One of the hottest topics in the automotive world this week has been the unveiling of McLaren’s latest Ultimate Series creation: the McLaren Senna
Inspired by the late, great Formula 1 driver, Ayrton Senna, the ‘Senna’ was created “to be the ultimate McLaren track-concentrated car for the road”. Yes, as surprising as it sounds, this car is actually road legal. Although, anyone lucky enough to drive this car will have the most fun thrashing it around a racetrack, not public roads.
Appearance-wise, the Senna screams aggression, lacking the ‘easy on the eye’ appeal that other non-ultimate series McLaren models have. When looking at the car it takes a while to fully process everything. You have to view it with an open mind, forget the rulebook, and remember that this car has been designed for function, not beauty. Moreover, it follows McLaren’s design philosophy of ‘form follows function’, but in the most extreme of ways.
A lot has gone into making sure that the McLaren Senna has the right level of aerodynamics to compliment it’s capability of extremely high performance. McLaren claims that this car has “ground-breaking” front and rear active aerodynamics. Also, it boasts a double diffuser at the rear and a front splitter that has been designed to optimise downforce.
The Senna is equipped with a 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine that can produce 800PS (789bhp) and 800Nm (590 lb-ft) of torque. It’s a mid-engined car with a rear-wheel chassis, a configuration that McLaren says allows for “dynamic excellence”. Additionally, the Senna weighs in at 1,198kg (2,641lbs), making it McLaren’s lightest road car since the McLaren F1.
When I look at the McLaren Senna the words savage, ferocious, and even crude come to mind. It’s an absolutely bonkers creation that I am extremely excited to see actually go into production. For me, this is what McLaren’s ultimate series is all about: bespoke, unconventional, and eccentric ideas being brought to life. The Senna is a fantastic example of this.
I’m sure a lot of people will find the car repulsive, others will view it as near perfection, but at the end of the day those two opposing opinions are exactly what an unorthodox vehicle like the Senna should produce. Ultimately, regardless of appearance, I think we can all agree that innovative, daring examples of automotive engineering, which is a category that the Senna falls into, are needed. I applaud McLaren for bringing forth the Senna.
It won’t be easy to get your mitts on one of these hand-assembled specimens as production is limited to just 500 units. However, if you are lucky enough to secure an allocation, the car will cost you £750,000 including taxes (UK).