McLaren readies a track champ for the road.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

McLaren readies a track champ for the road. When McLaren utters “Longtail”, pay attention. That’s because the British carmaker is speaking the language of pure raw speed. It’s narrating a 1997 tale when it built the F1 GT Longtail, a car with a longer back that won five of 11 rounds of the inaugural FIA GT Championship. That same year, the car outpaced the competition to take first and second places in the blistering 24 Hours of Le Mans, leaving the next cars trailing a whopping 30 laps in their wake.

A sports car version, the F1 GTR featuring the Longtail, or LT, was then produced. The latest incarnation is the McLaren 600LT, which made its debut at last month’s Goodwood Festival of Speed. It’s packed with an engine that spits out peak power of 592bhp at 7,500rpm and a maximum torque output of 457lb per feet at 5,500rpm to 6,500 rpm. That’s brutal.

The 600LT is the fourth pedigree in this bloodline, after the sports-car maker rolled out the 675LT in 2015 and the Spider rendition the following year. But what’s special about the newest member of the family? In the words of McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt: “The 600LT redefines expectations of super-sports car performance, delivering astonishing acceleration and outstanding track cornering speeds, with a truly extraordinary dynamic connection between driver and car.”

In other words, the car is a wild beast incarnate.

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