66 Magazine Issue 4 Summer 2018 - Page 54

There was a time when supremacy in the sports and supercar landscape was decided by who made the most extraordinary car. The Muira? Most beautiful. The F40? Most iconic. Porsche 993 GT2? The scariest. And McLaren’s F1? Many would argue the best car ever produced. Passion was required to build the most amplified cars available. Often these manufacturers poured all attention and resources into just one product line, in the relentless pursuit of success. Failure was not an option. Although for some it ultimately become a reality. Fast forward to 2018 and times have changed. Legacy brands have been resurrected under global manufacturing empires and, while passion remains, the need for market penetration through product diversification (SUVs, to put it bluntly) is a polarising narrative common across most supercar brands. Ferrari, Lamborghini and Aston Martin all have aggressive product strategies with many new Labrador-accommodating models to come to fruition. All in what just a few years ago seemed an impossibly short time frame. Like everyone else, McLaren needs to keep up. But, I’ll stop you there. No; a McLaren SUV isn’t in the pipeline. In fact, the independent manufacturer vehemently denies a high-riding plush-mobile for the family is anywhere in its future. What is though are 18 new cars by 2025, spread across their hierarchy of Sports, Super and Ultimate series model lines. 52 66 MagAzine SUMMER 2018 The $410,000 600LT perhaps shows McLaren’s hand somewhat in how they intend to address product diversification. It could be the most exciting approach yet. Let’s start with the looks. It’s a McLaren, so of course the 600LT is eye-catching. Have you ever seen a McLaren that didn’t command attention for all the right reasons? Features like the top-exit exhausts, the huge rear diffuser and elegant side scallops are obvious call outs, but there is a lot of detail you miss at first glance. Dozens of design nuances, all of them born out of function rather than form, start to reveal themselves as you look closer. Every detail has a purpose; looking fantastic is simply a fortunate coincidence. So, what is it? Well, albeit still sitting in McLaren’s most accessible “Sports” series, the numbers attached denote this definitely has supercar tendencies. It’s unmistakably based on the 570S, but McLaren wanted something even more focussed for customers who might participate in occasional track driving. In essence, similar, then, to Porsche’s GT3 RS. That LT moniker references the F1 Longtail, famous for its wild proportions that delivered Le Mans-winning aerodynamics and downforce back in the day. This is the brand’s forth ‘Longtail’, but rather than dramatically extending vehicle proportions like its ancestor, the 600LT is only a mere 47mm longer than a 570S. Going forward McLaren sees its LT versions identifying more with the track-focussed