Even more impressive is the fact that engineers say the 765LT’s lap time at “a reference track” undercuts that of the 720S by about 2.5sec, and that its braking distance from 125mph to a standstill is 110 metres – almost identical to the Senna. That’s small wonder, given that the 765LT’s carbon-ceramic discs and pads are shared with the Senna and its nose incorporates Formula 1-style caliper cooling ducts that cut pad temperatures by 50deg C.

However, McLaren stresses that this car works for drivers of all abilities at all speeds. “Our cars should work across the whole speed range with driver confidence at the forefront,” said chief test driver and Indy 500 winner Kenny Bräck. “We go about our tuning with this in mind. Take a 765LT on a mountain road in any weather and you’ll feel totally in control.”

The 765LT is clearly related to the 720S in its overall styling but considerably different in detail, mostly because of a comprehensive new set of aerodynamic parts to boost downforce and high-speed stability.

This is the first car to use carbonfibre components sourced from McLaren’s new composite factory nearSheffield. These include the front floor, rear bumper, ‘Longtail’ active rear spoiler, front bumper, splitter, side skirts and lengthened diffuser.

However, in this model’s case, the term ‘Longtail’ is only just correct. It has new rear bodywork featuring an exquisitely designed suite of four side-by-side titanium exhaust outlets (newly tuned for a “searing” soundtrack), but its rear overhang is only about 10mm greater than that of the 720S. The increase in the front overhang (40mm) is greater, due to the highly effective new splitter.

New brakes and tyres are joined by revised suspension. This uses lighter, single-rate springs with helpers and is stiffer both front and rear than that of 2015’s 675LT, which is regarded by experts as the 765LT’s most direct and distinguished predecessor.

Engineers say their biggest headache was shaving another 80kg from the 720S, already the lightest car in its class. At launch, they issued a long list of ‘wins’, the greatest of which was cutting 22kg by switching to ultralight forged alloy wheels with titanium bolts. Race-spec seats save 18kg, deleting the air conditioning 10kg and lighter carbonfibre panels 14.3kg. Even the new coil springs save 1.5kg.


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