Automobiles

McLaren 675LT: Light, fast and devilishly powerful

McLaren gives us a sneak peek at its new 675LT model ahead of the Geneva auto show, building on the 650 with better aerodynamics, less weight and a diabolical 666 horsepower.

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The McLaren 650S is an extraordinarily impractical car for everything but going really, really fast, and a rare exotic most people will never see on the street. For next week's Geneva auto show, McLaren will do the 650S one better, unveiling the 675LT, a new model that could be considered an even more refined version of its predecessor. McLaren's engineers seem intent on one-upping themselves.

The 675LT is the same configuration as the 650S, with two seats and a mid-mounted engine, and uses similar design elements as its sibling, especially in the front end. McLaren notes in its press release that the new car only shares 67 percent of the parts of the old one, though.

Most notably, and an explanation for the LT (long tail) name, the 675LT gets an airbrake that is 50 percent larger than that of the 650S. That airbrake is a flap that deploys when braking, helping to slow down the car through negative aerodynamics. Long tail has some history in the McLaren brand, previously used for the GT racing versions of the F1 model that ran in the mid-1990s.

More impressive, McLaren managed to find 220 pounds (100 kg) of weight savings in the 675LT compared to the 650S, making for a total curb weight of only 2,711 pounds (1,230 kg). Carbon fiber is, of course, used extensively around the car, in such places as the rear bumper and seat shells.

McLaren 675LT
McLaren will use the Geneva auto showing for the official unveiling of its latest model, the 675LT. McLaren

McLaren squeezed more power out of its twin turbo 3.8-liter V-8 too. Where the 650S manages 641 horsepower, you are looking at 666 horsepower from the 675LT. That works out to a zero to 60 mph time of under 3 seconds and a top speed of 205 mph.

Despite all these statistics and features, McLaren also managed to make it road legal. Now there's a quick trip to the grocery store.

CNET will report on the McLaren 675LT and many other cars next week from the Geneva auto show.