However, it’s an extremely compact unit, and McLaren claims it’s able to provide the best power-to-weight ratio of any high-voltage battery available today. It says the power density of the battery is four times that of the McLaren P1, the company’s only other hybrid vehicle

As for the cooling system, it’s also state-of-the-art. McLaren says the cells are “thermally controlled by a dielectrical cooling system and permanently immersed in a lightweight, electrically insulative oil which quickly transfers heat away from the cells.” This cooling technology is also being claimed as a first in a production road car. The benefit? It’s highly efficient, and will “allow the cells to run harder and for longer.” All of this is great news for future hybrid McLaren supercars, which are coming soon.

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McLaren recalls Senna and several other models over potential fire risk

McLaren is recalling multiple models due to a potential fire risk. The models in question include the 2016-2020 720S, 2019 Senna, 2020 GT and 2017-2019 570GT. In total, that amounts to 2,763 cars.

The Senna being part of this recall caught our eye, since so few of those will ever be sold. McLaren says that 157 Sennas will be subject to recall. As for the issue itself, the fire risk stems from an NVH foam pad that is placed underneath the fuel tank. McLaren says there is a possibility that this pad collects and retains corrosive moisture from the environment while driving. Over time, this could corrode the surface of the fuel tank where the pad is in contact with it. Those “micro-porations” in the fuel tank could trigger the release of gas vapor or fuel liquid. McLaren says this wouldn’t immediately cause a fire, because the fuel would be exiting into a “cool part of the vehicle” (not the exhaust or powertrain). However, fuel could ultimately leak onto the ground under the vehicle, increasing the risk of a fire under the car.

McLaren says it first learned of the issue from a Latvian customer who claimed to smell fuel coming from his 570GT. The customer’s car was a former press car, “subjected to high mileage, wear and tear and greater range of road conditions than a typical vehicle of the same type and age.” Yeah, we can attest to that. After another similar complaint from a UK customer, McLaren opened an investigation, and this recall is the result.

To fix the 720S, Senna and 570GT, dealers will be removing the NVH pad from the car and inspecting all the gas tanks for corrosion. If McLaren deems it necessary, the fuel tank will be replaced. As of now, that NVH pad is just being removed from the car with no replacement part. McLaren hasn’t specified a remedy for the McLaren GT yet, suggesting that something else is going on there. McLaren also states that there is no defect in the design or the materials used in the fuel tank. The foam pad is the potential issue here.

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McLaren P1 GTR-18 by Lanzante takes its inspiration from the F1

The McLaren P1 GTR is already one of the most exclusive hypercars ever built (McLaren made only 58 of them), and now Lanzante is making it even more special. The storied British racing company has decided it’s going to convert six P1 GTRs into what it’s calling the P1 GTR-18.

Lanzante applies a longtail style body to the P1 GTR, increasing the length and adding even more aero equipment. It has a larger front splitter and modified rear wing to create additional downforce. The appearance is the biggest draw to go with the Lanzante P1 GTR-18, though. All six will get their own special McLaren F1-inspired paint scheme, meant to match the liveries of Lanzante’s racing efforts with the F1. This car is finished in the Gulf Team Davidoff No. 28R scheme, which is the livery from the last McLaren F1 GTR ever produced by Lanzante to compete. Here’s a Bonhams listing for that car, so you can compare and contrast.

Paint codes and samples were taken from that F1 so as to make the colors identical. Even the carbon fiber has a special tint to it, different from the regular P1 GTR. Lanzante does throw in some interesting extras, too. You get a headset (to talk to your passenger on track) finished in the same paint scheme as the car, and a set of “bespoke dust bags” and tinted carbon fiber keys to match the car. Powertrain details are not final yet, but the GTR made 986 horsepower combined from its gas engine and electric motor from the factory. It probably doesn’t need anything more.

All great stuff, and it will likely cost untold amounts of money. Lanzante didn’t say how much, but anybody who had enough cash to pick up a P1 GTR can likely spring for this special Lanzante treatment if they want it.

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McLaren hybrid sports series prototype spied, possible 570S successor

McLaren has repeatedly said it plans to go hybrid with all of its vehicles in the future. The latest rumors out of Britain point at plans to reveal the first of this new hybrid lineup sometime this year. This heavily camouflaged prototype could be the one we’re waiting for — it even says “hybrid prototype” on the side sill.

Its size and general shape means it’s likely part of McLaren’s Sports Series. The camo does an excellent job of disguising what the sheetmetal underneath looks like. If we had to guess, this car looks like it’d be a replacement for the 570S model. Assuming we’re right about that, it’s probably hiding McLaren’s yet-to-be-revealed twin-turbo V6 engine. Add the electric power into the equation, and it’s likely going to be making much more combined power than the twin-turbo V8 is able to produce on its own now. McLaren’s hybrids are also rumored to be of the plug-in variety, capable of driving about 20 miles off electric power.

The camouflage over top of the engine bay appears to be tented, and it looks a bit like the McLaren GT because of it with the gently sloping line to the back. We don’t even get to see how large the side air intakes are since McLaren has covered these up quite well, too. The high-mounted dual exhaust has us giddy. Its placement reminds us of the 720S exhaust pipes. Under all that is a giant diffuser and wide rubber pushed to the edges of the car.

Last we heard, McLaren was going to release a hybrid model this year, and it would go on sale in 2021. We wouldn’t be surprised if these targets are pushed back due to delays stemming from the coronavirus.

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McLaren releases new Senna GTR footage and explains that giant wing

McLaren launched the McLaren Tech Club last week with a brief episode about the aerodynamic magic of the open-top McLaren Elva. In part two of the video series, McLaren continues to explain how air and wind affect a car’s design, but this time it’s in a very different way. McLaren Principal Designer Esteban Palazzo dives into how the massive wing on the McLaren Senna GTR came to be and what purpose it serves. Three extra videos also show new footage of the Senna GTR testing in Bahrain.

Like the McLaren F1 GTR and McLaren P1 GTR that preceded it, the Senna GTR’s most prominent feature is its multi-tiered, multi-layered, carbon fiber pedestal wing. Palazzo says it was not only inspired by high-performance cars of the past and aircraft design, but also by the likes and tastes of the intended customers. In the case of the Senna GTR, Palazzo mentions science fiction and architecture.

The wing, which creates about 2,204 pounds of downforce and aids vehicle stabilization, has a few features that might not be immediately noticeable from photos or video. The shape takes design cues such as the endplates from LMP1 cars. In addition to connecting to the posts, the wing is further integrated into the car’s shape with attachments to the rear diffuser. The last piece mentioned is the automatic drag reduction system (DRS), a new piece of moving technology that helps with, well, minimizing drag.

After releasing episode two of the McLaren Tech Club, the Brits followed up with three videos of the Senna GTR testing on the Bahrain International Circuit, on which the Senna GTR holds the fastest race lap in the circuit’s current configurations. The first video offers an interactive 360-degree interior view, the second video shows the driver’s point of view, and the third video is shot from the Senna’s front splitter. McLaren does not say who is in the driver’s seat.

Episode three of the McLaren Tech Club should arrive at a similar time next week.

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McLaren 765LT: How limited-edition longtail got its $385,000 price

The McLaren 720S starts at $299,000 in the U.S. before the $2,500 destination charge that takes a buyer over the hump to $301,500. McLaren has announced the new, limited edition 765LT will start at $385,000 before destination and any other fees, a number guaranteed to encourage parsing as buyers and enthusiasts try to figure out if the 765LT represents $86,000 in extra goodness. Before whipping out your abacuses, however, the Woking carmaker wants all to know that the 765LT comes standard with options that would add roughly $50,000 to the price of a 720S. These include upgrades like the Exterior Carbon Fiber Pack, normally $7,070, the 10-spoke super lightweight sport wheels, normally $5,490, the parking sensors and rearview camera that together add $5,770, and colored brake calipers with a machined McLaren logo, normally $1,380. 

The rest of the dosh pays for extras that can’t be optioned from the factory, like the redesigned front fascia and longtail rear end with the bigger active spoiler that help increase downforce by about 25% compared to the 720S. The 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 gains 45 horsepower and 22 pound-feet of torque, totaling 755 hp and 590 lb-ft, shifting through a transmission that houses F1-derived materials and provides 15% quicker in-gear acceleration. Overall weight, assuming the buyer orders the carbon fiber racing seats — saving another $6,390, as a no-cost option on the 765LT — drops DIN curb weight by 176 pounds versus the standard sibling (DIN weight is fluids and 90% full fuel tank). And the suspension has gotten even more precise, which defies belief since McLarens are already so good, thanks to knowledge from the Senna and Speedtail.

If you’d like to crunch the numbers yourself, a poster at the McLaren Life forum has graciously uploaded the 765LT options list and ordering guide. We might skip the $8,470 Double Glazed Engine Window that offers a view into the engine bay, but the $36,340 MSO Defined Gloss Finish Visual Carbon Fiber Roof Scoop would be a great place to start jacking up the price with gusto.

McLaren will make 765 examples of the 756LT for global consumption. We’re not sure how many will make it to the States, but the ones that do will begin arriving in September.

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McLaren Elva production cut from 399 units to 249

In an interview with the Australian Financial Review, McLaren Automotive CEO Mike Flewitt revealed the production quota for the new Elva speedster will drop from 399 units to 249. The boss explained lopping volume by 38% with, “the feedback from our customers is that they think the car should be more exclusive than that, so we’ve capped it at 249.”

While it’s to be expected that owners investing $1.7 million in a specialized road car would promote exclusivity — and thereby residual values — it seems dubious that McLaren would return 150 down payments if the automaker had 399 orders. More likely, the global market for windscreen-less roadsters, no matter how technologically advanced, couldn’t absorb all 399 Elvas on top of 500 total Ferrari SP1 and SP2 Monzas, 88 Aston Martin V12 Speedsters, 40 Pagani Huayra BC Roadsters, and 12 Bentley Bacalars.   

The production revision puts the Elva in company with the McLaren F1. Ron Dennis would have built more F1 road cars, but the market (just 20 years ago!) wasn’t ready for a supercar that cost $810,000 before special requests, so production ended after 106 road and racing chassis’ and a complete set of parts for another. The Elva represents technical high points for McLaren, too, being the company’s lightest-ever car outside the F1, able to hit 62 miles per hour in under three seconds, and announcing its presence with the dual-exit “Nirvana” titanium exhaust. The handling, designed to be less intense than that of the Senna but more supple than that of the Speedtail, kept engineers up late due to the Elva being lighter than the Senna yet more powerful.

Nevertheless, even without sharing its rear lights with an Italian bus, as the F1 did, the Elva may have had a hard time convincing shoppers it deserved to be the second-most-expensive model in the carmaker’s Ultimate Series range, at the same time as being the least practical. The Elva runs about $700,000 more than the Senna and $500,000 less than the Speedtail. A lightly used P1 can be had for as low as $1.2 million.

Autocar writes that build slots are still open for the model Flewitt called “a uniquely modern car that delivers the ultimate connection between driver, car and the elements,” and if you’re in the market, their values just went up. McLaren will begin building Elvas when Speedtail production ends later this year or early next.

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Special Report: Grand Touring in The McLaren GT

‘I’m sorry, I know it’s a Saturday, but I’ve been called into work. I’ll see you tonight if I can escape. If you can, please could you pick up cheese bread and chocolate. Everything will be closed before I’m back. I know we had plans today but I’ll make it up to you! Xx’

This really is how my weekend began. Empty bed, thwarted plans and no chocolate to drown my sorrows with. There was, however, a silver lining to be exploited – I had the keys to a McLaren GT, rather than crawling through Mayfair traffic before posing aimlessly outside Novikov, I could cancel my, now redundant, lunch reservation and do what the McLaren GT was designed to do – pick up bread, cheese and chocolate. The local Daylesford Farm Store and Wholefoods were too close to justify driving and did not present a tantalising driving experience. My partner’s insatiable workaholism was only matched by her equally unhealthy appetite for chocolate and all things sweet. It was still early, what if…

90 minutes later I’m approaching the warmly familiar check in booths at the Folkestone end of the now ironically named Eurotunnel. Why? Well, why settle for anything less than the best of chocolates when I could stretch the legs of the McLaren and bag the best chocolates anywhere in world to sweeten the mood of my horrendously overworked and under appreciated lady friend – as win win scenarios go, I can think of few better.

The Eurotunnel Terminal presents well known surroundings, this feeling continues as I recite my algebraic coffee order to the tired, eye bag plagued Starbucks barista that soullessly wishes me a safe journey. I respond to her well-wishes with ‘I’m only popping over to get some chocolate’. I imagine she feels that she is dreaming and/or delirious. I nonchalantly head back out to duck under the GT’s dihedral door before sinking into the leather and alcantara cocoon. The only smell better than warm caffeine may well be the surroundings in which I am drinking it in.

Passport checked, ‘random’ drugs test completed (they really just wanted to nose around the GT), I held my breath as the wheels of the McLaren rhythmically trundled over the metal carriage breaks just centimetres away from a gut wrenching scrape against the train’s metal curbs. My perfected imitation of a dog with its head out of the window ensures the safety of the very smart diamond cut wheels. Coffee emptied and MPH swapped to KM/H, it was time to see how good a cruiser the GT really was.

The French darkness shrouded the autoroutes and invited the GT to stretch its legs. This is a car that presents credentials that are unusual in a McLaren, but one which maintains a crucial McLaren: being ferociously fast. Ignore the 0-100km/h time of 3.2 seconds, that might seem quick, but the acceleration when you’re up and running is what really boggles the mind. In second or third gear, anything about 4,000rpm is as fast as you would expect any McLaren to be. In my mind, the performance is not where this car needs to make a point, it is every other measurable GT element that needs to shine.

This journey is not my first in the GT, I drove the car on the press launch that was set on the French Riviera. It is all too easy to get caught up in the romance of the scenario, the weather and the fabulous roads. This drive to Bruges would emulate something far more realistic, less fabricated and very varied. I had already crawled through London, felt the ride on harsh concrete British motorways leading to the English Channel and was now floating over the billiard table smooth Autoroute. France comes to end in a snoozy blink, Belgium is up next and the surface worsens. With the ‘Active’ panel engaged and handling and powertrain modes both is comfort, the ride is supple and the engine quiet, murmuring at 1,200 rpm. On a 130km/h cruise this 327km/h McLaren sips just 8l/100km (30mpg), that being said, the 72 litre fuel tank means stops are more frequent than you would hope for continent swallowing GT car. Then again, getting out to look at the car every couple of hours is no bad thing.

The reception from fellow road users, petrol station attendants and generally, anyone you pass in the car, is exceptional. Perhaps it is that it does not scream, ‘LOOK AT ME’ like an 720S or carbon clad 600LT, until you open the doors at least, but comments of the elegance and maturity of the design are plenty.

Creeping into Bruges minutes before sunrise presents the perfect opportunity to enjoy the iconic sights of the Markt Square void of the teams of tourists that are attracted by the medieval architecture and the charm of the waterways that snake in-between. Finished in Black Ingot, this is the most subdued McLaren I have piloted. The paint appears to be a rather boring black, but park it in any light, sunlight or artificial street light, and the car glistens as if coated in glitter. McLaren are unrivalled in their creativity and sparkle offered in their paint options. As the sun peeks between the turrets and spires, the complexity of the shapes that forms the body panels of the GT are highlighted. It is dramatic, but in a different way.

Enough of the architecture, I was here for a purpose. As the sun rose, the quaint shop shutters did too, the smell of fresh bread lingered in the crisp morning air. Bruges is awash with chocolatiers, all of which boast they are the best in Belgium, and therefore the world. Chocolates bagged, cheese soon followed – mission accomplished, with time to spare. A chocolate and banana waffle, two coffees and a nap in the McLaren later, it was time to crawl out of the perilously narrow car park and back to the Eurotunnel. By mid-morning all but one of the roads in the UNESCO World Heritage Site remains open to traffic to allow cars in and out of this car park. The pedestrian is king in the daylight, my cue to leave.

Upon arrival to Bruges, I felt fine with no backache or considerable fatigue. The beauty of a true GT is the absence of tiredness on a long journey, such as this. En route to Calais I begin to feel a little tired, my body was beginning to feel uncomfortable in the ‘Comfort Seats’. The noise of the V8 started to intrude and I felt the need to pull into the services to take a break. It must be said, this feeling of weariness came after 10 hours into my adventure and chances are I would have felt agitated driving a Rolls-Royce at this point, but the McLaren was taking more of a toll on my body than a Bentley Continental GT would have. A massage seat wouldn’t have gone amiss either. It is creature comforts where the McLaren lacks. It is, indeed, a McLaren and the purpose of it is to be very fast, something it does fantastically. With that in mind, the absence of massage seats, Apple Car Play and self parking capabilities are not as crucial as they would be in other cars.

It is when you write a list of missing options that it becomes clear that many GT car buyers, that are not so hellbent on going supercar fast, may start to look elsewhere. Yes, I can live without active cruise control, lane keeping assist and blind spot assist – but it is nice to know that you do have them helping you out on a long drive. You can relax and be a little fresher when you arrive at your favourite mountain pass or coastal road.

Boarding the train back to the UK gives me another chance to reflect and relish another quick nap. This is a GT car, it can do journeys like the one I was about to complete, but it will do it in its own McLaren style. It will get you to your favourite road with a boot full of luggage, then challenge you and blow your mind when you unleash its turbocharged fury. Buyers of a McLaren GT will treasure that high adrenaline, intense offering that no other GT car can offer. They will also know that there are more comfortable GTs on the market. This is the drivers GT and the tradeoff is obvious, it is unashamedly McLaren and for that I cannot help but admire it.


McLaren F1 GTR Longtail No. 1 is road-ready and listed for sale

The chassis number on this 1996 McLaren F1 GTR Longtail is 19R, but in the order of production, this car is No. 1. It’s the first longtail version of the GTR version of what many consider the greatest car ever made. Despite its track-intended build, it’s road-legal, and it’s currently up for sale in the United Kingdom. 

The special nature of 19R goes beyond the fact of its birth order. This car was reportedly used as a development prototype for the entire run of GTR Longtails and participated in numerous Japanese races, including the Suzuka 1000km. According to the listing, it’s also only one of two GTR Longtails in private ownership (Nick Mason owns the other), so this is likely one of few occasions in a lifetime when one will be available for purchase.

19R has another first under its belt, too. It was the first GTR Longtail to be converted to a road-legal specification. Gordon Murray, the designer of the F1, worked with Lanzante to turn the racecar version of the road car back into a road car. The unique F1 comes with a Gordon Murray Design book that documents the conversion, as well as the history of the car. All of the parts that were changed were also kept and come as part of a large spare parts package.

Although some might not see the value of the color scheme, McLaren painted it this way to draw attention to the differences between the GTR and the GTR Longtail. The vibrant markings exaggerate the changes and earned this car the nickname “Squiggles,” according to Tom Hartley Jr. 

If the paint scheme looks familiar, it might be because this car has been seen flexing its BMW Motorsport-sourced V12 at the Goodwood hillclimb (seen below). Via Road & Track, the 19R is listed without a price by Tom Hartley Jr.

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McLaren Elva gets another retro paint scheme from McLaren Special Operations

You may have noticed that McLaren’s official brand color is a bright shade of orange. That dates back to Bruce McLaren’s M6A Can-Am race car of 1967, the first to feature the all-orange paint scheme and the car that helped him win his first Can-Am championship that year. So what better way to honor a wild open-top race car than by painting the wild open-top McLaren Elva supercar in the same color?

The McLaren Elva M6A Theme is the second race car-themed Elva to come from McLaren Special Operations (MSO). The group offers customization services to McLaren customers, particularly unique paint and carbon fiber finishes. The special was revealed on Twitter, and it is quite faithful to the 1967 car. It’s finished in a unique orange that looks a little less bold with more of a pearl finish than the glowing solid orange of the race car. It’s paired with big simple number circles featuring the number “4” like one of the race cars. On the sides, a metallic stripe is added to mimic the chrome divider between the top and bottom sections of the Can-Am car. It also gets the same “McLaren Cars” logo and Bruce McLaren’s signature down the side. As cool as this is from a historical standpoint, the orange really shows off how the body blends right into the interior, something McLaren did to evoke the feeling of being outside and exposed to the world, rather than hidden inside the car’s cabin. The dark launch color was far less effective at conveying that feeling.

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As previously mentioned, MSO did another race car-themed Elva, a black and white car inspired by an older 1964 McLaren M1A race car. Clearly there will be one of each, but McLaren hasn’t put any limits on the designs, so it’s possible there may be multiple examples in the car’s 399-unit run. We also wouldn’t be surprised if McLaren rolls out some other motorsports-inspired liveries in the future, as it has many famous racecars to pull from. The reddish-orange and white Honda-powered Marlboro F1 cars of the late 1980s and the black and silver Mercedes-powered F1 cars of the early 2000s both seem like strong choices. Or if McLaren doesn’t do it themselves, maybe a rich reader could commission one painted as such. Though we wouldn’t want to tell that person how to spend their $1.69 million (or more) on their car.

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McLaren Elva M1A Theme by MSO channels Bruce McLaren’s 1964 race car

McLaren Special Operations hit up Twitter to show a version of its new Ultimate Series speedster, christened with the full name of Elva M1A Theme by MSO. The Elva takes its design cues from the M1A race car that Bruce McLaren developed for sports car racing in the 1960s. McLaren first entered his black #4 racer in the 1964 Canadian Grand Prix and put everyone on notice; the M1A equaled the lap record at Mosport Park four times and broke the record seven times. As buyers lined up, McLaren commissioned English firm Elva to build replicas for privateers. Although the historic M1A was an advance on the McLaren’s “Jolly Green Giant” Cooper-Oldsmobile, the M1A inaugurated the McLaren lineage that would soon dominate sports car racing. This modern Elva M1A goes about as far as it can to channel its inspiration, adopting the black exterior and red seats of the original — but not the 4.5-liter Oldsmobile engine.

Instead of painting the speedster black, MSO took the much better option of coating the carbon fiber bodywork in clearcoat. The only touches of paint are the silver slash and red pinstripe running front to back, splitting into a low runner along the sills, and the white roundel with the race number. We’re not sure what’s going on with the wheels, though — they’re the same design as those on the Elva that launched in November, but in mirror image. The other big splash of color appears on the seats, topped with crimson Alcantara. 

MSO didn’t mention any limitations on this theme, so it’s possible there could be more than one among the 399-unit Elva production run; Bruce McLaren built three works versions of the original M1A, and Elva produced 24 customer cars. And yes, the historic car was powered by an all-aluminum 3.5-liter Oldsmobile V8 that Traco bored out to 4.5 liters, producing 310 horsepower breathing through four Weber carbs. Oldsmobile not being an option anymore, the Elva homage goes with a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 with 804 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque, which helps ensure buyers get their $1.69 million worth.

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2021 McLaren 765LT is longer, lighter, and more powerful than the 720S

Supercars are proliferating in England. Built to be equally at home on the road and on the track, the McLaren 765LT picks up where the 675LT left off by giving buyers a lighter and more powerful alternative to the 720S

LT stands for Longtail, a name inaugurated in the 1990s by the track-only F1 GTR. McLaren redesigned the front splitter, the front bumper, the side skirts, the rear bumper, and the rear diffuser, but the 765LT’s most impressive party trick is its hydraulically-operated rear wing. It’s bigger than the one fitted to the 720S and it’s positioned a little bit higher even when it’s resting. The spoiler fully deploys when the driver smashes the brake pedal.

McLaren left no avenue unexplored in its quest to remove as much weight as possible. It made the body panels with a lighter, model-specific type of carbon fiber, fitted thinner glass, and removed creature comforts like the stereo as well as the air conditioning system. Fear not, brave commuters: both can be added back at no extra cost. Some of the parts inside the transmission are formed from a high-performance nickel chrome named 20NiCh commonly found in Formula One cars, and McLaren fitted a lithium-ion battery that’s 6.6 pounds lighter than the battery in the 720S. All told, the 2,709-pound 765LT weighs 176 pounds less than the 720S, with one catch: buyers need to order the car with the optional, Senna-sourced carbon fiber bucket seats to achieve that figure.

The heart of the 765LT is a twin-turbocharged, 4.0-liter V8 engine that makes 755 horsepower at 7,500 rpm and 590 pound-feet of torque at 5,500 rpm. It’s bolted to a seven-speed automatic transmission with comfort, sport, and track modes. 60 mph arrives in just 2.7 seconds, while holding the pedal to the floor for 7.2 seconds gets the 765LT to 124 mph. From there, slide your foot from the gas to the brake to decelerate to a complete stop in 361 feet. Or don’t, and the V8 will continue screaming its heart out until the speedometer shows 205 mph.

The steering is much quicker, carbon ceramic brake discs come standard, specific Pirelli tires provide tremendous grip, and engineers applied lessons learned while developing the Senna and the Speedtail to make the suspension algorithm more precise. Enthusiast who regularly drive on a track will also notice the aerodynamic add-ons give the 765LT about 25% more downforce than the 720S. Horsepower, speed, agility, and stability are difficult to argue against, especially when they’re wrapped in such a head-turning, instantly-collectible package.

McLaren will make 765 examples of the 765LT, and it’s encouraging customers who want to add one to their collection to get in touch with their nearest dealer as quickly as possible because demand will certainly exceed supply. Pricing information hasn’t been announced yet. Deliveries will begin in September of 2020.

One of the coolest features on the list of extra-cost options is a double-glazed panel embedded into the rear parcel shelf that gives the occupants a glimpse into the engine bay. Collectors who want to make their car even more unique can work hand-in-hand with McLaren Special Operations to configure a one-of-a-kind 765LT.

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McLaren GT by MSO has a cashmere interior and next-level paint job

Because the 2020 Geneva Motor Show is canceled, McLaren declared it will digitally host a McLaren Motor Show on March 3, 2020. The main focus of the livestream will be the “world premier of the next chapter in the McLaren LT story,” but a secondary car will also show for the first time. Although it’s not a new model, the GT Verdant Theme by MSO gives another example of what bespoke options can look like.

The McLaren GT Verdant Theme has a unique paint job that’s unlike any other MSO released before it. It’s satin, it’s tri-color, and it blends in a way that gives the GT an entirely different attitude. Verdant means “green with grass or other rich vegetation” or “of the bright green color of lush grass,” and McLaren is 100% on the nose with this one. McLaren says the Verdant GT “revels in a feeling for the verdant landscapes and fresh horizons that the GT has been designed to explore.” The exterior combines Horsell Green, Arbor Green and Steppe Green, all colors bespoke to this vehicle. To accomplish the ombré look took 430 hours of prep and paintwork. 

Further building on the exterior look, MSO added hand-painted Napier Green pinstripes on the body and the front splitter. The brake calipers match with Napier Green paint, and the MSO Black Pack darkens the wheels, the upper window surround, and the exhaust tips.

Inside, McLaren claims the first manufacturer use of cashmere in a supercar. The charcoal grey cashmere covers the center tunnel, the door inserts, the lower dashboard, the sun visors, the head restraints and the upper rear back of the seats. The rest of the seats and cabin are covered in Dark Green, Laurel Green and Jet Black leather, and Laurel Green piping adds an extra layer of contrast. 

For those who prefer the GT to have a quieter presence, MSO previously customized one with MSO Defined Flux Silver paint and a Flux White interior. Either route, the options are there, and the $15,000 bespoke GT luggage set will be available to match.

Watch Chris Harris in the electric VW ID.R waste a McLaren 720S

The Volkswagen ID.R doesn’t have much in common with a McLaren 720S, other than the fact that they are both performance-crazed cars. One gets its power from batteries, the other from gas. One uses electric motors, the other a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8. One is a halo prototype vehicle, the other is a road-legal supercar available for purchase. So when Chris Harris and “Top Gear decided to “race” the two against each other, it was more of a demonstration of the VW’s unreal capabilities than any sort of real competitive faceoff.

In episode five of Top Gear‘s 28th season, which just aired February 23, the trio of Harris, Freddie Flintoff and Paddy McGuinness welcomed Youtuber KSI on the show and ventured out on a luxury sports car road trip with an Aston Martin, Porsche, and Ferrari. Separately, Harris took to the track to test out Volkswagen’s golden egg of the moment, the ID.R.

As VW fully launches into its electric-vehicle push, the ID.R is meant to exhibit what battery-electric technology is capable of. With two electric motors, one on the front axle and one on the rear axle, the 2,425-pound ID.R has four-wheel drive and makes a claimed 670 horsepower. As Harris notes in the video, the ID.R. was not built for a specific regulation-bogged racing organization or competition, and thus, it’s only held back by the rules of Mother Nature and Father Physics. Since the car’s debut, it has been annihilating records around the world, including at Pike’s Peak, Goodwood, the Nürburgring, and Heaven’s Gate.

Chris Harris didn’t set any records in the ID.R., but he certainly showed how outrageous this machine is. The 710-horsepower 720S can go from zero mph to 62 mph in less than three seconds, and the ID.R has a sizable lead within that same time. Again, this wasn’t an instance of test-and-conclude, it was a show of perspective. The ID.R is a race car, so even though the 720S is one of the best supercars in the world, it never stood a chance. See for yourself above.

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Novitec N-Largo Kit Revealed for the McLaren 720S Spider

Novitec announced an addition to its N-Largo range of body kits this week. The Novitec N-Largo 720S Spider adds a widebody look to the McLaren 720S Spider. If you have seen N-Largo kits before then you will know what to expect from the latest model.

The latest addition to the Novitec range includes a widebody kit with forged carbon elements. This gives the 720S Spider a look inspired by the McLaren Senna.

The bodywork has been created, once again, through a collaboration with German designer Vittorio Strosek. Width is increased by six centimetres at the front and by thirteen centimetres at the rear axle. The front fenders and the rear fenders are complete replacements.

The N-Largo gets a unique side skirt and a set of air intakes aft of the doors. The front bumper is entirely new with a new front blade and several naked carbon elements. The trunk lid, side mirror covers, side skirt strips and rear wing attachment, all come finished in forged carbon fibre.

It sits on 20 and 21 inch Vossen wheels. The design is MC2 and they are manufactured to customer’s individual finish. They have a centre lock look

Power receives an upgrade too. The 4.0-litre V8 engine puts out an impressive 806 hp and 878 Nm of torque. Performance gets a similar boost with 100 km/h arriving in 2.7 seconds and 200 km/h in just 7.5 seconds. Terminal velocity is 346 km/h.

Novitec N-Largo McLaren 720S Spider

Other changes include the addition of an extremely light Inconel exhaust system. The ride height can be lowered too, with a special set of Novitec sports springs. These bring the N-Largo 35 millimetres closer to the ground.

Novitec also offers a complete series of customisation options for the Novitec N-Largo 720S Spider. Just 15 examples will be made worldwide. Novitec is expecting it to sell out quickly, just like its Coupe brother! If you are after something a little less extreme, Novitec have you covered too.


Top Gear magazine climbs all over the McLaren Elva

Top Gear deputy editor Jack Rix took a camera crew to McLaren’s Technology Center for a closer look at the Elva roadster. Not only did Rix provide his usual, thorough once-over and explanation of design features, but thanks to the magic of moving pictures, we get graphic demonstrations of how the Elva’s most interesting feature works. McLaren engineers needed to figure out a way to protect helmetless occupants from getting their faces painted with bugs and detritus at speed. Their solution is the Active Air Management System (AAMS), composed of a deflector and a network of vents that create a “bubble of calm” around the passenger cell. Unlike the rest of the Elva, the AAMS ain’t pretty, but beauty always loses tie-breakers to effectiveness in Woking. 

For a vehicle with so little to it, including the number of body panels, there’s a ton going on all around the open-top. The rear mesh is 3D-printed titanium. Short seat squabs combined with a moving steering wheel and gauge cluster improve ingress and egress. Four high-flow exhaust pipes are placed in two locations and pointed two directions in order to separate tones as if the exhaust were an audio system – because, in truth, it is. And there’s more, but we’ll let Rix explain. 

As an aside, for all the Elva does have, we think it’s a shame the roadster doesn’t have a roofed version. Digital artist Nikita Aksyonov drew up an Elva Coupe, and we’re fans. Better looks than the McLaren GT, in a package that appears more compact than the 720S, with a more powerful engine than the Senna? Yes. All day yes.

But we digress, so check out Rix’s take in the video.

McLaren Senna Can-Am and XP special editions honor two racing icons

McLaren produced 500 examples of the Senna road car, and the entire run sold out immediately. This year it added the more powerful, track-only Senna GTR, selling out of all 75 units instantly. That’s not the end of the Senna line, however, with 26 more units divvied up between three special editions. The most numerous is the Senna LM, a street-legal version of the GTR supposedly put together by McLaren Special Operations. The bodywork’s been toned down a touch by dropping the aero flics on the front bumper and the GTR’s extended rear wing, and the LM fits a less aggressive rear diffuser. Interestingly, a spy shot shows the Senna LM also going without the windows in the lower portions of the doors. There’s no reliable intel on the engine yet, but it’s hoped that the LM fits the same 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 as the GTR, producing 814 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque. The LM is reputed to cost £1.3 million ($1.7 million U.S.) 

CarBuzz reports that another special edition will be based on the Senna LM, having received an anonymous tip from a reader with one of the cars on order. Called the Senna Can-Am, McLaren would only say that this model was commissioned by a dealer. As the name implies, the coupe celebrates the legendary Can-Am cars that terrorized the series in the late 1960s and 1970s, and that are responsible for giving us the trademark orange hue McLaren remains known for. The Senna Can-Am is a specific homage to the M8B, called “the perfect race car,” that started on pole and won all 11 races during the 1967 season with Bruce McLaren and Denny Hulme driving.

In CarBuzz‘s rendering, the Can-Am is done up in McLaren orange with Canadian flags on the front fenders, and number roundels on the rear fenders along with the signatures of McLaren and Hulme. Instead of the “LM” logos on the wing endplates and embroidered into the headrests, “Can-Am” appears instead, the M8B’s race record appears on the door sills, and a black anodized throttle pedal gets the Can-Am logo. CarBuzz‘s source said the Senna Can-Am is “due to be delivered in two to four weeks,” and cost $1.5 million.

The final three special-edition examples (pictured) come from early in the life of the Senna. Beverly Hills managed to acquire three of the experimental prototypes that McLaren used to develop the Senna, and commissioned three builds now known as the Senna XP. Each car gets a name and celebrates a Formula One race track where Ayrton Senna scored an especially outstanding victory. All three are dressed in gloss black carbon fiber, accented with the colors of the F1 circuit’s country, and adorned with Ayrton’s car number on the wing endplates. The “Master of Monaco” lauds Senna’s six victories in the principality; “Lap of the Gods” hails Senna’s opening lap in the wet at Donnington in 1993 when he drove from fifth place to first in less than a lap; “Home Victory” relishes Senna’s 1991 win in Brazil.

The Senna XP uses the standard Senna’s 3.9-liter V8 with 789 hp and 590 lb-ft, costs $1,435,328, and naturally, is sold out.