First view of McLaren's next supercar – the 600LT

The fourth of the limited edition 'Longtail' cars – faster, lighter and more engaging than the 570S on which it's based

These are the first pictures of McLaren's next Sports Series supercar, the 600LT – a new limited-edition, lightweight iteration of the current 570, and the fourth model in the company's history to use the 'Longtail' (LT) name.

The first of the Longtails was the now-legendary F1 GTR of 1997, designed to blitz endurance racing. McLaren built 11 for the track, and three as road cars (the F1 GT). It was the inspiration, for the limited-edition 675LT, which were built as coupés and later Spiders. Both sold out quickly, the latter within a month of its announcement, and both versions are now highly collectible.

The new 600LT is a lighter, more powerful, more track-focussed version of the 570, though still comfortable and practical enough to use on the road. In fact McLaren reckon it will be more comfortable yet more engaging and quicker even than the 675LT – and it will be cheaper too, at £185,500 in the UK (which includes track training).

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The transformation from 570S to 600LT results in almost a quarter of the car being all-new with many components incorporated to reduce weight. Optional Super-Lightweight Racing Seats from the McLaren Senna save 21kg, racing harnesses 3.3kg, a new exhaust system 12.6kg, removal of Alcantara and carpets alleviates a further 18.2kg combined, deleting the stereo saves 3.3kg, and suspension that borrows from the 720S lightens the load by another 10.2kg. McLaren even removed the door pockets and glovebox to save an extra 1kg. Factoring in the new carbon fibre panels results in a dry weight of just 1247kg, a full 96kg less than a 570S coupé.

Weight Savings

Super-Light Racing Seats - 21kg
Lightweight Alloy Wheels - 17kg
Alcantara Delete - 12.6kg
New Suspension - 10.2kg
Brakes - 4kg
Exhaust - 12.6kg
Racing Harness - 3.3kg
Carpet Delete - 5.6kg
Door pockets and glovebox removal - 1kg
Audio System Delete - 3.3kg
Lighter Window Glazing - 2.1kg
Additional Carbon - 7.2kg

In all, 23% of parts over the 570 have been changed. In addition, the car is 47mm longer at the rear and 27mm longer at the front than the 570, with the aerodynamic changes increasing downforce – at 155mph it's 100kg.

Of course you'll be wanting to know about power though, which as the name suggests is 600PS, with 620Nm of torque from the 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8. Power has been increased over the 570S by ECU changes and the new exhaust. Gearchanges from the semi-auto transmission are quicker than the 570's too.

This combination of weight loss and muscle gain enables the McLaren 600LT to complete 0-62mph in just 2.9 seconds, 0-124mph in 8.2 seconds, and 0-186mph in a scarcely believable 24.9 seconds. These figures make it faster than a Lamborghini Huracan Performante — a car that lapped the Nurburgring in 6 minutes 52 seconds. At £185,000 the McLaren is also some £30,000 cheaper than its counterpart from Italy.

Its brakes are impressive, too. The light-weight brake calipers and carbon ceramic discs feature a McLaren Senna inspired brake booster for maximum stopping power. In fact, the 600LT can come to a dead stop from 124mph in just 117 metres, only 1 metre more than a McLaren P1.

We've seen it in the studio, and it's an impressive sight. Most noticeably, the grille over the engine is more see-through than you might expect, and the exhausts look even more dramatic – the McLaren engineers grin when quizzed on them and say they give 'an impressive light show' at night, with flames visible on the overrun (and we've heard it pop and crackle even when revved in the studio).

The exhaust, which is stainless steel rather than titanium, because it was found that the stainless version could actually be made to weight less, produces less back pressure than a conventional rear-exit exhaust, and is significantly lighter. At the rear, too, the mesh around the rear lights and diffuser is especially dramatic with the lights switched on.

The 600LT will debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. More details on the McLaren website.

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