The 675LT may no longer be the latest thing, nor is it even the latest longtail to come from McLaren, but the 675LT is widely praised as McLaren’s best model from the last decade. Having sold numerous examples ourselves, we thought it would be beneficial for those in the market for a 675LT and for those who have an interest in this epic car, if we put together a McLaren 675LT buyer’s guide. This guide will look at the different versions of the car, the different specs, what to look out for and will discuss the market from an independent McLaren dealer’s perspective.
A BRIEF HISTORY
A new McLaren era was born when the McLaren MP4-12C, later renamed the 12C, was launched in 2011. Although it made a huge impact the 12C was fraught with reliability issues and complaints that it lacked driving soul. In 2014 McLaren replaced the car with the 650S which made improvements in both styling and performance, however most critics said it was still lacking in both feel and noise, and ultimately too focused on straight line speed.
In 2015 at the Geneva Motor Show, McLaren introduced a lightweight track focused version of the 650S, called the 675LT. This was the 3rd car McLaren had launched as part of their “Super Series” which later included the 720S and the most recent Longtail, the 765LT. Like the 650s before it, the name refers to the power output of 675PS whilst the LT stands for “Longtail” and was seen as a throwback to the 1997 McLaren F1 GT Longtail, considered by many as the holy grail of McLaren F1’s. Whilst the F1 Longtail featured extended overhangs in order to achieve extreme downforce without the need for a fixed rear wing, the 675LT is only 33mm longer than the 650s so the name is perhaps more spiritual than anything. Despite this, soon after the 675LT was launched it became apparent that the LT was the car we had all been waiting for McLaren to make.
The 675LT was originally launched solely as a coupe and it was limited to 500 examples worldwide which were all sold out by the time of first deliveries. The car featured a revised version of their 3.8L V8 twin-turbo engine borrowing parts from the P1, there was also new carbon ceramic brakes and a brand new “airbrake” which improved downforce by 40%. The 7-speed SSG dual-clutch gearbox remained mechanically unchanged but now had improved software resulting in quicker shift times than the 650S. Through extensive use of carbon fibre and Alcantara, thinner glass and lightweight alloy wheels the 675LT managed to be 100kg lighter than the 650s and all of this combined resulted in a dramatic improvement in performance.
Where the 675 really stood out was in the way it drove, it had a faster steering rack than the McLaren P1 and it was immediately apparent that the LT had plenty of the finesse and feel which was previously lacking in McLaren’s line up. Whilst it was certainly at its finest on the track, the LT was universally praised for its compliance on the road, making excellent use of McLaren’s different driving modes, featuring Normal, Sport and Track settings for both the chassis and the powertrain.
McLaren 675LT Coupe – Volcano Orange (Elite Paint)
Later in 2015, after all the coupes were sold out, McLaren launched the 675LT Spider featuring an electronically folding hard-top roof. The roof could fully retract within 16 seconds and whilst moving at up to speeds of 25mph. Like it’s coupe sibling there were 500 examples built worldwide and the similarities didn’t stop there. The LT Spider manages to achieve near identical performance figures despite the fact it was 40kg heavier. It’s top speed was only fractionally reduced at 203mph and still achieved a 0-62mph time matching the 2.9 seconds of the coupe. Visually there wasn’t too much difference either and even if the LT coupe is seen as the purer driving experience of the two, the added joy of open-top motoring is what made the LT Spider that extra bit special. The Spider also features a small electric rear window so you can get unadulterated noise from the engine whilst driving with the roof up.
McLaren 675LT Spider – MSO Burton Blue (MSO Defined Paint)
675LT Spider MSO Carbon Series
A limited run special was announced in 2016 for the 675LT Spider which featured a fully exposed carbon fibre body, with all the panels including the folding roof, tonneau cover and front wing louvres designed and fitted by McLaren Special Operations (MSO). The MSO Carbon Series was actually inspired by the carbon-fibre bodied P1 which made such an impact at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show and with only 25 examples to be built worldwide the 675LT Spider MSO Carbon Series was sold out at launch. Although technically it was the exact same car as the 675LT Spider, other than the carbon fibre body panels, the MSO Series did get the added benefit of the Track Telemetry option as standard.
McLaren 675LT Spider MSO Carbon Edition – Blue Carbon Fibre
Soon after, McLaren unveiled a special edition for the 675LT coupe and this was seen as the swan-song and final iteration of the 675LT. The ‘HS’ stands for High Sport and featured increased power to 688PS and more torque. Inspired by the P1 GTR, this car featured notable aerodynamic improvements to the car with the most obvious one being the huge new rear wing increasing downforce further, as well as new aero flicks on the front bumper. The car also featured the previously optional “Roof Scoop” as well as numerous carbon fibre upgrades as standard helping bring the weight down further. Like the MSO Carbon Series the 688 HS was limited to just 25 cars worldwide with each one said to be individually tailored by MSO ensuring no HS was built the same.
McLaren MSO 688HS – Volcano Red
With MSO able to offer customised individually bespoke cars, there were also a number of specially commissioned one-off designs including a matching Coupe and Spider pair called the the “MSO R” editions which featured ECU tweaks, a unique exhaust system and a custom paint job. There is also the “MSO Gulf Racing Edition” which featured the iconic powder blue and orange hue built as a homage to the 1996 Gulf-Davidoff GTC McLaren F1 GTR “Longtail.”
SPEC & OPTIONS
Although choosing the right specification for your car is subjective as a lot of it comes down to personal taste and individual necessities, below we have run through what we believe to be the important options for resale and discuss some of the different specs that are available.
There was a huge range of paint options for this car, they come down to 5 main categories.
- Standard Paint (e.g Silver, Chicane Grey, Silica White) – There were a small selection of paints that were available at no cost.
McLaren 675LT – Chicane Grey
2. Special Paint £1,870 (e.g Titanium Silver, McLaren Orange, Onyx Black) – There was a wider choice available if you wanted to upgrade to one of Mclarens “Special Paints”. These tended to be metallic colours and were very popular.
McLaren 675LT Spider – Titanium Silver
3. Elite Paint £4,190 (e.g. Volcano Orange (see above), Supernova Silver, Solis) – If you wanted to go up another level then you could get an “Elite Paint”. These are highly metallic and have a lot more depth to them glistening in a more intense and powerful way than the standard or special paints, especially under the sun.
4. MSO Defined Paint £7,750 (e.g. Mayan Spark, MSO Burton Blue (see above), Ceramic Grey) – If you wanted to order from off the menu you could request an MSO defined paint. These were generally classified as Heritage paints as they were pre-existing paints that might have been used on previous models like the P1. With such a wide variety of paints to choose from a significant amount of MSO painted LT’s are likely to be the only one in that colour although it is not uncommon to have 2 cars with the same MSO paint.
5. MSO Bespoke Paint £POA (e.g. Amazon Colourstream – £29,000) – The Final option was to go with something completely customised, where original owners worked closely with MSO to create something completely out of the ordinary combining multiple colours, adding different liveries, or you could have even gone for a chromaflair paint which changes colour completely depending on which angle you are looking at the car.
Amazon Colourstream Paint (MSO Bespoke Paint)
We believe the signature colour for the 675LT is Chicane Grey – despite being a standard colour this will be the paint that the 675LT will be best remembered for and arguably will be the most desirable for collectors in the future although of course personal preference plays a big part. The Elite Paints do bring a wow factor especially when the paint sizzles under the sun, but if you want something more unique that no one else has then you may be best off looking for one of the MSO painted examples. Bear in mind that these paints are not always to everyone’s taste, so it can sometimes be a bit trickier when the time comes to sell to find someone else that also loves such a unique colour.
It is also worth bearing in mind if you do go for the more expensive paint options and in the future require paintwork due to stone chips or scratches – these paints can be extremely difficult to colour match and therefore paintwork can become very costly. Very few paint shops even have access to the paint codes as McLaren are very protective over giving these out. It’s worth looking out for examples with Paint Protection Film (PPF) which should bring some peace of mind that the original paintwork has been protected.
Clubsport Professional Package (£22,270 on the coupe and £17,050 on the Spider)
The Clubsport Package is an incredibly desirable and expensive option as it includes a huge array of carbon fibre options as well upgraded wheels and a signature black & orange Alcantara interior. It is only available on a small selection of exterior colours including the Chicane Grey. The pack is more expensive on the coupe as it also gives you a roll cage, harnesses and fire extinguisher whereas on the Spider it is purely aesthetics but if you want your 675 to be a track toy then the Clubsport coupe is definitely the one to look for.
Choosing which seats for your 675LT is an area which causes much debate amongst 675LT owners and it’s certainly something we have run into on numerous occasions when trying to sell them.
There were 3 main types of seat available:
- Fully Electric Leather Heated Seats (Sport Seats) (£2,800 Option) -If you are a larger sized person or you just don’t like the feeling of bucket style seats then you will likely find that the Sports Seats are the best option. These are fully electric, heated and have an easy entry function which provides added practicality when it comes to getting in and out of the car.
- Racing Seats – Normal (no cost) – The normal racing seats are tight but these tend to be the best option for track days as they keep you firmly fixed into the seat and are the most supportive under hard cornering.
- Racing Seats – Touring (no cost) – The Touring Size racing seats are believed to be half an inch wider and have extra foam and padding and we find these seats are the most popular option, they give a little bit of extra comfort and movement. For road use, we believe these are the ones to have and offer a good balance.
675LT Racing Seats – Normal
With the LT Coupe being seen as a purer driving experience this tends to attract the track day enthusiast and therefore the Racing Seats are a necessity for most Coupe buyers. The 675LT Spider tends to attract a slightly different type of buyer and the Sports Seats seem to be more acceptable to Spider drivers as they are less likely to use the car on track days and are likely to appreciate the extra comfort when enjoying the open-top driving experience.
The choice of Alloys really comes down to personal preference and we don’t feel there is one alloy which is “better” than the other – it really does come down to aesthetics and which alloy you prefer the look of. We have sold cars with every type of alloy available from factory and each alloy seems to get fairly mixed opinions.
There are 3 main designs of alloys which can all come with different finishes such as diamond cut, painted or a combination.
- Ultra Lightweight 10-Spoke
- Super Lightweight 20-Spoke
- Super Lightweight 5-Spoke
The most expensive option is the Super Lightweight 5-Spoke with the Gloss Black Machined Finish (£2,790).
Ultra Lightweight 10-Spoke – Stealth Finish
Other Noteworthy Options
1. MSO Visual Carbon Fibre Roof Scoop (£27,273) – We will start with the most expensive option available and that is the Roof Scoop. Only available with the Coupe it is a very rare option believed to be on only 10% of cars and these examples have become increasingly sought after. Not only does it make the car look more aggressive but it also allows more of the engine and exhaust note to enter the cabin giving the car an improved aural experience. In terms of actual performance, we don’t believe it makes any difference and the styling of it won’t be to everyone’s taste as many people prefer the sleeker lines without the roof scoop. Therefore, although it does add value to the car it’s certainly not an essential option for most people.
2. Carbon Fibre Exterior Pack – McLaren took carbon fibre options to a new level when they launched the 12C offering more carbon fibre parts than you could ever imagine were possible. This has continued throughout their model line up and the 675LT is no different. The single most important option to tick is the Carbon Fibre Exterior Upgrade Pack which comprises of the End Plates, Lower Side Intakes, Rear Bumper Centre and Upper all in visual carbon fibre. This pack is already included in the Club Sport Professional Pack and you can also spec those options individually but whichever way you choose them, carbon fibre exterior options are a must-have for many.
Another very desirable option is the MSO Visual Carbon Fibre Louvres on the front wings which cost circa £10,000. A bit like the roof scoop – there is little effect, if any, on performance or aerodynamics but they are a very visually striking option and help to make the car look a lot more aggressive.There are a number of other carbon fibre exterior options you can get including the mirrors, the sill finishers, you can even get the wheel arches in carbon fibre – these are all nice to have but we certainly wouldn’t say you are missing out much by not having any of these extras.On the 675LT Spider you can spec the folding roof and the tonneau cover in exposed carbon fibre which combined cost a whopping £26,932 so if you want the absolute ultimate spec LT Spider then this is one of the options to look out for.
3. Carbon Fibre Extended Interior (£4,630) – The 675LT already comes with carbon fibre interior trim as standard on the centre console and on the steering wheel, this pack is for the “extended” trim which includes the door inserts and rear three-quarter panels.
4. Vehicle Lifting (£3,730) – In our opinion the vehicle lifting option is a very important one, it lowers and raises the suspension at the push of a button, which if you don’t want to scrape the front of the car whilst going over speed bumps or entering steep drives or multi-storey car parks will be an essential option. Although this option does add some weight to the vehicle, for many people it’s a must-have, so even if you are just using the car for track days and have no reason to use the lift feature it’s worth having just for resale value alone.
5. Front & Rear Parking Sensors with Rear View Camera (£2,730) – If you’re going to use your LT for daily driving then this is a good option to have. It’s going to make your life a lot easier when it comes to parking at supermarkets and city driving in general. It shouldn’t really be a deal breaker though and the benefit of not having them is that you get a cleaner look on the front bumper as the sensors are a little ugly.
6. Track Telemetry (£3,400) – With track telemetry you get 3 cameras, one in the front bumper, one on the rear bumper and one in the cabin headlining. For track day enthusiasts this an awesome option to have which allows you watch back your laps and impress all your mates.
7. Meridian Sound System Upgrade (£3,150) – If you enjoy listening to music whilst you drive then you might want to consider this option. You get 10 speakers instead of 4 so it’s definitely a luxury item that’s nice to have but again it shouldn’t be a deal breaker, this is very much a performance car rather than a luxury car but you should find about 50% of cars do actually have it.
There are a number of smaller options available including Soft Close Doors, Volumetric Alarm Upgrade, Branded Floor Mats, Extended Leather, Electric Steering Columns amongst others but these are generally not overly important but can come down to personal preference. It is worth mentioning that Dual-Zone Climate Control is a no cost option – for those that want their 675LT in it’s purest form you could exclude this in order to save weight but we believe this could affect resale as most people want to have air conditioning.
SERVICING & RUNNING COSTS
McLaren’s are not known for their low running costs and the 675LT is no different. Most cars if not all 675LT’s will be out of their original 3 year manufacturer’s warranty by now. This is of course extendable and if buying a used example from a franchised McLaren dealer they will provide a 12 month McLaren warranty on all their used cars. If buying from an independent dealer the general rule of thumb is that if the warranty has lapsed you will need to have owned the car for 90 days before McLaren will be able to put a manufacturer’s warranty on. This will be subject to an inspection and health check which tends to cost about £500. Something worth considering is getting the car serviced at the time of the warranty inspection as they will often waiver the service inspection fee. Also if the McLaren is still under it’s warranty at the time you’re extending it then it won’t require the inspection.
We have found varying costs when it comes to extending the warranty but here were our latest findings:
4th Year (12 month) Extended Warranty – £3,400
4th & 5th Year (24 month) Extended Warranty – £7,800
It is also worth considering alternative warranties such as the RAC Platinum Warranty which costs around £1,500 and in our experience have been very good and have paid out for the vast majority of issues. Warranty Wise is also worth considering – they are a little more expensive coming in at around £2,500 but they claim to provide the same level of cover as the manufacturer’s warranty.
In our opinion it is essential to have some kind of warranty on the car, with the manufacturer’s warranty being the preference as it gives you the ultimate peace of mind, and it does add some value to the car if you are selling it with the balance still remaining on the vehicle. The third party warranties tend to be the most cost-effective solutions as they provide a high level of cover at a fraction of the price.
In terms of reliability issues, we have always felt the build quality of the 675LT was up there with the best cars McLaren have built. A large proportion of owners have experienced no issues at all and have had a wonderful ownership experience. Being a McLaren though we would advise going into ownership with some kind of expectation there might be a few niggles here and there. Most, if not all the issues are resolvable by a visit to a main dealer, some of the things we’ve come across are as follows:
- Issues with Soft Close Doors Feature
- Stress Fractures to Windscreens
- Condensation in Rear Brake Lights
- In-Cabin Rattles
- Thermostat / Coolant Issues
- Climate Control Warnings on Dashbaord
With regards to servicing, like every McLaren model they should be serviced annually regardless of the mileage. Ideally, they should be serviced within the same 3-month window every year as McLaren will look for ways to be difficult when extending the warranty. This is an area which can raise an issue, however we have found with a bit of sweet talk they will agree to extend the warranty, even if it has missed a service or been serviced very late but only on the basis that the car has covered minimal mileage.
Average servicing costs seem to vary from £1,000-2,000 depending on the mileage you’ve covered since the last service.
We highly recommend always getting the car serviced at franchised authorised McLaren service centre, but if you are intent on saving money then there are 3rd party options. These include Thorney Motorsport, who are a McLaren servicing specialist but please bear in mind when you come to sell the car the fact that you have specialist history instead of McLaren franchise history may make it harder to sell the car and you may suffer a loss in value as a result.
The 675LT originally cost new just shy of £260,000 with the Spider costing around £25,000 extra. Most coupes listed at close to £300K+ once options had been added, whilst Spiders tended to list in the region of £325-350k. When the 675LT first came out in 2015 this was really the start of a boom in the supercar industry and whilst initially people were buying them for moderate premiums in the realms of £15-20K over list, by the time the Spider was being delivered premiums were up closer to £100K over list price. The LT along with the 458 Speciale, Aventador SV and GT3 RS were all surging in value at the time as supply could not keep up with demand during 2016 and this is what partly led to manufacturer’s beginning to make more and more limited edition cars.
With Brexit, a global economic slowdown and a supercar market which had become increasingly saturated the LT suffered from heavy depreciation during 2018 and 2019 and it wasn’t long until cars were back at list price and then they began to fall even further.
With the 720S being the preferred model for some people due to the newer tech and faster stats, it wasn’t long until the long tail variant of the 570s, named the 600LT was released to a rapturous reception which included winning the coveted Evo COTY award. Whilst this may have resulted in the 675LT being very much out of the spotlight what has happened since then is that 675LT prices have levelled out and it has transitioned from being the latest thing into being more of a modern classic and it’s appeal has not diminished amongst driving purists. Especially considering the fact that now they are at a much more affordable level with the coupes now dipping well below £200K and the Spiders not far off this. This has led to a resurgence of interest and appreciation for what is so widely regarded as such a special car and a modern classic.
What does the future hold? We think a lot of this depends on the 765LT and how this performs in the market. It will not be as rare as the 675LT, with 765 examples to be built, as opposed to 500 and we expect a similar story for the Spider. The 765LT will of course feature the latest technology that McLaren has to offer and there is no denying the base model on which it is based, the 720S, was levels ahead of the 650S which the 675 was based on. It would therefore be a big shock if the 765 wasn’t a fantastic car, after all McLaren are getting quite good at this now. Sometimes though, car manufacturers hit a sweet spot with a certain model and that is certainly the case with the 675LT which is starting to stand the test of time very well. In the last few years McLaren’s reputation has taken a bit of a battering mainly due to the heavy depreciation, relentless pursuit of building and selling more and more new models and ongoing reliability and build quality issues.
The market is in a very different place to where it was 4 or 5 years ago and the economic effects of Coronavirus remain to be seen but we would expect a slow decline of prices over the course of this year before a potential bottoming out in 2021. Will they ever go below £150K that remains to be seen but we certainly wouldn’t bet your bottom dollar on it. This is far too good a car to think that will ever happen but the world is a funny place and you never know what is around the corner.
WHAT THE JOURNALISTS SAY
- Autocar ***** (5 Stars) “Agile, responsive and rewarding – a car that is prepared to indulge your childish side in a way that, P1 aside, modern McLarens hitherto have not.”
- Evo *****( 5 Stars) “It’s the vehicle we’ve been waiting for the company to build since it entered the market.”
- Telegraph ***** (5 Stars) “While the 675LT will stir your soul, ripple your cheeks and blow your mind on the track, it remains an immensely usable and genuinely comfortable road car, too.”
- Auto Express – ***** (5 Stars)
- Car magazine – ***** (5 Stars)
- Top Gear – 10/10
- GQ Magazine Car of the Year 2015
NOTABLE & FAMOUS OWNERS
- Jenson Button
- Jeremy Clarkson
- Shmee 150
- Mr JWW
Jenson Button’s McLaren 675LT Spider in Chicane Grey
If you are interested in buying a 675LT or perhaps even an owner currently looking to sell your McLaren then please don’t hesitate to contact us.