The 2021 McLaren 765LT is an ultra-high-performance sports car that is based on the already impressive McLaren 720S. Like other McLarens with the LT moniker, the 765LT is more track-focused, gaining some performance enhancements from the top-of-the-line McLaren Senna. It's also notable for what it doesn't have. Thanks to the use of lighter transmission materials, thinner glass or polycarbonate and a titanium exhaust, it only weighs 2,952 pounds (176 pounds lighter than the 720S) — about the same as a Toyota Corolla, but with more than five times the power output.
2021 McLaren 765LT
The 765LT is powered by a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter flat-plane-crankshaft V8 engine that is mounted right behind the seats. Spin it up and you'll get 755 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque, which is 45 hp and 22 lb-ft more than the 720S.
Short answer: It's not. The 765LT isn't the kind of car you could comfortably cruise around town in. It's a purpose-built race car. The nearly solid engine and transmission mounts transmit laugh-inducing amounts of vibration and noise that are met with little resistance from the minimal sound insulation and thin glass. At idle, it reverberates like a reciprocating saw and smooths out slightly as the engine speed increases. The mechanical growl doesn't sound particularly inspiring until you apply some sustained pressure on the gas pedal, at which point it sounds like an angry robotic bear at full howl.
Swing open the dihedral-style doors and you're treated to a cockpit that's elementally simple without seeming barren. A good section of the roof swings up with the door, providing an almost direct drop into the driver's seat, which is good since there's not a lot of space on the side to shimmy between the wheel and seat. Our particular test vehicle was bathed in black Alcantara, giving it an authentic race-car look and feel while reducing windshield reflections and gripping the driver like a Velcro onesie.
The 765LT is a technological powerhouse when it comes to performance. For everything else? Not so much. The Proactive Chassis Control II suspension continuously monitors road conditions and their effect on the suspension, all while processing what the driver is asking of the vehicle. The computer instantaneously comes up with a solution and executes it by adjusting a number of mechanical systems. Unlike most other suspensions, the 765LT's eliminates some heavy metal elements with compact hydraulic substitutes. Instead of a traditional anti-roll bar, a linked hydraulic system between the wheels adds or subtracts pressure on one side to maintain a flat roll attitude when cornering. The end result is very predictable and seamless from the driver's seat.
Between the driver and passenger, there is a moderately sized cupholder and a few small pockets. There is no glove compartment, just a small elastic net on the bulkhead behind the seats. Interior space is at a premium, so we suggest you keep your personal effects to a minimum.
Economical? The McLaren 765LT is laughably wasteful. With a price tag not too shy of a half a million dollars and an estimated fuel economy estimate of 15 mpg combined (14 city/18 highway), it justifies the old adage of "racing cars is like standing in a wind tunnel shredding thousand dollar bills." If you drive with any sort of excitement, you can expect single-digit mpg.
The 2021 McLaren 765LT is an apex predator in the supercar space. You'd have a tough time finding anything more entertaining, but that's really all it can do. The McLaren 720S is immensely easier to live with, especially when it comes to comfort, and it will still deliver far more performance than most drivers will ever demand of it. The LT is for the rare driver who finds the harshness attractive, and we're glad that such a hardcore option exists.