McLAREN has announced that the Longtail name will return with confirmation a cheaper, more powerful model, the McLaren 675LT, will be shown at the 2015 Geneva motor show.
As predicted in Wheels (January 2015 issue), the return of the name is a tip of the cap to the legendary McLaren F1 GTR Longtail, the nickname given to the stretched version of the famed sportscar. It is the third model of McLaren's new Sports Series, after the 650S and 625C.
McLaren isn't spilling any more beans on the 675LT apart from the fact that it will have more downforce with a more effective aero package, while the naming confirms that it will have the most power of the three-car staple range, with 675PS (496kW) topping the 650S and Asian-market only 625C, with 478kW and 460kW respectively. The 675LT will be offered exclusively as a coupe, McLaren confirming that no Spider will be offered.
While still a strict two-seater, Wheels sources within McLaren suggest that the 675LT will offer more luggage space behind the mid-mounted 3.8-litre twin-turbo engine, as McLaren wants it to compete with cars such as the Porsche 911 Turbo and Audi R8 V10 as a practical, daily-driven performance car.
We’re also told to expect a concave rear screen, similar to that of Ferrari’s original Dino, and a clever cooling system to make sure heat from the engine doesn’t melt anything in the boot.
It will share the same basic carbonfibre tub as the bigger car, with McLaren’s plan always being that all three of its models would be spun off the same architecture. The carbon ‘monocell’ will be modified from the existing models, including revised sills to make getting in and out easier.
In 1997, McLaren produced a ‘Long Tail’ version of its original supercar, the F1 GTR. The extended bodywork of the low-volume homologation special was designed to make the GTR even more slippery down the long straights at Le Mans, where the short-tail car had been unexpectedly victorious the previous year.
Although the Longtail GT version will probably be sold at a slight premium over the Coupe, McLaren insiders reckon it’s likely to be the most popular of the new variants.
The three new models will dramatically increase production at the company’s Woking factory in England, with the Sports Series set to more than double McLaren’s current volume of around 1400 cars a year.
There’s no word on pricing yet, but to achieve those volumes it will have to be considerably cheaper than the 650S, which sells in Australia from $441,500. Expect something closer to $300K.
Watch the McLaren 675LT official teaser video here but be warned, it won't show you much at all...