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McLaren Senna will be the brand’s most extreme road car ever, coming Q3 2018

Written by: Neil

McLaren has been hitting it out of the park recently with the 720S and upcoming BP23 hyper GT, and they’ve surpassed themselves yet again with the reveal of what promises to be their most extreme road car ever:the McLaren Senna.

Named after the world’s greatest racing driver (obvs), the car formerly known as the P15 marries a lightweight chassis with a raging four-litre V8 to deliver the kind of performance that can smash record track times whilst remaining road legal.

‘Shocking, aggressive, unforgiving’

McLaren has described the Senna’s design as ‘shocking, aggressive and unforgiving’ as well as ‘the purest expression yet of [our] ‘form follows function’ design philosophy’, and who would disagree? Ayrton would undoubtedly be proud of it.

A bird’s eye view of the car reveals its efficient teardrop shape with body components ‘clipped’ on to the cabin to deliver optimal aerodynamic performance. McLaren’s designers went to extremes by cutting open the ‘shrink-wrapped’ body to reduce weight visually and functionally.

While recognisably a McLaren in proportional terms, you cannot follow a single line from the front to the rear without it passing through a functional air intake or vent.

How light is ‘lightweight’?

Not very in relative terms. It tips the scales at 1,198kg, so it’s more than a ton actually!

But in the supercar realm, it’s pretty much a feather duster. This means its monster V8 has plenty of room to manoeuvre and get the car up to ridiculous speeds in a ludicrously short space of time.

That engine

The Senna’s four-litre twin-turbocharged V8 can produce up to 789bhp and 800Nm of torque, making it the most powerful internal combustion engine to ever feature in a McLaren road car.

With a power-to-weight ratio of 658bhp-per-tonne, we’re left with no doubt that the car delivers ‘savage’ performance (as McLaren themselves put it). We’ll have to wait and see if it can dispatch a 0-62mph sprint in under three seconds, but it’s pretty likely.

Only 500 Sennas will ever be produced – hand-built in England at the McLaren Production Centre – and they’ve all been reserved already, despite an asking price of £750,000. Deliveries will begin in the third quarter of 2018, after a wider reveal at the Geneva Motor Show in March.

Stephen Hasley, brand manager at Petrol News, comments: “McLaren worked closely with Ayrton Senna’s nephew Bruno to ensure it does justice to the F1 legend and going off the numbers here, they’re gone above and beyond.”

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