The release of 2018 McLaren Senna, the British company’s latest Ultimate Series car, edges ever closer. And in the now-traditional way of announcing new cars, we have more info from the drip-feed.
The car, as we already know, will debut at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show in a few weeks but cars aren’t properly unveiled anymore, we get weeks of photos and information.
Anyway, we already know that the Senna is completely sold out, the last one went to a charity auction and raised a squillion dollars for underprivileged kids and schools in Brazil. Which was nice.
We also knew that the car is based on the superb McLaren 720S, the engine is the M840TR 4.0-litre twin turbo with 800 horses and 800Nm (575kW/590lb ft) and the interior is…sparse. We also know that it’s the lightest McLaren since the lauded F1 at 1198kg.
So What’s New?
Well. At 250km/h, the McLaren Senna generates a whole Formula 1 car of downforce – 800kg. That’s like loading a Lotus Elise with an empty tank on the roof while you’re streaking down the front straight at Circuit of the Americas or Sepang. That’s monstrous. I’ll wager that if you try and lock the brakes at that speed, you can’t.
The Senna will reach 100km (62mph) from a standstill in 2.8 seconds, 200km/h (124mph) in just 6.8 and the quarter mile zaps by in 9.9 seconds. Top speed is a massive 340km/h (211mph).
“The McLaren Senna is a car like no other: the personification of McLaren’s motorsport DNA, legalised for road use but designed and developed from the outset to excel on a circuit. 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.”
Mike Flewitt, McLaren Cars CEO
Along with aerodynamics, McLaren’s engineers put a lot of energy into reducing weight. The interior is pretty well stripped back, with unnecessary parts ending up on the floor. The media screen looks detachable and a bit lost, with lots of carbon eating light. The cabin looks flat-out menacing, which should keep out a few drivers with a weak constitution.
The Bowers and Wilkins stereo weighs just 7.32kg, specially developed for the Senna. The F1 had a Kenwood, if you’re wondering and was also specially-developed. McLaren made the Japanese company lop half the weight and reduce the number of buttons to five. No such figures are available for the Senna.
The Inconel exhaust saves plenty of weight and will likely sound amazing. The carbon Monocage means the strong, light structure already familiar to McLaren’s fans and owners continues in its third version.
Parking sensors and the reversing camera are no-cost options for those who really want to keep the weight down.
The 2018 McLaren Senna’s release at the Geneva Motor Show ought to be fascinating. It’s an important show and a car like this generates headlines everywhere and, with any luck (as far as McLaren is concerned) will annoy Ferrari no end.
Peter Anderson is the Editor and founder of the theredline.com.au. He’s been writing about cars for years and finds it difficult to talk about anything else.