2021 McLaren 765LT Review: Senna Performance at a More Reasonable Price
The limited-production 2021 McLaren 765LT supercar delivers astonishing performance in a more attainable package than the Senna. Pushing 755 horsepower in a lightweight, track-focused package, the 765LT showcases the pinnacle of McLaren’s road car engineering. This in-depth review covers the technical details and driving experience that make the new Longtail McLaren an instant collectible.
Overview of the 765LT
As the latest in McLaren’s Longtail lineage, the 765LT takes learnings from ultra-high-end models like the Senna and applies them in a less extreme vehicle. Highlights include:
- 755 HP and 590 lb-ft torque from 4.0L twin-turbo V8
- 2,959 lbs dry weight – 176 lbs lighter than 720S
- 0-60 mph in 2.7 seconds, 0-124 mph in 7.2 seconds
- Top speed of 205 mph
- Starting MSRP around $358,000
The masterminds at McLaren have extracted every ounce of performance possible to create the ultimate street-legal track toy short of a Senna.
“Longtail” Legacy Model Designation
The “LT” designation indicates a Longtail limited edition model pushing the limits of McLaren’s expertise. Along with honoring the iconic 1997 F1 Longtail race car, LT models feature:
- Extended front splitter and elongated rear wing
- Further weight reduction and track focus
- More power from improved powertrain tuning
- Tighter suspension calibration and handling limits
- Limited production numbers and exclusivity
The 765LT incorporates the classic Longtail styling cues in a more accessible package than the ultra-rare Senna.
Aggressive Aerodynamics and Design
The 765LT stretches the familiar McLaren design language to even wilder extremes:
- Extended carbon fiber splitter, side skirts and diffuser
- Massive rear wing for optimized downforce
- Lunar titanium exhaust tips with LT logo
- Aerodynamically-sculpted dihedral doors
- Lightweight alloy wheels reducing unsprung weight
- Unique LT-branded interior trim details and badging
McLaren pulls zero punches on their limited LT models when it comes to performance.
Interior Comfort and Technology
Inside, the 765LT blends race car feel with just enough refinement:
- Alcantara racing seats weigh just 17.6 lbs each
- Carbon shell sport seats available as no-cost option
- Optional titanium harness bar for 6-point belts
- 7-inch portrait touchscreen with telemetry app
- Optional track camera system
- Lightweight interior door panels with fabric straps
- McLaren premium audio system
Weight savings abound yet the essentials like climate control and an adequate stereo remain.
Increased Power and Performance
At the heart of the 765LT lies its souped up twin-turbo 4.0L V8:
- 755 horsepower and 590 lb-ft torque
- 33 horsepower advantage over 720S model
- Motorsport-inspired straight-through exhaust
- Faster spooling low inertia turbos
- Increased cooling and oil circulation enhance durability
These powertrain enhancements yield ferocious acceleration of a mere 2.7 seconds 0-60 mph. That’s hypercar territory.
Lightweighting Facilitates Handling
With the curb weight reduced to just 2,959 lbs, the 765LT achieves the optimal power-to-weight ratio to enable its incredible performance:
- Carbon fiber bodywork including hood, doors, rear wing
- Racing seats minimize heft
- Lightweight suspension components – aluminum uprights and wishbones
- Reduced sound-deadening and thinner glass
- Deletion of air conditioning and audio systems optional
Mass reduction improves the power-to-weight ratio by 6% over the already insane 720S.
Further Optimized Handling and Dynamics
To fully exploit its meaty engine and feathery weight, the 765LT’s chassis and suspension see significant refining:
- Lower ride height for reduced center of gravity
- Wider front and rear track width enhance grip
- Revised suspension geometry and damper settings
- New wider Pirelli tires specially developed
- McLaren’s Proactive Chassis Control II mainatins handling at the limit
- Firmer engine mounts reduce unwanted motion
McLaren pulled out all the stops to achieve the most responsive and quick-reacting road car possible short of a dedicated race car.
Pricing and Production Numbers
The 765LT carries a starting price around $358,000 – far less than the $960k Senna yet more dear than a 720S at $299k.
Only 765 examples will be built, honoring the car’s metric horsepower figure. Good luck getting your hands on one!
Driving Experience and Ownership
On both road and track, the 765LT dazzles drivers with its tenacious grip, sensational acceleration, and remarkable ability to carry speed through corners. Yet it retains a degree of engagement and feedback lost in the Senna. Compared to rivals from Ferrari and Porsche, the LT possesses sharper reflexes and more explosive power delivery.
The 765LT sits in a sweet spot maximizing extreme capabilities while retaining just enough usability and comfort for occasional street driving. For those desiring Senna-like properties without going to the extremes, the latest Longtail edition delivers a singular driving experience blending sheer performance with everyday drivability when needed.
2021 McLaren 765LT
mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 2-passenger, 2-door coupe
twin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 32-valve V-8, aluminum block and heads, port fuel injection
244 in3, 3994 cm3
755 hp @ 7500 rpm
590 lb-ft @ 5500 rpm
7-speed dual-clutch automatic
Wheelbase: 105.1 in
Length: 181.1 in
Width: 76.0 in
Height: 47.0 in
Passenger volume: 48 ft3
Cargo volume: 13 ft3
Curb weight (C/D est): 3000 lb
PERFORMANCE (C/D EST)
60 mph: 2.4 sec
100 mph: 5.0 sec
1/4 mile: 9.9 sec
Top speed: 205 mph
EPA FUEL ECONOMY (C/D EST)
Combined/city/highway: 15/14/18 mpg