Owner's review of the 2021 McLaren 600LT

The good, the bad and how does it stack up to 570S

28w ago

McLaren 600LT. For most it is just some car, for others, the petrolheads, it is a quick baby McLaren but for me it is LOVE. Since the launch of the 675LT at Silverstone, we all got introduced to an LT Series by McLaren, a Series that takes a car that is already a supercar and moves it up a notch. Maybe even not one notch but a whole lot of notches, ending with a car that is lighter than its base version, more powerful and all in all is a much quicker machine. A car that is perfectly for track days and as most 675LT owners will confirm, extremely fast for the roads. 

It is then when my appreciation for everything McLaren has begun. Back at the time, 675LT was too much of a stretch so I opted for the McLaren 570S first, in hopes that it has retained the feel of what 675LT was all about. The baby Mac as some may call it. Little did I know, but my world was about to turn upside down with the official announcement of the McLaren 600LT, premiered at the Geneva Motor Show. This new little creature has left an un-erasable mark in my head and I just had to get it. Love at first sight if I may. Before we begin, feel free to soak yourself into my video review to get the feels of the punch that this menace delivers…

I took delivery of the car on a rainy morning in Geneva, roughly one year ago and have spent enough time with it to be able to share what it is really all about. Cannot say that it has been smooth sailing and it is utter perfection in the flesh, but then again, there is so much more to it than it's pitfalls, that if not perfect, it is very much up there, very close to it.

The start, McLaren 570S and meeting your heroes.

This whole LT bonfire of a movement turned all my efforts towards wanting, and eventually getting a Mac. P1 was obviously out of the picture, 600S looked like it will soon be forgotten by the market and there it was, the 570S, a perfect McLaren fanboy starter pack car. Do not be fooled into thinking that it is short on performance or sending your guts upwards. In fact, it is the complete opposite and can safely be called a supercar too, since compared to the Mercedes Benz GTs that I had to part with in favour of the 570S, it seemed blisteringly quicker, much shorter on space and did not even try to become your favourite GT cruiser.

McLaren 570S (Misha on Wheels)

McLaren 570S (Misha on Wheels)

The 570S is put in motion by a dry sump, twin-turbocharged 3.8 litre V8 that revs up to 8500rpm and is connected to a 7-speed gearbox fancily called SSG, which stands for Reverse Seamless Shift according to the McLaren technical brochure. Performance wise, as mentioned earlier, the 570S was definitely not a slouch with its 562bhp, 600Nm of torque and a top speed of 204mph (328km/h)! It propelled me and my occasional passengers from 0-60mph (100km/h) in just 3.2 seconds and if we were to imagine that my house was right in the middle of a runway, it would have delivered me to 200km/h (124mph) in a sniff of additional 6.3 seconds!

With a bit of rocket science math done on a calculator, it doesn't take long to figure that 0–200km/h only takes 9.5 seconds which in today's world is quicker than what the basic engine Ford Focus needs to reach a 100km/h mark. No offence to the Ford fans, these are great cars too, but this example, in my opinion, serves as a great show of the 570S performance. It is supercar level fast and the grip… Oh, the grip is biblical!

McLaren 600LT review and emotions

Despite the fanfares that I have just covered the 570S in, the kid was not without its own issues. The turbo lag, that I so hoped would not be present, instead constantly reminded of itself when pulling from 3rd gear and the common to all McLarens slow nose lift, that seemed to take an eternity to obey the law of its purpose. Still, as described on my channel, the 570S showed me to the world of super fast and most importantly, imprinted a McLaren badge inside my brain.

Mclaren 600LT interior (Misha on Wheels)

Mclaren 600LT interior (Misha on Wheels)

This made the McLaren 600LT purchase imminent. Five months after the Geneva Motor Show, on a rainy and pretty much disgusting, cold day, I was standing in front of the McLaren dealer in Geneva with my hands shaking. The time has come to pick up my 600LT. A 0–60 in 2.9 seconds, the 'not for faint-hearted' rocket as McLaren calls it, was there, waiting for me. Boasting a 96kg reduction in weight, carbon fibre Senna seats, quicker steering rack, shortened flames spitting exhaust system, 720S lower and stiffer suspension, increased front track, lightweight brake system, carbon fibre chassis, firmer engine mounts, altered bodywork that produces 100kg more downforce… okay please stop me now because this will never end!

Do I need all this on my occasional outings with the car? Nope! Does it make me feel like a superhero? It sure does!

For me, the McLaren 600LT was never meant to be a daily. I mean, I would love to see someone who dailies one and ask him/her if he/she is sane. I cannot say that instead of a runway I live on a racetrack either. Therefore, I won't lie to you on how my lap times got incrementally better with the heaps of goodies that McLaren threw into the 600LT, or to be precise, threw out of the 600LT interior and exterior.

I am here to tell you about the emotions instead, it is a 600LT review of emotions. As clearly visible in the short film featured above, this car is a beast. The McLaren 600LT performance characteristics are hypercar like, 2.9 seconds acceleration to 100km/h (62mph), 600 horsepower, 620Nm of torque and intergalactic grip that you have to be super careful about. This car can easily bite your head off, but once you sink in and understand its traits, it becomes heaven!

McLaren 600LT (Misha on Wheels)

McLaren 600LT (Misha on Wheels)

Here is a thought then. Imagine that you have just had the most tiresome and difficult day at work, say you are in a restaurant business and Covid strikes, sending into lockdown all cities you run your business in. You get back home, feeling as if there is no tomorrow and decide to take the 600LT for a drive. You strap yourself into the Senna seat, warm the engine and the gearbox up and go for a little mountain pass attack. Now, trust me when I say that after just 30 minutes of driving you will be REBORN! You will be filled with energy, ideas and most importantly, a clear plan on how to turn around all your problems into benefits. This is exactly what the McLaren 600LT delivers! It is an emotions generator that you connect to and soak in nothing but happiness.

McLaren 600LT review (Misha on Wheels)

McLaren 600LT review (Misha on Wheels)

It is precise as a laser directed rocket on the road. It wraps around you and becomes the extension of you. McLaren 600LT is a menace that spits flames out of its upward titanium exhaust pipes. It brings joy. At times it feels as if it is capable of defying gravity. It is pure, unmasked adrenaline, that is available to all who is on the market for something within this price range.

McLaren 600LT vs 570S and Summary

Comparing 600LT to 570S, there is one word that prevails over anything else. It is Roughness! McLaren 600LT is a weapon and this fact becomes apparent as soon as you stick yourself into it. I cannot say that Senna seats are the easiest to get into and as I mention in my video review, you better have some acrobatics knowledge up your sleeves to make the process look simple. Once you are in though, you are greeted with the same dash and that is where the similarities end. Think of 600LT and 570S as two totally different cars because they truly are and you feel it as soon as you drive off. 600LT constantly reminds you that it is track-ready by all the technical changes that McLaren has made. Yes, it does retain some 570S in terms of slow lift system and multimedia, but then again, who needs that when you drive your favourite roads to get your mind off everyday thoughts. 

Although the performance specs are not that different between the two with only 30 horsepower separating 600LT and 570S, it is the weight-saving and suspension trickery that really sends these two at first glance similar cars worlds apart. To summarise, I believe that everyone needs a 600LT in their life. It delivers emotions that are simply unreachable by any other hobby, occupation or whatever else. It is a made in Britain go-kart that you strap yourself to and feel special, feel as if you have just won your 99th world championship. Emotions are priceless and we all deserve them!

Now, what is your dream supercar? Let me know in the comments below...

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