The McLaren Senna is an Ultimate Series model named after beloved Brazilian F1 driver Ayrton Senna, and it shares apex predator status with McLaren’s Elva, P1, and Speedtail models.
The Senna, on the other hand, is part of a new breed of supercars that use F1-derived technology, thus it’s a direct competitor to the Mercedes-AMG One and Aston Martin Valkyrie.
As a result, it’s packed with features that make it stand out on the road and on the track. Stay tuned for an in-depth look at the Senna’s peculiarities and specifications.
The Senna can create up to 800 kilos (1,764 pounds) of downforce.
That alien-looking body kit isn’t there just for show, although it can do that pretty well too. McLaren says the Senna is their fastest road car around a track and for that to happen, you need lots of air pressing down both axles.
Hence the 800 kilos (1,764 pounds) of downforce at 250 kph (155 mph), generated by the body itself and through the use of active aerodynamics, such as the adjustable front blades and the swan-neck-shaped rear wing.
The rear wing made of carbon-fiber weighs only 4.87 kilos (10.7 pounds).
That’s lighter than my cat, in case you were wondering, which tips the scales at a stout 6 kilos (13.2 pounds). However, the rear wing’s most impressive feature isn’t how much it weighs or how it’s shaped. McLaren says that it can hold more than 100 times its own weight in downforce.
The entire car weighs 1,198 kilos (2,641 pounds).
That’s around the weight of a 2005 Opel/Vauxhall Corsa or a typical supermini today. The Senna boasts a power-to-weight ratio of 659 horsepower/ton, thanks to the V-8’s 789 horsepower. Oh, and the car’s whole carbon fiber panels weigh only 60 kilograms (132 pounds). Furthermore, McLaren’s fixation with losing weight reached new heights.
To save both weight and package volume, a mechanical door release was replaced with an electrical switch. Even the M6 bolts used to hold various elements in place were changed from a hex head flange to a button head flange for a 33-percent weight reduction.
The Senna’s nose gets 39 mm closer to the ground in race mode.
It does so to help the front splitter achieve maximum aero efficiency by reducing airflow beneath the vehicle. Furthermore, this modification works in conjunction with other options, such as the front downforce duct, which is a simple intake fitted in the car’s flat underfloor with the sole purpose of lowering airflow.
Then there’s another vent at the bottom of the windscreen, formed like a letter Y but upside-down, that does two things: it sends air to the HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system while also generating downforce.
The Senna’s headlights are 33- percent lighter than the P1’s.
McLaren doesn’t specify what it did to achieve the weight loss, although it does cite “careful labor.” Each headlamp is made up of 21 LEDs: four for the main beam, five for the dipping beam, and the remaining 12 for the Static Adaptive Headlights arrangement.
In a nutshell, the technology adjusts LED intensity in response to steering angle so that the driver can see corner apexes and beyond when turning. Oh, and the headlamp clusters have been improved for aerodynamics as well.
The taillights are 50-percent lighter than the ones in the P1.
The Senna’s taillights are similarly light-weight as the headlamps. Each unit, in particular, weighs exactly one kilogram (2.2 pounds). One tail light is made up of 84 LEDs arrayed in a horizontal strip, 60 of which are red and 24 of which are amber and serve as turn indicators. They, too, have been fine-tuned for maximum airflow efficiency.
The Senna can cut the spark during a gearshift.
Because of a technology called Ignition Cut, it only happens in Sport mode. It’s essentially another piece of Formula One technology that McLaren has implemented, first with the 675LT and now with the Senna, to enable for faster gear changes. Furthermore, it raises the stakes acoustically by producing that distinct crack on upshifts and downshifts
Inconel, an F1- specific material, was used for the exhaust setup.
It’s a big burden to have a fire-breathing (literally) V-8 geared up for high performance. Heat control is one of the factors to consider. That’s why McLaren went with a titanium and Inconel exhaust system.
Inconel can endure temperatures of over 1,000 degrees Celsius and can be machined to a thickness of just 0.5 mm, which is the same as the skin on your eyelids. Inconel is also difficult to break: on a scale of one to ten, titanium is a six, and Inconel is an eight, given that ruby is a nine, and diamond is a ten. Aside from those mind-boggling statistics, the Senna’s exhaust tips are slanted so that they don’t obstruct airflow around the rear wing and diffuser. Oh, and for every 2,000 rpm, the loudness they make increases by 10 dB.
The time to go from 0 to 60 mph is 2.7 seconds, and the top speed is 208 mph.
According to McLaren’s literature, the Senna takes just 2.7 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph on its way to a top speed of 208 mph. In addition, the sprint from zero to 124 mph takes 6.8 seconds, whereas the sprint from zero to 186 mph takes 18.8 seconds. The Senna is capable of running the quarter-mile in 9.9 seconds in theory.
The personalization options are also out of this world.
There are 23 exterior paint options available, with McLaren’s MSO arm offering 16 more colors. If that wasn’t enough, each buyer can choose practically any hue from MSO’s vast color palette, which can be generated or combined and matched. The Senna may be customized with Alcantara and carbon fiber on the inside, as well as a personalized treatment in the owner’s preferred colors. In a homage to the McLaren F1, McLaren even offers a 24-carat gold engine heat shield. The dihedral doors, on the other hand, are standard on every Senna.