765LT vGT3
MOTOR Magazine Australia|October 2021
MCLAREN AND PORSCHE OFFER TWO VERY DIFFERENT WAYS TO ACHIEVE THE SAME EMOTIONAL PULL
LAURENT CHEVALIER
THEY DON’T BOX in the same category, but their philosophies are so close that a meeting was inevitable. Both the McLaren 765LT and 992 Porsche 911 GT3 are authentic breaths of fresh air in an atmosphere charged with electricity, SUVs and heavy hybrids. These two are bound beyond their respective athletic abilities. It’s all about the sensations behind the wheel and their capacity to keep you awake at night and to get you out of bed in the morning. In short, we are not talking about tenths of a second, but about character.

As you, dear readers, remind us, Porsche and MOTOR kind of go hand in hand. It’s a more than amicable relationship, yet it’s still one based on top-quality product – period. Claiming Performance Car of the Year has become quite the habit, with the venerable 911 being the main beneficiary. We’ve conducted numerous tests and completed epic road trips with GT3s. Previous editor Dylan Campbell christened a then just-released Miami Blue 991.2 GT3 on a trip to Falls Creek, with a detour to Winton Raceway for good measure.

Memories like that, and many more, have helped cement the GT3’s place in our hearts. Whatever the premise, the foundations are built upon two ket characteristics: engaging handling and robust reliability. Each generation of the GT3 has only served to deepen the appreciation of something that has become more than a mere car, it’s a living legend. The 992-generation has managed to move the GT3’s own game forward thanks to an entirely new front suspension and small tweaks to the sonorous 4.0litre flat-six engine.

On paper, the $369,600 992 911 GT3 has no right to be in the same conversation as the $609,650 McLaren 765LT. Proportionally, it’s Golf GTI versus Porsche Cayman. Yet figures don’t do all the talking. yet its how these two cars go about their business that renders them of similar ilk. Forget the fact Woking’s offering is endowed with a twin-turbo V8 of the same capacity as the Porsche. Put to the back of your mind that the icon from Stuttgart, with 375kW and 470Nm, is down 188kW and 330Nm. That’s because how broadly this pair makes you smile is, well, a very close-run thing.

While McLaren road cars has been an entity for a far shorter period, it doesn’t mean the appreciation is any less important. And I must admit, on a personal level, I have a crush on the 765LT. I remember the first time I saw it, just before Covid became a global pandemic, in a huge hangar. It was in a disused area on the outskirts of London – an interesting location for McLaren to choose to unveil its latest Longtail product. The car itself hypnotised me in a way I hadn’t expected. I was captivated, with wide eyes and a dropped jaw, its race-car intent only thinly disguised, but in a more consumable way than the function-over-form Senna.

Knowing the devilish efficiency of the original 720S, something Andy Enright experienced on the Great Ocean Road for sister title, Wheels, I couldn’t help but imagine what this would be like. Especially given it has an extra 33kW, up from 530kW, and is now 80kg lighter than the 720S with a kerb weight of 1339kg. It’s like sharpening the blades of an already sharp razor. The 765LT is a monster with two carbon-tub seats. And fast-forward to the here and now, I can’t wait to get in the driver’s seat.

But first we’ve organised to weigh both to see how close they come to the factory claims. The Porsche bumps onto the scales and stabilises at 1480kg. Full of fluids, 61 per cent of that heft is over the rear axle. It’s also 45kg more than the value claimed by Weissach for the PDK version. The McLaren’s turn: 1413 kg, of which 59 per cent is on the rear axle, againsta quoted DIN weight of 1339kg. In short, with more horsepower and less kilos, the 765LT offers an unbeatable power-to-weight ratio of 420kW/tonne (261kW/tonne for the 911). However, it’s time to see how all this translates to the road. The Porsche is up first.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM MOTOR MAGAZINE AUSTRALIAView All

FERRARI 812 COMPETIZIONE

Does internal combustion get much better than this?

6 mins read
MOTOR Magazine Australia
December 2021

BOOTY SHAKER

‘Genny’ from the block heads beyond the inner city

3 mins read
MOTOR Magazine Australia
December 2021

LAMBORGHINI HURACAN STO

Rear-driven atmo V10 is given track focus

5 mins read
MOTOR Magazine Australia
December 2021

MINI COOPER S JCW SPORT

Is this nostalgic throwback just for looks?

5 mins read
MOTOR Magazine Australia
December 2021

DOLLARS AND SENSE

JCW has character but the numbers struggle to add up

3 mins read
MOTOR Magazine Australia
December 2021

CAYMAN 718 GT4 RS POWERS UP

Scorching 368kW GT4 RS model unleashed

3 mins read
MOTOR Magazine Australia
December 2021

SF90 STRADALE

WE GET BEHIND THE WHEEL OF THE MOST EXTREME ROAD-LEGAL FERRARI. BUT IS 735KW EVER USEABLE?

5 mins read
MOTOR Magazine Australia
December 2021

VOLKSWAGEN T-ROC R

Wolfsburg’s ready to rock with sporty SUV

5 mins read
MOTOR Magazine Australia
December 2021

GREAT ESTATES

GO-FAST WAGON OR A HYPED-UP SUV? BOTH ALFA AND AUDI OFFER UP TWO DIFFERENT FORMS OF PRAGMATIC PERFORMANCE

8 mins read
MOTOR Magazine Australia
December 2021

THE TRIBE

This is the bit right here for the power users of MOTOR. See, most think you win a year’s free subscription for penning Letter of the Month. Not so. You get 12 free editions of the world’s most exciting performance car magazine for directing a story about your worst in-car dining experience to the email address up there. Get to it!

6 mins read
MOTOR Magazine Australia
December 2021