When the McLaren P1 made its debut in 2012 with its twin-turbo hybrid trickery, its performance was unquestionable. But there was only one problem, weight. The hybrid system with its battery pack and electric motors were not exactly beneficial for the cars ultimate performance.
A hybrid hypercar is now a been there done that for McLaren Automotive and now the company is embarking on another conquest – the ultimate track car for the road. Named after the legendary Formula 1 driver, Ayrton Senna, the McLaren Senna joins the P1 in the Ultimate Series line up as the most extreme McLaren road car yet.
This time there are no next-gen hybrid trickery or alternative fuel here, just an honest M840TR 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 massaged to push out 789 hp and 800 Nm of torque; just 79 hp and 30 Nm more than the 720S, mind you. Sending drive exclusively to the rear wheels is a seven-speed double clutch gearbox.
Just like the 720S, the Senna rides on McLaren’s carbon fibre Monocage III chassis, albeit taken to the extreme for ultimate structural integrity. Every body panel of the Senna is made from lightweight carbon fibre, resulting in a road car that tips the scale at just 1,198 kg – that’s about the weight of a Volkswagen Polo!
Its chassis is complemented by the RaceActive Chassis Control II (RCC II) hydraulic suspension that promises maximum connection between the driver and car at all speeds. The double-wishbone suspension features hydraulic dampers that give variable stiffness and ride height, an improved version of the one found in the P1.
As hinted earlier in the year, McLaren has taken the form-follows-function design philosophy to the extreme resulting in its unique and unforgiving visual impact. Every curvature has been fully exploited in the name of aerodynamics with new innovations include next-gen front and rear active aerodynamics, double rear diffuser, double-element hydraulic carbon fibre rear wing and many more.
Inside, the cabin has been completely stripped bare from sound insulation, interior trims and what not – just like a proper race car. The steering wheel only houses the paddle shifters and nothing else because McLaren wants the driver to focus on pure sensory feedback. All driver controls can be found on the centre console and roof mounted switches. McLaren said that they were this close to removing the passenger seat.
Production of the McLaren Senna is limited to 500 units only and just like any limited-run McLaren, all cars have been snapped up despite costing £750,000 (RM4.08 mil) per pop. The track-focused hypercar will make its public debut in March 2018 at the 88th Geneva International Motor Show.