Your Comprehensive Guide to McLaren Senna
By Steve Hampton on July 3, 2018
When a hypercar pays tribute to a three-time F1 world champion – Ayrton Senna – you just know it’s going to be out of this world. The McLaren Senna has scrapped the evolution of batteries and electric motors and have instead opted for maximum weight reduction. Don’t be fooled, though, because that lightness is combined with phenomenal engine power, innovative aerodynamics, top-of-the-range brakes and next-generation chassis.
The Senna offers all of the amazing perks of a true hypercar, but the engineers at McLaren have conquered the art of weight reduction. That’s what sets this car apart from its competitors. To put it into perspective, it weighs in at around 2,641-LB, which is crazy. With all of the awesome specs to get excited about, we mustn’t forget about how gorgeous the car looks.
The first thing you notice is the massive, imposing spoiler that’s fused onto the back of the car to aid aerodynamics. But, once you start to look closer, you notice the sleek lines running throughout, the stunning intersecting surfaces, and the huge inlets bursting out of the sides. Alongside, you have the brilliant Pirelli Super Trofeo R street legal tyres in sizes 214/35ZR19 or 315/30ZR20.
Of course, this may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but the design isn’t what the manufacturer was banking on. The simplicity of the design and the intricate styling is just simply a beautiful cover of the book; it’s inviting car-enthusiasts around the world to open the book and allow the performance to run wild.
Once you step inside, you’ll immediately fall in love with the super-light carbon-fiber bucket seats which are equipped with a Sabelt race harness. All the controls are ergonomically positioned so the driver can use them with ease; the start/stop, race mode, fan and central locking buttons are fixed into the roof console. The electric windows, map and reading light controls are placed into another section.
Moreover, the slimline centre console is cleverly attached to the driver’s seat, which moves in alignment with seat adjustment. Why? So that the driver can reach the D, N & R gearbox selector and launch control easily. In the middle of the dash you have an infotainment system that’s full of technology.
Now for the fun part… performance. With an M840TR twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine, the Senna can rack up 789-BHP and 590 pound-feet or torque. With that kind of power – and the help of launch control – it can hit 62-MPH in a mere 2.8 seconds, 124-MPH in 6.8 seconds and finish at a top speed of 211-MPH.
That makes it 6 seconds faster than the McLaren P1. It also has a seven-speed dual clutch transmission that utilizes Formula 1 Ignition Cut tech to push shifts through immediately. When you put the dial at 155-MPH, you’ll have 1,764-LB of downforce thanks to the expert knowledge that McLaren engineers possess. The six-pot monobloc alloy callipers squeeze the carbon-ceramic discs to reduce the car to 0-MPH in just 100 meters.
Overall, the throttle is incredibly responsive and works harmoniously with precise steering to fly around corners. A beautiful melody is produced by the V8 with plenty of purrs, gurgles and growls, but a symphony of noise is belted out when you top out at 7,500-RPM.
Only 500 versions of these were made and distributed around the world. Despite being priced at $958,966, all of them sold out rapidly, and it’s easy to see why. It’s essentially a road car that is right at home on the track, with some labelling it as a road-legal track car. Whatever you think of the Senna, it’s a car that everyone would dream of driving.