The brutal 789bhp McLaren Senna is here to rule the track
Say hello to the McLaren Senna, the latest entry in the carmakers ‘Ultimate Series’. It’s been heralded as the most extreme track day special ever to come out of Woking, and it's brimming with headline numbers.
The first call to order is those looks. To say it’s the most extreme aero setup ever seen on a McLaren is an understatement. From every angle, it’s just packed with radical aero. At the front, it’s boasting a trio of massive air intakes and a substantial active aero carbon-fibre front splitter. These front air intakes are fitted with air blades that automatically balance the downforce throughout the car, including during fast cornering. The side of the Senna features super aggressive looking arches which incorporate side air intakes at the rear.
Mounted on the rear deck is quite possibly the most extreme rear wing ever to be fitted to a road-going McLaren. While appearing to be fixed, the wing actually adjusts by 20 degrees depending on the driving mode, providing massive downforce in fast cornering, drag for heavy braking and a “DRS mode” for high straight-line speeds. The rear upper deck also features the trio of hexagonal tailpipes in the centre, again for aero efficiency. The lower rear section of the car features a protruding rear aero outlet along with a large rear splitter completing the extreme looking aero.
McLaren has again used its trademark carbon-tub construction with the Senna. Now dubbed the Monocage III which claims to be the strongest chassis yet used in a McLaren road car. It still features an aluminium front subframe for the car’s front suspension and deformable crash structure, with the car’s rear bulkhead being constructed entirely from carbon-fibre.
The weight savings include such attention to detail as the front wings which weigh in at just 650g, down from 2.2kg a piece. The cars doors feature no switchgear at all, and despite being similar in size to the 720S, they weigh half as much at just 8.8kg a side. All of this weight saving and carbon-fibre construction gives the car a kerbweiight of just 1,198kg dry.
To match these insane looks, the Senna boasts a reworked version of the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine found in the 720S. This has been revised to produce 789bhp (800PS) and 590 lb-ft (800Nm) of torque. McLaren won’t announce the Senna’s performance numbers until early next year. But we would expect it to match or better the P1 with a 0-62mph time of around 2.5 seconds or less with a top speed exceeding 200mph.
Being a track day special, there is not much in the way of luxuries on the inside. It has very little in the way of luggage space thanks to a new rollover protection setup behind the driver and passenger which according to McLaren leaves room for just racing essentials such as suits and helmets.
McLaren’s new Ultimate Series is named after F1 legend Ayrton Senna who drove for McLaren's F1 team from 1988 until 1993 winning all three of his titles in 1988, 1990 and 1991. Only 500 examples will be built with each costing £750,000, and as is the way of the world they are already sold out. The first customer cars hit the roads in mid-2018.
Has McLaren given the world the most extreme and hardcore road car since the legendary F1? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.