Earlier in October I was fortunate enough to accompany my friend Tim on his travel north from London to McLaren Manchester to collect his new McLaren 675LT. He had also not long taken delivery of a lovely Le Mans Blue Ferrari FF - so what better excuse to get the two V12's together for the first time to welcome a new addition to the family!?
Having each travelled from different directions the initial rendezvous was at a convenient watering hole for the beasts to replenish. It was the first time we had the two V12's out together and for what was a particularly special occasion.
On the road to McLaren Manchester. The FF sounds great, and even though it doesn't have an upgraded exhaust, the top end of that V12 is fantastic to drive along side. I'm hoping Tim succumbs to the sound of the IPE exhaust on my F12 and ends up with a fancy pipe himself - it would unlock a new level of awesome on that car!
Arriving at McLaren! We had purposely kept the trip off social media during the journey to reduce an influx of spotters descending on the day as Tim had a lot of filming to do. You may laugh - but it happens more than you might think! Amazingly there were still a few Shmee fans waiting for us just on the off chance he would turn up to collect the car - the force is strong!
Time for the big reveal. I'd visited McLaren Manchester a few times and the team there are always really friendly - the guy doing the handover today was Nick, and I have to say he was brilliant. Tim was filming the whole event and it's not every day you get a camera put in front of you to hand over a supercar for the rest of the world to see - Nick nailed it!
Happiest vlogger ever!
I'm not sure it comes through on the pictures - but the aesthetic jump from 650S to the 675LT is pretty substantial. The lowest part of the front splitter protrudes forward with a more aggressive 'chin' together with the extra side fins and central louvers under the headlights adding so much imposing shape to the overall look of the car. If I were to buy a McLaren - this would be it. Albeit with only 500 being made globally and of course each and every one being sold - it's not really an option!
I can't decide on my favourite part of this car, when I see the front I love the evolution from the 650S and when I see the rear I think BEAST! I'm sure this car will do great things for McLaren and the brand as a whole. Now Ferrari are entering the world of turbo charged cars McLaren are firmly in the running as an alternative to the 488 GTB. It wasn't until the launch of the 675LT at Geneva that I seriously considered a McLaren - I knew their time would come but not this soon! It is easy to forget that as a road car company McLaren is only 5 years old...Think about that for a minute. They launched the P1 just 3 years into the road divisions existence and are really pushing the other big players to up their game. I'm looking forward to the future of McLaren. Who knows I may hop to the dark side one day!
It's the little details that make all the difference.
Some great customisation in the 675, matching blue stitching and MSO (McLaren Special Operations) blue matching bodywork dynamic control switches on the control panel. Also satin carbon fibre as opposed to a gloss finish adds to the race car quality of this cockpit. Obviously it's still very 650S but fettled to a superb finish. Proper bucket seats too!
The below is a unique carbon fibre key that is required to open the engine bay of the 675LT. After opening the bay you then release an equally awesome carbon fibre prop that is stored on compact clips on the underside of the Lexan (light weight plastic/perspex) engine cover. On the one hand this could be considered unnecessary (how terribly un-McLaren) much easier systems are available after all. However my take on this is - it's a soulful nod to times gone by, when men were men and race cars were race cars and gentleman racers propped up their engine bays with a stick! It's a different brand I know - but take note of how the engine bay of an F40 is propped up the next time you get the opportunity, you'll notice a thin foldable stick that holds up the entire engine cover. It could be dismissed as a gimmicky feature today but I think it's worth mentioning, because through this one little device McLaren might just be giving us a flash of Disney through all that NASA.
The first drive. A big moment for any new car owner, but when you have been waiting 12 months and it is a car as special and as personalised as this - it truly is a magic moment...as indicated by that smile!
Check out the video below for a brief look at the first time the 675LT hit the road.
The paint on this car is an MSO option known as Cerulean Blue, and a lot like Rosso Berlinetta on the F12, it has an exaggerated metallic reflection which accentuates the lines of the bodywork and changes colour depending on the light, which in turn alters the look and 'mood' of the car. The day we visited was unusually sunny for Manchester! As you can see in the video this paint really pops and dramatically changed the vibrancy of the car when it hit the natural sunlight.
675 'LT' Standing for "Long Tail" which is a nod to the LeMans winning McLaren F1 GT or Long Tail of the 90's. The LT manifests it's self in that chunky protruding wing on the new 675LT. With active aero engaged under braking, this big wing sticks up in the air like a proud peacock - acting as a flamboyant air brake. I love it.
Awesome seeing all three cars lined up. You don't see this every day.
At this point, having collected the keys to a brand new Supercar, most people would jump straight in their new car and drive it until the wheels fell off, but such is the weird and wonderful world of Shmee150 the 675LT was being shipped directly from McLaren to Italy for a pretty special photoshoot Tim had got lined up at Monza, More of which you can find Here. So the LT was actually loaded straight on to a trailer for it's journey to Italy before it even did it's first few miles...