Proving that power isn’t everything, the McLaren 600 Long Tail has managed to match the lap time of the 720S in the hands of the same driver and on the very same track. Sport Auto’s Christian Gebhardt took the 720S Coupe for a hot lap of the Green Hell at the beginning of the year and crossed the finish line in 7 minutes and 8.34 seconds (see video at the bottom). He recently had the opportunity to do the same with the 600LT, and ended up with a virtually identical lap time: 7 minutes and 8.82 seconds.
Some will be surprised to see that despite having 118 fewer horses and being down by 111 lb-ft than the 720S, the Sports Series model managed to match the beefier Super Series model. How was that even possible? Well, there are quite a few explanations. For starters, the 600LT only weighs 1,356 kilograms whereas the 720S tips the scales at 1,419 kg, making it 63 kg heavier.
While the weight difference is important, the real ace up the Long Tail’s sleeve was the stickier set of Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tyres created specifically for maximum track use performance. The 720S was equipped with Pirelli P Zero Corsa rubbers, which provide a balance between road and track use. Add into the mix 600LT’s far better aero compared to the 570S upon which it’s based, and we begin to understand how it was able to keep up the pace with the 720S.
How do the McLarens stack up against other cars driven by Christian Gebhardt? About a month ago, he lapped the Nürburgring in a Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro in 7 minutes and 6.60 seconds, so approximately two seconds quicker than the supercars from Woking. Other vehicles he had the chance to take for a spin on the ‘Ring but that don’t compete with the McLarens include the BMW M5 Competition (7:35), Alpine A110 (8:03), Toyota Yaris GRMN (8:44), Mercedes-AMG C63 S (7:44), and the Ferrari 812 Superfast (7:27).
The rumoured 750LT due in 2020 that was possibly spied at the very same track earlier this week will likely be faster than all of the cars mentioned here.