Everything You Need to Know about the McLaren Senna Ahead of its Debut

McLaren first teased its Senna Hypercar back in December, but now the British automaker has released its specifications ahead of its public debut at the 88th Geneva International Motor Show.

The Senna is engineered to be the ultimate road-legal McLaren track car, covering 0–100km/h in 2.8 seconds and reaching 200km/h in just 6.8 seconds. Senna’s 4.0-litre, twin-turbocharged V8 is the most powerful internal combustion engine ever seen in a road car. It generates 800kg of downforce and puts out 789bhp and 800Nm. Thanks to its carbon fibre Monocage III chassis and body panels, McLaren Senna is also its lightest road car since the iconic F1.

“Every element of this new Ultimate Series McLaren has an uncompromised performance focus, honed to ensure the purest possible connection between driver and machine and deliver the ultimate track driving experience in the way that only a McLaren can,” says Mike Flewitt, Chief Executive Officer, McLaren Automotive.

mclaren senna front

A front splitter, active aero blades, secondary fixed aero blades and slot-gaps located between the headlights and daytime running lights are designed for precise control of the airflow around the car.

Gurney flaps direct the hot air from the engine bay away from the rear deck and down the sides of the body, avoiding the rear wing. The unique slash-cut titanium exhausts make a similar airflow contribution, and their sound is loud and sharp, entirely different to other McLarens.

The double diffuser at the rear is equally prominent; crafted from a single piece of carbon fibre, it starts under the rear axle and as it increases in height, accelerates air out from under the vehicle. This creates a low-pressure zone and ‘sucks’ the McLaren Senna to the ground.

mclaren senna back

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Inside the cockpit, the dual-clutch, seamless-shift, seven-speed gearbox delivers power to the rear wheels. The default transmission is fully automatic, but drivers can switch to manual control via the Active Dynamics Panel located within the centrally-mounted screen and change gear using elongated, carbon fibre paddles mounted on a rocker behind the steering wheel.

Carbon fibre and Alcantara are used extensively across the dashboard, doors and visible elements of the exposed Monocage III. The lack of further interior trim saves weight and reveals the construction of the dihedral doors. Even the door gas struts, which can be colour-matched to the brake calipers and front active aero blades, are exposed to save vital weight.

mclaren senna seats

Door release mechanisms and window switches are moved to a roof-mounted panel. The three-spoke steering wheel is free of buttons and switches to allow a pure focus on the sensory feedback that it delivers.

Information is received via the McLaren Folding Driver Display and the central infotainment screen. There are three different layouts depending on whether the McLaren Senna is driven for Comfort, Sport, Track or Race modes. For circuit driving, the display screen slides down into Slim Display Mode to show only crucial information such as speed, engine rpm and selected gear.

“The McLaren Senna delivers real performance,” adds Andy Palmer, Vehicle Line Director – Ultimate Series, McLaren Automotive. “The sensory experience of driving the car is also vitally important: through what a driver feels, hears and sees, we want every moment behind the wheel of a McLaren Senna to deliver the emotional intensity of a convertible and the pure connection of a race car.”

mclaren senna steering

McLaren Senna makes its public debut on March 6, 2018, at the 88th Geneva International Motor Show and production is limited to 500 units. All cars are hand-assembled at the McLaren Production Centre in Woking, Surrey, England in a 300-hour process. McLaren’s Senna is priced at £750,000, and like all cars of this calibre, is already sold out.

The one remaining vehicle was auctioned in December with a winning bid of £2 million. The money was donated to the Ayrton Senna Institute, a non-profit organisation dedicated to providing education for unprivileged children in Brazil.

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