When McLaren Automotive unveiled the McLaren Senna in December 2017, the internet was divided into two camps – for and against – on its somewhat controversial styling. Now that the company has revealed full technical details of its latest Ultimate Series hypercar, we are confident that those naysayers will have a change of heart.
Let’s start with engine specs; mounted at the rear of the chassis is a M840TR 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 that pushes out 789 hp and 800 Nm of torque, the former kicking in at 7,250 rpm. The engine produces 700 Nm of twisting force from 3,000 rpm while peak torque is only delivered from 5,500 – 6,700 rpm. Drive is deployed at the rear axle via a seven-speed double clutch transmission.
The Senna will complete the 0 to 100 km/h sprint in just 2.8 seconds, not much quicker than the 720S’ 2.9 seconds sprint time. But in a race to 200 km/h from standstill, the Senna will humiliate the 720S by a full second, taking just 6.8 seconds. Top speed is registered at 340 km/h.
These mind-boggling performance figures is credit to the ultra-lightweight carbon Monocage III chassis and generous application of carbon fibre materials to make up the body panels. This road car will tip the scale at just 1,198 kg (dry), the lightest car McLaren has ever made. To put into perspective of the extent of the engineer’s pursuit of lightweight, all the carbon fibre body panels of the Senna only weighs less than 60 kg combined.
Due to its extreme performance, the McLaren has teamed up with Pirelli to developed bespoke tyres for the Senna. The Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tyres (245/35 ZR19 at the front and 315/30 ZR20 at the rear) are designed to withstand the Senna’s immense downforce and reaction speed around the corners.
Interestingly, the triple-exit exhaust system is not standard across the globe. There is a twin-exit design in specific markets to meet regulations however McLaren did not specify which markets. Regardless of design, the exhaust systems are built to create a loud and sharp note all the way to the rev limit with the volume increasing 10 dB for every 2,000 rpm.
Following the philosophy of form following function, every design element, every opening and every curve are there for one purpose only – aerodynamic efficiency. The headlamp openings, body lines and massive double-element rear wing all work in tandem to give the Senna 800 kgs of downforce at 250 km/h.
We know that McLaren has thoroughly stripped out the interior, creating a race car-like cockpit environment for the driver to go all out on track. Let us go through what have they done to the cabin of the Senna in detail. For starters, the gearbox selector is fixed to the driver’s seat and moves with it when the driver adjusts his or her seating position. The door release mechanism, engine start/stop button, Race mode and window switches have been moved to a roof mounted panel to free up more space in the cabin.
There are only two display screens in the Senna – an 8.0-inch infotainment display and an 8.0-inch TFT foldable instrument cluster display. The foldable instrument cluster operates similarly like the one on the 720S whereby it can engage Slim mode to show only crucial information such as speed, engine rpm and selected gear while giving the driver better forward vision.
However, you still get a lot of creature comforts despite its racetrack-focussed nature such as ultra-lightweight Bowers & Wilkins 7-speaker sound system (weighs only 7.32 kg) and air conditioning. Parking sensors and rear-view camera can be had at no additional cost. Of course, customers can hand their car over to McLaren Special Operations (MSO) for further personalisation.
Only 500 units of the McLaren Senna will ever be made, and each unit is priced at £750,000 (RM4.08 mil) before options. Just like the limited-run McLarens that came before it, all 500 units have been snapped up, long before its first official public debut at the 88th Geneva International Motor Show in March.
McLaren Senna Launch