The best McLaren Sport Series to date
- Lighter, more powerful than 570S
- Secure but exciting handling
- Highly engaging to drive at all speeds
- Dramatic design
- Retains high levels of usability
- Gearbox downshifts occasionally sluggish
- Rivals have more exciting engines
- £40k more expensive than 570S
- No official limit on production
The McLaren 600LT is McLaren’s answer to the Porsche 911 GT3 RS, Mercedes-AMG GT-R and Ferrari 488 Pista. As such, it’s the most racetrack-focussed, fastest and priciest version of McLaren’s entry-level Sports Series range. It’s pricing places it significantly above those German rivals, and is more comparable to the Ferrari 488 GTB, rather than the much more expensive and closer-in-spirit 488 Pista.
The LT name is a clue to this car’s intent: it stands for Longtail and harks back to the McLaren F1 GTR Le Mans racecar, with its longer, more aerodynamic bodywork. McLaren first used the name on a road car when the 675LT was introduced in 2015 as the halo of its previous Super Series range.
This time, the 600LT takes the 570S Sports Series as its base – the two are constructed around the same carbonfibre passenger cell, and share the same basic 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine and seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. McLaren claims 23% of parts are new.
Longtail is longer, but hold on a sec...
This includes carbonfibre bodywork that does actually make the 600LT longer – by 74mm – but McLaren stresses that the Longtail name is more a philosophy, and not to be taken too literally.
That philosophy means a focus on a rawer feel with extra driver engagement – a car that’s at home on the road, but really comes alive on track. The suspension is lowered and stiffened, the steering ratio three per cent faster, the Pirelli Trofeo R tyres grippier and aerodynamic performance increased.
Power increases from 570hp in the 570S to 600hp, and weight falls by 100kg – though some of the saving comes from expensive optional equipment such as even lighter seats, and also the deletion of air-conditioning, which most owners will add back in at no extra cost.
But the result is a claimed 0-62mph time of just 2.9 seconds, 0-124mph in 8.2 seconds and a 204mph top speed – the 570S claims 3.2sec, 9.5ec and 204mph respectively, so these are substantial gains in acceleration over an already very fast car.
The 600LT has an altogether more serious feel than the 570S, no mean feat given how exciting that car is to drive. Even at relatively modest pace, the LT’s steering has a meatier, more precise feel, there’s less bodyroll, an angrier exhaust note from the new top-exit exhausts, the brake pedal feels firmer, and the gearshifts are altogether snappier. It’s as if everything has been tightened up a little, which in effect it has.
Drive faster and the LT really comes alive. The stickier tyres grip far more resolutely – the extra front-end bite is particularly noticeable – and the stiffer suspension and reduced weight combine to make this Sports Series less prone to the effects of weight transfer.
That means it feels nimbler, more composed and more at home on a racetrack. And it’s really these improvements rather than the extra power – welcome though that is – that makes the 600LT feel faster than a 570S.
Only the gearbox’s reluctance to down-shift during very hard driving detracts from the crispness of it all, and it’s worth noting that a 911 GT3 RS scores more highly in this regard, and also has the more charismatic engine.
The final word of caution relates to our driving experience, which was restricted entirely to the racetrack.
The previous 675LT suggests a Longtail’s chassis will feel noticeably stiffer on the road, while remaining perfectly usable. Only a drive on UK roads will provide a definitive verdict.
The Parkers Verdict
On track, the McLaren 600LT proves a big success. Improvements over the 570S are tangible even at modest speeds, with a grittier, more responsive feel that’s a delight for enthusiastic drivers.
It handles with poise to match the best mid-engined supercars, accelerates brutally (though the one-rung-up 720S remains in another league) and stops with crushing superiority, yet its full potential never feels far out of reach for only modestly talented drivers. The 600LT might be the most affordable Longtail yet, but it absolutely honours the name.