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McLaren Launching New Extreme Performance Sub-Brand

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The name choice couldn't be more appropriate.

It really all started back in 1997 when the McLaren F1 GTR LT, or 'Longtail', made its racing season debut. Thanks to its optimization through various weight-saving measures over the previous Le Mans-winning F1 GTR, a total of nearly 300 pounds was removed. The F1 GTR LT is considered the purest competition variant of the F1 ever made. Jump ahead to early 2015 when the 675LT debuted. A lighter, more potent variant of the 650S, the 675LT turned out to be the start of McLaren's newly established extreme performance sub-brand.

Speaking to various McLaren executives here at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, including CEO Mike Flewitt, we can officially confirm 'LT' is the designation that'll be used for future hardcore variants. The latest examples are the 600LT Coupe and Spider.

"It was a rather obvious decision (to choose LT)," Flewitt said. "Expect more to come." Although Flewitt and others did not go into specific details, we'll very likely see the likes of the 720LT and 720LT Spider in the not too distant future. But don't think for a moment McLaren will somehow dilute the meaning of LT and its F1 GTR legacy. Quite the opposite, as has already been proven.

Just look at the differences between the 570S and 600LT. Both are part of McLaren's Sport Series, but the 600LT not only has a maximum output of 592 hp and 457 lb-ft of torque compared to the 570S' 562 hp and 443 lb-ft, but also incorporates advanced aerodynamics bits like extended front and rear splitters, new side sills, and fixed rear wing for better downforce.

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Furthermore, a total of 23 percent of the parts are new and overall weight is down by 212 pounds on the 600LT versus the 570S. Buyers can also spec their 600LT Coupe or Spider with the same lightweight bucket seats used in the Senna. Given all that, imagine what the eventual 720LT will be like.

McLaren's main rivals, such as Ferrari and Lamborghini, also do hardcore variants and have no problem selling every single example. No reason why McLaren shouldn't offer customers the same thing and having some F1 GTR heritage certainly doesn't hurt.