(Pocket-lint) - This is the McLaren 675LT – which stands for long tail. We don't normally make a point of covering cars that are facelift versions, or new variations in a series, but given how good-looking this McLaren is we had to make an exception.
A quick recap here for non-McLaren buffs. This car was originally called the MP4-12C, unveiled back in 2009, it received many upgrades between its first production in 2011, and became known simply as the 12C in 2012. "Replaced" last year by the 650S – which we were lucky enough to take for a spin round Millbrook – that featured several further improvements and changes, most notably more power and a face similar to the flagship P1.
Got all that? Right, well cue the Geneva Motor Show 2015 and we've got yet another "new" McLaren, which looks very much like an old McLaren. As the 675LT joins the range above the 650S, we do wonder quite why anyone would now by the older, slower, and less pretty car.
As its name suggests, the long tail bumps the power up to 675bhp. It still comes from the rear-mounted twin-turbo charged V8 engine which drives just the rear wheels – but the 675LT's big changes are in its looks.
The longtail has, er, long been a McLaren thing – to prove as much, McLaren put an old F1 longtail on its stand – and you'd have to say the new car wears its longer tail and extra length a lot better than the old stager. A longer tail typically helps with aerodynamics, which is helpful when you want to go racing – which is where this street-ready new McLaren borrows much of its thinking from.
It's lighter, more track-focused and uses a greater amount of carbon fibre in its body than the 650S. Where do those changes show up? Choose from the carbon-fibre front splitter, longer doorblade, titanium exhaust pipes and the carbon-fibre airbrake which is 50 per cent bigger, yet also lighter than the one on the 650S. It all ads up to a car which weighs just 1,230kg. It is going to be quick with a capital Q, this car.
Inside, it all feels and looks very similar to the 650S and the 12C that went before. The interior architecture is the same, as is the gauge cluster and the centre screen – although it does seem to now work less clunkily. A good job, as it incorporates the heating and cooling controls in the 675LT.
You do get a pair of grip-so-hard-it-smarts carbon-fibre shell bucket seats, Alcantara upholstery with the 675LT logo embossed and, to make the LT particularly stand out, the car is available in what McLaren's referring to as five "By McLaren" hero specifications. That gets you the more stripped-out interior and four unique paint colours including the very stealthy "chicane grey" (as shown in the close-up shots in our picture gallery).
Perhaps unsurprisingly, McLaren is claiming the 675LT will just be a tiny bit faster than its new competitors. Capable of 0-62mph in just 2.9 seconds it pips past the Ferrari 488 GTB. We expect the two to be similarly priced when the McLaren goes on sale later this year - somewhere to the tune of £200,000.