McLaren Automotive may be a decade old, but it’s already chipping market share away from the exotic car powerhouses. Since the watershed 650S replaced the outgoing 12C, it has been a ride to the top for the Surrey-based luxury automaker. Its repertoire of speed machines have been racking up prestigious accolades and the company’s achieved record-breaking sales, and more importantly, has rapidly garnered fans the world over.
According to a Forbes report, sales of McLaren cars doubled in 2016, with North America accounting for 40% of that growth. The following year, most in the ultra-luxe segment went “flat or down” – but McLaren figures continued to climb by almost 30%.
What it lacks in history and heritage, McLaren makes up for with technological and engineering prowess. In 1995, the McLaren sent tremors across the supercar market when it unveiled the F1 GTR. It was nothing like the models that came before; its calling cards were exceptional lightweight configuration and an impressively powerful output. It was the first production model to feature a carbon-fiber monocoque and a center-mounted driver’s seat, among many other firsts. It quickly became the world’s fastest production car with an alarming top speed of 386.4Km/h –an achievement that was only surpassed by the Koenigsegg CCR in 2005, followed by the Bugatti Veyron almost a decade later.
This month, the brand unveiled its latest cannon in the arsenal at the old Pasir Panjang Power Station to the local press, the McLaren 600LT. The vehicle proved a testament, yet again, to its maker’s relentless pursuit for perfection. The denotation LT, short for Long Tail, defines more than just its physical profile – it’s an expression reserved for the ultra-niche and fast. Its traits are evolved from the legendary McLaren F1 GTR, namely optimized aerodynamics, reduced weight, track-focused dynamics, increased power and enhanced driver engagement.
Powered by a 3.8-litre twin-turbo, it possesses a total output of 600PS (592bhp), with maximum torque of 620Nm (457lb ft). Together with its lightweight properties (1,247 kg is its lightest dry weight) aided by its advance launch-control function, the speedster achieves a straight-line performance acceleration from 0-100km/h in just 2.9 seconds.
The Fourth Longtail by the British sportscars maker is on a very limited run. With a base price of SGD$819,000 (excluding COE), the handsome ride is fitted with bespoke Pirelli P Zer Trofeo R tires designed for track-focused dynamics and enhanced driver engagement with new carbon fibre bodywork – including a new front splitter, side sills, extended diffuser and fixed rear wing – for lower weight and greater downforce. A one of a kind exhaust system with top-exit pipes delivers substantial weight savings. Expect, too, a distinctive appearance and a track-focused cabin with extensive use of lightweight Alcantara and carbon-fibre racing seats.
Lamborghini and Ferrari may currently be household names, but McLaren’s success and recognition garnered over the years might see it elevated to being mentioned in the same breath as the supercar icons.