Robb Review: McLaren 765LT

The heart of McLaren’s new road-going 765LT belongs to the track.

By Robert Ross 20/04/2021

Even from a distance, it’s clear the McLaren 765LT was designed with performance in mind, a paddleboard-size rear wing being an unambiguous signal that a machine has its sights set on the track.

After cresting the high doorsill and tumbling into the comfortable sport seat, a stab of the start button elicits a raspy bark from the 4.0-litre, twin-turbocharged V-8. Making 563 kW at 7,500 rpm and 800 Nm of torque at 5,500 rpm, it takes the 765LT to a top speed of 329 km/h. But those numbers, while hardly immodest, can’t quite convey the engine’s wide powerband and explosive thrust, which hurls the model from 0 to 100 km/h in 2.7 seconds.

Part of that is down to McLaren’s seven-speed, double-clutch transmission, so smooth, quick and effortless in Auto mode that manual paddle shifts should be considered for entertainment purposes only. That superlative gearbox is matched by the car’s razor-sharp handling and telepathic steering feedback. Active suspension allows for faster and flatter corner entry and exit than its predecessor the 720S, with an increased sense of control at speed thanks to active aero measures—including that huge rear wing—which provide 25 percent greater downforce in a vehicle that’s also lighter by 80 kilograms.

The 765LT’s interior is a businesslike Alcantara cocoon, though not at all claustrophobic, with excellent forward visibility and a minimalist centre-tunnel touchscreen that handles infotainment, climate control and onboard telemetry.

To the left are rotary switches for dialling in engine and transmission performance, plus active suspension, within Comfort, Sport and Track modes. On well-paved roads, adjusting the engine to Sport and the suspension to Comfort results in an ideal balance of assertive power and civil handling, but full-anger Track mode is the best way to experience the gruff, high-strung urgency of that twin-turbo V-8 as belted through the lightweight titanium exhaust.

For those seeking relief from a most unprecedented year with some high-speed therapy, the 765LT is a fast-acting prescription, but one that needs to be filled soon: only 765 examples, priced from around $600,000 (excluding on-road costs), will be produced. cars.mclaren.com

 

This piece is from our new Autumn Issue – on sale now. Get your copy or subscribe here, or stay up to speed with the Robb Report weekly newsletter.

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