McLaren 720S Long Tail prototype spotted, 750LT? (video)

McLaren has bee spotted testing a mysterious prototype at the Nurburgring, with all signs suggesting it is the makings of a new LT (Long Tail) version of the 720S. A McLaren 750LT, perhaps?

A matt black 720S was spotted at the Nurburgring during an industry testing period, which suggests it is an official manufacturer’s vehicle. A quick number plate lookup via the UK vehicle enquiry website shows the car was manufactured in 2016, with first registration in November of that year. McLaren has probably been using this specific 720S as a base for testing various components over the years.

There are some very interesting details that stand out, however. At the front you’ll easily spot the more aggressive front spoiler which is moulded in perfectly to the 720S’s nose. There’s also large side winglets poking out from the corners, adding downforce for improved cornering grip and speed.

As with previous Long Tail models, such as the 675LT and more recently the 600LT, the 720S-based LT will no doubt feature a longer body. Specifically, the area rearward of the cabin is set to be stretched for a more elegant stance and to help with high-speed stability. This philosophy was first seen with the original McLaren F1 GTR Long Tail racing cars that competed at Le Mans in the 1990s.

Like with the 675LT and 600LT, some upgrades are likely for the engine. The 675LT, for example, was based on the 650S, and the 600LT was based on the 570S. The numbers refer to their power outputs in PS. Hence, the 720S LT will likely see a name change, perhaps to 750LT or 760LT.

In standard form the 720S comes with a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 that develops 530kW (720PS) and 770Nm. All of this grunt is sent through a seven-speed dual-clutch auto with rear-wheel drive. It’s capable of dusting off 0-100km/h in just 2.9 seconds, and 0-200km/h in 7.8 seconds, while the top speed is 341km/h. For the LT version, expect these numbers to improve.

According to reports McLaren has been planning an LT version of the 720S for a while, with mentions of a debut slated for later this year. We’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime, check out the spy video below for a preview.

Brett is the editor and founder of PerformanceDrive. He's obsessed with driving, having played with Matchbox cars until he was tall enough to drive a real one. After initially working as a mechanic, Brett earned a degree in journalism and entered media as an editorial assistant at Top Gear Australia magazine. He then worked at CarAdvice.com.au. His dream is to live next door to the Nurburgring in Germany.