McLaren Automotive have unveiled their new ultimate, track-concentrated car for the road, the McLaren Senna, which bears the name of the legendary Formula 1 driver, Ayrton Senna. Senna, who drove with the team from 1988 to 1993, won all three of his Formula 1 titles with McLaren in 1988, 1990 and 1991.
The McLaren Senna is the personification of McLaren’s DNA at its most extreme, creating the purest connection between car and driver. Using an extensively revised carbon-fibre monocoque from their 720S model, the McLaren Senna is the lightest road-legal McLaren since the iconic F1 road car, at just 1,198 kilograms. Bespoke Pirelli P-Zero Trofeo R tires and carbon ceramic disc brakes at each corner are sprung by McLaren’s unique interconnected hydraulic suspension with continuously variable RaceActive Chassis Control II (RCC II) system. In Race mode, the ride height is lower, lowering the centre of gravity and significantly stiffens the suspension.
The aggressive appearance epitomizes McLaren’s ‘form-follows-function’ DNA, with the McLaren Senna getting a complete extreme aerodynamics package, with latest generation active front and rear aerodynamics, raising downforce and aero control to an unprecedented level. The double diffusers, double-element carbon-fibre active rear wing together with other aerodynamic and cooling pieces all contribute to the very unmistakable character of the McLaren Senna when viewed from the rear. Up front, the aero blades below the headlights add visual drama with personalization colour schemes for owners.
Inside, the McLaren Senna is what is expected from the premium, highly technical automotive maker. Visual carbon-fibre is used extensively and customers can personalize selected areas with materials of their choice. Important high-speed driving controls are laid out in a clean, no-clutter arrangement. The three-spoke steering wheel, devoid of any switches, only houses the important gear shift paddles and other important driver controls, while driving information is all presented in the high definition McLaren Folding Driver Display and central infotainment screen. In line with the customer usage of the McLaren Senna, storage spaces behind the seats are made to carry two helmets and race suits.
The carbon-fibre doors feature two-piece glass side windows, where the upper glass effectively is part of the roof. The usage of glass for the door side lower section dramatically reinforces the visual connection between driver and circuit environment. The beautifully crafted gas strut for the door mechanism is exposed, truly creating a unique cabin ambience. The design of this new door structure also moves many switches to the centre of the car, with the door window switches now moved to a carbon-fibre panel on the roof, together with the engine start and Race mode switches.
McLaren has created their most powerful road car internal combustion engine for the McLaren Senna. Using their vast knowledge and experience in motorsports, the 4.0-litre twin turbocharged V8 engine now produces 789 hp and 800 Nm of torque. Channelling all the power and torque to the rear wheels is a dual-clutch, seamless shift 7-speed transmission. McLaren has not released the acceleration and top speed figures, but the resultant astonishing power-to-weight ratio of 659 hp-per-tonne is expected to propel the McLaren Senna from rest to 60 mph is 2.5 seconds or less, while a top speed of over 200 mph is the new norm.
The GBP 750,000 (UK price, including taxes) McLaren Senna will be hand-assembled in England at the McLaren Production Centre in Woking, from third quarter of 2018. A limited run of 500 units is planned and all units already allocated. The McLaren Senna will make its public debut at the Geneva International Motor Show in March 2018.