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McLaren 600LT 2019 unveiled: more power, less weight for hardcore Longtail

McLaren’s mysterious new model has finally been unveiled, with the covers today coming off the track-ready 600LT ‘Longtail’ that has been teased over the past few weeks.

The Longtail name is traditionally reserved for McLaren’s most-hardcore offerings: track-ready versions of the brand’s road cars that have had the aggression dialed up to 11.

The 600LT (the fourth McLaren to wear the Longtail name) is based on the 570S, only this one is lighter, faster and more aerodynamic than its donor car - which is a pretty sure-fire recipe for on-track delights. The 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V8 from the 570S Coupe has been bumped up to a whopping 441kW and 620Nm, while a total 96 kilograms have been shaved from the kerbweight (now 1247kg dry, provided every possible weight-saving option box has been ticked).

McLaren is yet to reveal official performance numbers, but it’s worth remembering that the 570S is no slouch. The Coupe squeezes 419kW and 600Nm from its twin-turbo V8, and it will scream to 100km/h in just 3.2 seconds. With that in mind, I think we can comfortably presume a sub-three-second sprint from the 600LT, which should be plenty fast enough.

“The McLaren 600LT is only the fourth ‘Longtail’ McLaren in more than two decades. The McLaren F1 GTR ‘Longtail’ that began the lineage was one of the purest race cars in modern motorsport history… (and) the 675LT resurrected the revered name,” says McLaren’s CEO, Mike Flewitt.

“Now we are further extending our very special LT family, albeit in limited numbers, and once again showcasing the ethos of optimised aerodynamics, increased power, reduced weight, track-focused dynamics and enhanced driver engagement that are the hallmarks of a McLaren ‘Longtail’.”

Engine tweaks aside, its extreme diet is the secret to the 600LT's speed. The Longtail is actually (and fittingly) 74mm longer than the 570S Coupe, and while it shares its carbon-fibre chassis, everything that could be stripped or swapped to save weight has been.

Carbon-fibre has been used in the bodywork (splitter, side sills, diffuser and wing) and for the front seats, the latter of which can be swapped out for even thinner, harder pews at a buyer’s request. And that vertical exhaust isn’t just for show either; McLaren reckons it shaved “substantial” kilograms off the kerbweight, with the added benefit of piping that V8 orchestra almost directly into the cabin.

Under the skin, the 600LT gets the same suspension and lightweight brakes from the 720S Super Series, as well as unique Pirelli P Zero tyres. They say we should expect quicker steering and faster throttle response than the 570S, too. All up, about one in every four parts on the 600LT are different to the 570S Coupe.

It'll be offered in limited numbers, with production kicking off in October this year and running for 12 months. In the UK, pricing will kick off at 185,500 pounds - about 35,000 pounds above the 570S. With that in mind, we'd expect a sticker price well north of $400k in Australia.

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