The motoring world's reaction to the McLaren Senna

The track-focussed, no compromise supercar has very much divided opinion

2y ago


McLaren has done one hell of a job of launching its road car sector since its launch in 2010 with the MP4-12C. The company now has a fully fledged product range split into Sports, Super and Ultimate Series categories. And the last of those sectors gained a new addition on Sunday morning thanks to the reveal of the new heavily track-focussed McLaren Senna.

Based off of the 720S chassis, the Senna is claimed to be McLaren's most extreme road car ever, with the emphasis fully on the car's track performance rather than succumbing to any roadworthy compromises.

Due to this lap time-obsessed philosophy, the design certainly does away with any classic aesthetic lines and instead replaces them with huge overhangs, aggressive aero everywhere and proportions that make you question how it was ever signed off by a design chief.

On the other hand, if downforce and aerodynamic efficiency are at the forefront of the thinking behind the Senna then maybe it's simply a brave decision by McLaren to negate the need for a pretty design, just as long as it beats all-comers when let loose on any track.

With its striking design and monumentally heavy name badge, the Senna was always going to create a stir on social media. And as ever, the motoring side of the internet didn't disappoint.

The Smoking Tire's Matt Farah doesn't seem to think much of car design of late in general, bringing Lamborghini's monstrous Urus into the fray:

Autocar's Neil Winn was stirred by the Senna's design, but not in the way McLaren would have hoped:

YouTuber Seen Through Glass admits that the Senna should be a technical marvel and will give it a chance to impress in the looks department in the flesh:

Ex-Evo writer Dan Prosser brought up an interesting point about McLaren's own GT3 programme - is the Senna worth £750,000 if you could just buy a full GT3 spec racing car instead?

The Editor of Evo brought a rare glimmer of positivity to the Senna Twitter feed, siting the fact that the Ferrari F40 may have caused the same amount of uproar back in the late '80s:

It seems then that the vast majority of automotive journalists and influencers aren't hesitating to call out the McLaren design department but are holding back with regards to the performance that the track-biased weapon could produce. With rumours flying around about the possibilities of McLaren taking the Senna racing, the 'function over form' vibe may be fully justified through a WEC win or even the conquering of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

What do you guys think about the Senna? Does its design live up to the Senna name? Or has McLaren taken the terms 'function' and 'clinical' to a whole new level that is simply too uncomfortable to lay eyes upon? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

Join In

Comments (48)

  • I completely agree with Matt Farah of The Smoking Tire... Seriously ugly stuff .. the Urus concept was pretty much very production ready as it is considering how bonkers the designers at Sant'Agata already are with their designs.. That Lambo sucks big time .. yes it will be sales wonder no doubt but they seriously could have done a lot more better ...

    And let's not even get started on how ugly The McLaren Senna looks .. I'd wager the front looks fairly decent even the front quarter view ... But then it just gets worser from there ... Looks like someone squashed a Chiron rear with a P1 GTR in the way with which the rear wing and the lights and the adjacent areas have been designed ..

    Performance is a different story though...

      2 years ago
  • Function over Fashion - Would be interesting to see this in real life

      2 years ago
  • Can't believe that a car has to be this ugly to be fast. Even if it is bloody quick they could have taken a different approach to its styling

      2 years ago
    • exactly! if it was designed for performance, it should look somehow similar to an lmp car, but it looks like someone attacked it with an axe.

        2 years ago
  • i think some lap times would shut people up

      2 years ago
  • I think it looks just as good (or bad) as any other extreme super car. I certainly don't think it's bad looking. My criticism would be its kind of similar to everything else (like an Audi to a Jaguar to an...) so if I were criticising design I'd say it's unoriginal but then there's only so many ways to comb your hair.

      2 years ago