McLaren Automotive renews commitment to vehicle weight reduction to further enhance efficiency and performance

23 Apr 2020

  • McLaren Automotive CEO, Mike Flewitt reaffirms that winning ‘the weight race’ is a priority for McLaren as it moves towards a new generation of hybrid supercars
  • Carbon fibre body structures and components will remain a primary enabler in delivering superlight supercars as part of overall engineering focus on driving down weight
  • McLaren Composites Technology Centre (MCTC) in Yorkshire, UK, leading innovation and manufacturing in composite materials, including carbon fibre
  • New 765LT illustrates the benefits of minimising vehicle mass, with 80kg* reduction key to delivering the performance advantages enjoyed by new limited-volume supercar

Mike Flewitt, McLaren Automotive Chief Executive Officer, has confirmed that the company will continue to pursue its engineering philosophy of reducing vehicle weight to further enhance the performance and efficiency of its supercars. Already evident in existing models such as the new 765LT, the ongoing drive for weight reduction will put McLaren in the best possible position to embrace powertrain advances such as hybridisation and electrification.

Flewitt delivered the message that McLaren’s determination to win ‘the weight race’ remained undiminished in an abbreviated version of an address he had been due to give at the 2020 Automotive News World Congress, an automotive industry event postponed because of the Covid-19 crisis.

“Reducing vehicle weight is at the centre of our strategy for the next generations of McLaren supercars. We are already class-leading and committed to further driving down weight in order to be in the best possible position to maximise the efficiency and performance of hybridised models to be introduced by 2025.

“Vehicle mass is the enemy of performance whether a car has a conventional internal combustion engine or a fully electrified powertrain, so winning the weight race is an absolute priority for us – and one of the reasons McLaren Automotive has invested heavily in the McLaren Composites Technology Centre, our own UK composite materials innovation and production facility.”
Mike Flewitt, Chief Executive Officer, McLaren Automotive 

The commitment to continue minimising weight comes as a new, limited-volume McLaren supercar comes to market with an 80kg* reduction integral to a lightest dry weight of just 1,229kg. The 765LT opens a fourth chapter in the McLaren Longtail story and embodies characteristics that have their roots in the legendary McLaren F1 ‘Longtail’ race cars of the late-1990s, with driver engagement, increased performance, lighter weight, track-focused dynamics and limited availability key features.

Even with the inherent benefit of a carbon fibre Monocage II structure at the car’s core, lighter weight set the biggest challenge for the 765LT development team. The new LT needed to be as light as possible in order to achieve the astonishing straight-line performance and cornering and braking abilities expected of a McLaren ‘Longtail’ and considering that the McLaren 720S – the car on which the 765LT is based – set a new benchmark for weight in the supercar class when it was introduced in 2017, an 80kg reduction in DIN weight is a remarkable achievement.

The minimised weight is the result of a meticulous programme of changes from the inside out, demonstrating a philosophy embedded in McLaren’s history as a pioneer in carbon fibre technologies since introducing the first carbon fibre chassis into Formula 1 in 1981. The 765LT makes extensive use of the lightweight but incredibly strong material, including for exterior body panels, aerodynamic components and inside the car, for the seats and centre tunnel. Several of these components are fabricated at the McLaren Composites Technology Centre in Yorkshire, UK – the first time the new facility has created body components for a McLaren road car.

Other weight-saving measures on the 765LT include lightweight side windows and motorsport-style polycarbonate glazing at the rear of the car, with Formula 1-grade materials used in the transmission. The exhaust system – which is fully-formed in titanium – delivers a substantial 40% weight saving over a comparable steel system, with the quad-exit exhaust also tuned to provide a searing soundtrack appropriate for a car with this level of performance and driver engagement: with its light weight and a 765PS, 800Nm twin-turbo V8 engine, the 765LT can accelerate from standstill to 200km/h (124mph) in just 7.2 seconds.

The 765LT’s track-tuned suspension has also been designed with minimal weight in mind, with features such as motorsport-derived ‘helper’ springs that negate the need for a heavier, dual-rate sprint arrangement. Ultra-lightweight wheels, bespoke Pirelli P-Zero® Trofeo R tyres and titanium wheel bolts together bring a saving of 22kg, a reduction in unsprung mass that also enhances dynamic performance. Those fortunate enough to secure a 765LT can choose to leave air-conditioning and an audio system off the standard specification, although these driver comfort systems can be selected at no cost.

Just 765 individually-numbered examples of the new Longtail will be built to customer order globally and McLaren retailers are already taking deposits for the cars, either in person, online or by telephone, depending on current Covid-19 restrictions in individual countries. Further information about the 765LT is available at https://cars.mclaren.com/en/super-series/765lt.

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Ends

Notes to editors:

Footage of the 765LT in action on track and a selection of high resolution images can be downloaded from the McLaren Automotive media site: cars.mclaren.press

*80kg reduction in DIN weight compared to McLaren 720S

About McLaren Automotive:

McLaren Automotive is a creator of luxury, high-performance supercars.

Every vehicle is hand-assembled at the McLaren Production Centre (MPC) in Woking, Surrey, England.

Launched in 2010, the company is now the largest part of the McLaren Group.

The company’s product portfolio of GT, Supercar, Motorsport and Ultimate models are retailed through over 85 retailers in more than 32 markets around the world.

McLaren is a pioneer that continuously pushes the boundaries. In 1981, it introduced lightweight and strong carbon fibre chassis into Formula 1 with the McLaren MP4/1.

Then in 1993  it designed and built the McLaren F1 road car - the company has not built a car without a carbon fibre chassis since. As part of the Ultimate Series, McLaren was the first to deliver a hybrid hypercar, the McLaren P1™.

Announced at Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2018, the company’s Track25 business plan will see it invest £1.2billion in research and development to deliver 18 new cars or derivatives by the end of 2025.

In 2018, the company launched its new £50m McLaren Composites Technology Centre in the Sheffield region in the North of England that will see it produce the next generation of lightweight carbon fibre ‘tubs’ that are at the heart of all McLaren cars.

2019 saw McLaren launch the 600LT Spider as well as the new GT, the track-only Senna GTR and unveiled the 620R and the McLaren Elva. In 2020, McLaren launched the 765LT.

To support the development, engineering and manufacture of its range of innovative sportscars and supercars, McLaren Automotive partners with world leading companies to provide specialist expertise, technology and solutions. These include AkzoNobel, Ashurst, Dell Technologies, OnePlus, Pirelli,  Richard Mille, and Tumi.

McLaren Group:
The McLaren Group is a global leader in luxury automotive and technology and comprises three businesses: Automotive, Racing and Applied.

Further information:

Piers Scott
Global Communications & PR Director | McLaren Automotive Limited
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Amel Boubaaya
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Hunter Skipworth
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Roger Ormisher
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Adam Gron
Retail Marketing Manager – Middle East, Africa and Latin America McLaren Automotive Limited
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Sunny Zhang
PR Communication Director - China McLaren Automotive Limited
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Gracia Yap
Public Relations Manager – Asia Pacific McLaren Automotive Limited
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Mihoko Negishi
Public Relations Manager – Japan | McLaren Automotive Asia Pte Ltd
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Email: mihoko.negishi@mclaren.com

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