Prior Convictions: 1.16 miles in the new 600 LT

Question: can you tell, in 1.1 miles, and about four corners of note, that this is a Longtail?

Or, given it's been a year since you last drove a 570S and, well, there are only four corners of note, does it feel like a 570S with maybe a bit more poke? Or even just a McLaren?

Nah. You can tell. You can tell straight away that the Longtail is special.

In this order, this is what you find out: that the power delivery is strong but maybe boosty throughout the range. That worn rear tyres (Trofeos as standard, regular P Zeroes an option), mean it will struggle for traction but that the steering system and the optional carbonfibre seats (Senna seats, as I suspect they'll be just colloquially be known from here on in) communicate even the slightest deviation from straight ahead. Upshifts are exceptionally precise. The noise is the best McLaren has yet gained from the 3.8 V8 (top-exit exhausts help). Brake feel is fabulous and there's a stability to the LT's stopping where there's some shimmy and float in a 570S.

And the downshifts are hilarious. Some twin-clutch cars are engineered to put out a small pop-crack on upshifts. This does it on downshifts but seems like it takes no longer than some upshifts. In the dark, apparently there's lightning to match the thunderclap.

And then you steer, and can feel that the 600 LT is light (1247kg dry, 100kg less than a 570S), and that it turns with even more accuracy and touchy-feely-ooh-ness through the rim that is the mark of a McLaren, which makes this probably the best power assisted system in production. (This or the Senna, anyway. That's a question for another day, but I naturally warm to this car more.)

So, can you tell, in 1.1 miles that this is a Longtail? Yeah, you can. But obviously you want more than 1.1 miles; even if it's just to hear that downshift one more time.


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