With the Geneva Motor Show canceled for the first time since 1940 after the Swiss government banned any gathering of more than 1,000 people in an effort to quell the spread of coronavirus, many carmakers that were planning reveals at the show, went ahead and just released information and photos online this week.
One of the highlights so far has been McLaren’s announcement of the newest member of their Super Series of cars. Surprisingly to some, the YouTube roll and drag race darling, 720S is just the base model of McLaren’s supercar range. Following in the steps of the 675LT and 600LT is the announcement of the even more insane version of the 720S, dubbed the 765LT.
The name, like those on all McLarens, comes from the metric horsepower created by the model’s twin-turbo V8. To find the actual power rating, just subtract 10.
So the newest version of the 720S now makes a Corvette ZR1-equaling 755 horses along with 590 lb-ft of torque from their, ubiquitous 4.0L mid-mounted engine. All of this power propels a claimed weight of just 2,952 pounds (for comparison, the ZR1 weighs more than 3,600 lbs). The fine people from Surrey also completely reworked the car’s aero package, which includes the namesake “longtail” active rear spoiler, helping the car generate 25 percent more downforce than the base model. Performance is obviously going to be otherworldly but the only stats revealed so far are the 0-60 time of 2.7 seconds and the 0-124 (0-200 kph) time which is just 7.2 seconds.
An insane piece of engineering brilliance to be sure but when the 720S already starts at nearly $300,000 and only 765 examples of the LT version will ever be produced, it starts to become very clear that this car is playing in a league that might as well not even exist to most car enthusiasts, we might learn everything there is to know about it but, without going out of our way, we are unlikely to ever see one, let alone actually get behind the wheel.
What most intrigues a lowly Corvette blogger about the LT though is how McLaren’s engineers packaged the car, specifically in regards to storage space. One of the common complaints about the C8 has been how big Chevrolet chose to make it in spite of the freedom afforded by the new engine placement. As touched on in last weekend’s Quick Shifts, the size of the eighth generation Corvette is due an effort to not disappoint people who expect a certain amount of storage from America’s Sportscar. This was a necessary compromise because, unlike the vast majority of mid-engine vehicles, the Corvette has to be all things to all people. Your average ‘Vette customer doesn’t have a whole stable of cars intended for every imaginable purpose; they expect to be able to track the same ‘Vette that they are able to comfortably drive across the country in with a loved one and their luggage in tow.
When clicking through McLaren’s gallery (via Road & Track) for the LT, one picture really stands out. Looking under the glass, where most supercars just show off their jewel-esque motivating components, you’ll find a platform that is immediately familiar to anyone who has ever piloted a C5-C7 generation Corvette (except that there is fine suede in place of tough and practical carpeting). The 765LT team created a vast storage area while still managing to let admirers’ peek at the motor through a backlit carbon fiber toilet seat. This ingeniously works around the storage space conundrum inherent in a ME layout and they didn’t compromise the size or intended focus of the car.
It shows that even though they were building an all-out track weapon for very wealthy people, McLaren engineers had a ‘Vette-like mantra in their hearts and that is something that we can definitely appreciate around here, well done, chaps!
Photos by McLaren
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