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December 10, 2017

Meet the McLaren Senna: the Most Extreme McLaren Road-Legal Car. Ever. (w/ 19 Photos)

Ferrari may have the Enzo, but now McLaren has the Senna. Designed, engineered, and developed to be the ultimate McLaren “track-concentrated car for the road”, the Senna sits as McLaren’s newest flagship supercar; the next offering in the brand’s Ultimate Series next to the P1.

An homage to one of the most brilliant Formula One drivers of all time, the Senna features ultra-lightweight construction, rear-wheel drive, and of course, a twin-turbocharged V8 engine.

The Senna features ultra-lightweight construction that’s the “strongest monocoque ever built by McLaren for a road-legal car.” It weighs just 1,198 kilograms—the lightest road-legal McLaren since the iconic F1.

Visually, the McLaren Senna follows the ethos of “form follows function.” The teardrop shape, ‘clipped’ body components, and ‘shrink-wrapped body’ have been done not just to reduce weight, but were designed with downforce, aerodynamic balance, and cooling in mind. The most visually striking feature, the rear wing is actually mounted 1.219 meters off the ground and is hydraulically actuated to optimize downforce. It also acts an airbrake under heavy braking.

The doors are yet another distinctive element of the Senna. It features a two-piece glass side window with a fixed top part and a smaller opening section below it. In addition, the door upper part (effectively part of the roof) and the lower half of the door side can be specified with glass.

Inside, it’s kept austere with the absence of most interior trim (the exception being the leather or Alcantara on the seats, fascia, and side airbags). It’s also free from visual clutter with a three-spoke steering wheel that’s free of any buttons or switches. The only displays come from the folding driver display and central infotainment screen. And while McLaren stopped short of removing the second seat, they’ve restricted luggage to a chamber behind the seats. McLaren reckons its just enough for two helmets and race suits.

At the heart of the Senna is a 4.0-liter twin-turobcharged V8 engine making 800 horsepower and 800 Nm of torque. It uses lightweight internal components and a pair of ultra-low inertia, twin-scroll turbochargers with electronically controlled wastegates. Motorsports derived technologies is also present such as dry sump lubrication and a flat-plane crankshaft. A dual-clutch, seamless-shift, 7-speed gearbox delivers power to the rear wheels. While fully automatic mode is the default, the driver can also choose full manual control using the carbon fiber paddle shifters.

Like the 720S, the McLaren Senna also uses a special double wishbone suspension that swap the traditional anti-roll bars with hydraulic dampers. Not only does this vary stiffness front to back, side to side, but it can also vary ride height as well. In conjunction with carbon ceramic disc brakes and ultra-lightweight alloy wheels with Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tires, it promises extreme levels of performance.

The entire 500-unit run of the McLaren Senna has all been sold out and that’s despite the price tag of £750,000 (P 50.6 million) each.

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