McLaren unleashes hypercar in honor of Ayrton Senna

Track focused, street-legal, and promises a raw driving experience

With ultra-lightweight construction with carbon fiber chassis and body panels, a mid-mounted, twin-turbocharged V8 McLaren engine, rear wheel drive, and race-derived suspension, the McLaren Senna has been designed, engineered and developed with one purpose: to be the ultimate McLaren track-concentrated car for street use.

With a chassis based on the McLaren 720S, the Senna is the strongest and lightest monocoque ever built by McLaren for a road vehicle, with every body panel made from carbon fiber resulting in the lightest road-legal McLaren since the iconic F1 road car, at just 1,198kg. Aggressive and unapologetic race focused styling is clearly evident with active aero components at the front and rear of the vehicle. 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, whether under braking, adjusting the throttle mid corner, or applying power on corner exit.

Every element of the McLaren Senna has been designed to maximize the connection between driver and car, at all speeds and in every situation. Race Active Chassis Control II (RCC II) is a double-wishbone suspension system that additionally features hydraulically interconnected dampers and a hydraulic replacement for conventional mechanical anti-roll bars. It also further develops the variable stiffness and ride height technology first seen in the pioneering hydraulic system in the McLaren P1. The stiffness of the McLaren Senna is separately controlled using a kinetic roll system, or K-damper. The continuously variable RCC II also adds a Race mode, which introduces a lower ride height, lower center of gravity and significantly stiffer suspension.

Called the M840TR, the 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine at the heart of the McLaren Senna is the most powerful road car internal combustion engine ever created by McLaren, producing 789bhp 590 lb ft of torque. A dual-clutch seven-speed gearbox delivers power to the rear wheels. A fully automatic mode is the default, with the driver able to choose full manual control of gearshifts via paddles mounted on a rocker behind the steering wheel.

Driver controls have been deliberately kept to a minimum to reduce clutter, and the three-spoke steering wheel is free of buttons and switches, creating a pure focus on driving feedback. All the information the driver needs comes from the high-definition McLaren folding driver display and central infotainment screen. The cabin is stripped, save for visual carbon fiber parts and, depending on preference, alcantara or leather seats.

Hand-assembled in England at the McLaren Production Centre, production will be limited to 500 units and all already allocated. The McLaren Senna will make its public debut in March 2018 at the 88th Geneva International Motor Show.