McLaren's stunning Senna hypercar revealed
The new Senna is McLaren's all-new road legal track missile. As a homage to the late McLaren F1 driver, Ayrton Senna, the new supercar represents major performance and engineering milestones for the British manufacturer. Joining the Ultimate Series line-up amongst the hyper-hybrid P1 and P1 GTR, the Senna has been designed for zero compromise to deliver maximum track performance.
The mid-mounted 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 in the new Senna is the company's most powerful internal-combustion engine, with 789 bhp (589 kW) and 590 lb-ft (800 Nm) of torque driving the rear wheels via a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. The Senna also features engine technology found in other McLaren road cars such as dry-sump lubrication, twin scroll turbochargers and a flat-plane crankshaft.
The 720S-derived Monocage III carbon-fiber chassis and bespoke carbon-fiber body gives the Senna a 2,641-lbs (1,198kg) dry weight, making it the lightest McLaren road car since the almighty-F1 and giving it a power-to-weight ratio of 679 hp-per-ton. Like other McLaren road cars, the Senna's fully-adjustable suspension has no mechanical anti-roll bars. Instead it uses an interconnected hydraulic system that features technology found on the P1 hypercar, such as a kinetic roll system for variable suspension stiffness and adjustable ride height technology. The Senna sits on a set of ultra-light center-lock wheels with Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tires that house the car's carbon-ceramic brakes.
The aerodynamic teardrop-shaped silhouette has an active carbon rear-spoiler, a large front splitter and a one-piece carbon rear double diffuser. Every single line on the Senna's aggressive body passes through a functional intake or vent. The roof scoop for example, feeds air into the engine's carbon-fiber plenum and is designed to amplify induction noise. A set of gurney flaps placed alongside the stepped louvers near the rear wing direct air along the sides of the body and generate a low-pressure area to draw heat from the engine and radiators.
The centrally-mounted slash-cut inconcel and titanium exhaust pipes form part of the body to push exhaust gasses away from the rear wing and, along with the slim-LED taillights, give the Senna a menacing, road-going fighter jet look.
The wicked exterior features don't stop there. The signature dihedral doors can be optioned with a piece of glass rather than carbon-fiber on the mid-portion, which gives it an awesome exposed look – even though everyone will know what sort of shoes you're wearing.
The zero-compromise approach has been taken to the interior as well. Carbon-fiber has been used extensively, from the dash to the center-console, and storage space is restricted to a chamber behind the seats.
The driver-focused cockpit features an electro-hydraulic steering rack and button-less wheel, elongated carbon-fiber paddle shifters that are designed to be used with race gloves, the choice of Alcantara or leather bucket-seats and a foldable dash display. The center console houses the relocated door-release buttons and window switches, the infotainment touchscreen, and the drive-mode selector with its Comfort, Sport and Track powertrain settings. There's also a Race mode, which lowers the ride height and tightens the suspension, that's unleashed via a roof-mounted button above the console.
The £750,000 (US$1,004,662) McLaren Senna will make its debut in March 2018 at the 88th Geneva International Motor Show. Only 500 hand-built examples will be produced, but you're already too late – each one has already been sold. To lift your spirits, take a closer look at the McLaren Senna in the video below.