Introducing the Senna, McLaren’s Ultimate Road-Legal Track Car
McLarens are known to be very fast road cars. After all, what’s the point of being named after one of, if not the, most successful Formula One team in the world if you’re not built for speed? On the road or on the track, these cars are sure to make your head spin. Its latest offering, the McLaren Senna, is more of the same from McLaren, but definitely not in the bad or boring kind of way.
Built as an homage to Ayrton Senna, the legendary race car driver who won three Formula One championships for McLaren in 1988, 1990 and 1991, the newest McLaren Ultimate Series supercar is based on the same platform used by the current 720S model, the ‘Monocage III’ carbon-fiber monocoque fitted with a mid-positioned 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine. Delivering 789 hp and 800 Nm of torque, the engine–codenamed M840TR–is McLaren’s most powerful road-legal internal combustion engine yet.
A dual-clutch seven-speed tranny delivers power seamlessly to the rear wheels. Drivers get to choose between automatic and manual settings via paddle shifters mounted behind the steering wheel. Specially elongated for optimal use with or without racing gloves, the shifters permit a deep sense of mechanical connection between the McLaren Senna and its driver.
Instantly easy on the eyes, the Senna does have a few features that are all its own when compared to other supercars. The car prioritizes function over form, so you’ll find inlets, scoops, wings, and flicks that you won’t find on any other car of this power. A prominent feature too good to be true: it has windows cut into the doors. Check out this feature below.
The doors are made of carbon fiber and feature two-piece fixed window set consisting of a larger top part and a smaller opening section below. If you prefer, you can replace both the carbon fiber door upper (which is part of the roof) and the lower half of the door side with glass for that see-through, no-holds-barred look.
The Senna follows up the insanely fast P1 as McLaren’s current top-level spec car. In case you’re wondering why McLaren would need to make another model for the Ultimate Series, the company emphasizes that the Senna occupies its own niche. Whereas the P1 and upcoming P2 are designed to be the ultimate driver’s car on the road and track, the Senna is the ultimate McLaren road-legal track car. Though they may sound the same thing to the layman, McLaren assures that there is a clear distinction between these offerings.
The Senna showcases an updated version of the P1’s hydraulically-interconnected dampers, which does away with the need for anti-roll bars. The car also improves on the P1’s variable stiffness and ride height technology, featuring a ‘Race Mode’ that gives the driver a lower ride height and stiffer suspension.
Everything about the Senna is completely next-level. Weighing in at just 1,198 kg, the car enjoys a power-to-weight ratio of 659 hp-per-ton, the lone statistic you’ll need to know that the performance credentials of the latest addition to the McLaren Ultimate Series mean serious business.
“The McLaren Senna is a car like no other: the personification of McLaren’s motorsport DNA, legalized for road use but designed and developed from the outset to excel on a circuit,” said McLaren Automotive Chief Executive Officer Mike Flewitt. “Every element of this new Ultimate Series McLaren has an uncompromized performance focus, honed to ensure the purest possible connection between driver and machine and deliver the ultimate track driving experience in the way that only a McLaren can.”
Production of the McLaren Senna will be limited to just 500 units, and will cost buyers £750,000 (around P50.341 million) including taxes.