January 20, 2021

McLaren unveils the Senna, its ‘ultimate road-legal’ track car

The McLaren Senna
The McLaren Senna

This is the McLaren Senna, the British sports car manufacturer’s new creation under its Ultimate Series banner and one the company says has been ‘designed, engineered and developed with single-minded purpose: to be the ultimate McLaren track-concentrated car for the road’.

Bearing the name of the legendary F1 champion, Ayrton Senna, the new McLaren has a lot to live up to, but the specs certainly suggest it can handle the pressure.

A carbon fibre chassis forms the core of the car and the material is used for every body panel, ensuring a trim fighting weight of 1,198kg and making the Senna the lightest road-legal McLaren since the F1 of the 1990s.

In line with its racing pedigree, the Senna has what McLaren says is ‘ground-breaking’ front and rear active aerodynamics and every element of the body design, from the front splitter to the double diffuser at the rear, has been developed to ‘optimise downforce and aerodynamic balance’.

At the heart of the car, of any car, is the engine, and the Senna gets a doozy – a 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 monster that produces 789hp and 800Nm of torque. That should be good for a sub-three second 0-100km/h time and a top speed somewhere in the stratosphere.

With performance at its core, the Senna has some top-level stopping power in the form of a braking system that utilises carbon ceramic discs and motorsport technologies, and the car sits on the deck wearing a set of Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tyres, that were designed for the track but approved for road use.

The McLaren Senna is also, as McLarens always are, a beauty of a thing to look at too and the whole package has won the approval of Ayrton Senna’s family.

“Our family is extremely proud of the naming of the Ultimate Series McLaren Senna,” said Bruno Senna, nephew of the F1 legend. “This is the first project that really connects with Ayrton’s racing spirit and performance. The McLaren Senna honours my uncle because it is so utterly dedicated to delivering a circuit experience that allows a driver to be the best they can possibly be.”

Only 500 of the McLaren Senna will be built with each costing about $1.3million.