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The New McLaren Senna Is Literally A Race Car For The Road (With Video)

The McLaren Senna honors the late Ayrton Senna.

The McLaren Senna, internally codenamed as the P15, is McLaren’s latest supercar creation. It’s not a replacement to the P1 hybrid hypercar, but rather, this insane supercar will sit alongside McLaren’s upcoming three-seater hypercar codenamed the BP23. If you are not aware, Senna came from Ayrton Senna, the late legendary F1 driver who won all three of his F1 driver titles with McLaren in 1988, 1990, and 1991. These were the glory days of the McLaren-Honda F1 team.

 

The McLaren Senna is the first of the cars in McLaren’s Ultimate Series. What makes the McLaren Senna ultimate? Well, let’s start with its bonkers looks. While it certainly looks striking and aggressive, we won’t exactly call it a beauty, but everything in the car’s design has been made for a purpose, and while it has been developed mainly for shattering lap records around a track, it’s completely street legal, passing all pedestrian safety requirements and such. As a result, it has an ultra-lightweight body primarily made out of carbon fiber that’s a further improvement from the 720S’s platform, and it tips the scales at an extremely low 1,198 kg, making it the brand’s lightest road car since the McLaren F1. That’s about 220 kg less than the McLaren 720S, which is already light to begin with.

 

When you open the top-hinged doors that are entirely made out of carbon fiber, you’ll notice three glass sections, one that rolls down, another one in the lower part of the doors, and one on top of the doors. This makes the interior feel airy and spacious, something the brand’s interiors are already known for. As a choice, you can swap the lower glass portion for carbon fiber panels.

 

Upon clambering inside, you’ll notice a theme of less is more. There’s lightweight seats with no padding and electronic adjustment, and the door handles, engine start button, and window switches have been moved to the ceiling, owing to its intent as a track car. The steering is even devoid of buttons, while the McLaren Folding Driver Display displays only the bare essentials by default. Just like the 720S, the screen can electronically flip up to reveal a larger LCD gauge. Other information and car controls are locared in the central infotainment screen.

Powering the McLaren Senna is a 4.0 liter twin-turbo V8 engine mated to a 7-speed flappy paddle dual clutch transmission. It produces 789 hp and 800 Nm of torque, and combined with its light weight, it has a power-to-weight ratio of 650 hp-per-tonne. Power is sent through the rear wheels, with a 0-100 kph sprint achieved in 2.5 seconds all the way to a top speed of more than 320 kph. Aiding the car’s tenacious handling is a revised version of the McLaren P1’s independent double wishbone suspension with hydraulic adaptive dampers and anti-roll cars that McLaren calls RaceActive Chassis Control II (RCC II). The adaptive dampers are interconnected hydraulically, left and right, and front to back, with two valves per damper to independely adjust for compression and rebound. It’s a truly independent suspension, in which no spring is affected by the other springs. The stifness of the Senna is separately controlled via a kinetic roll system, or K-damper. Combined with McLaren’s most advanced suspension system and most advanced braking system ever, we can expect the McLaren Senna to be a truly astonishing machine. Bespoke Pirelli P-Zero Trofeo R tires were primarily developed for race tracks, but are still road legal, and so are its advanced carbon ceramic brakes.

Can I afford it, you may ask? Well, you probably couldn’t even afford a used MP4-12C, so why bother asking. If it pleases you anyway, it costs GB£750,000 or US$1 million. Assuming you could afford one, you can’t even buy one, as all 500 units have been sold.

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