How quick is fast enough? What does it cost? will customers pay to indulge their need for speed? And exclusivity? Revealed at the Geneva Motor Show, the minimal production McLaren Senna coupe is developed to be a response to those questions.
Convenience and connectivity were secondary factors to consider in the production of the latest McLaren supercar. Called for Ayrton Senna, the late Brazilian motorist who won 3 Formula 1 world championships for McLaren, the mid-engine 2-seater has one primary function: going from point A to point B as rapidly as possible. The two points normally represent the start and finish of a lap around a road racing circuit, an environment where Ayrton Senna made his long lasting mark.
Like any racing motorist, he ‘d value the harsh thrust: 789 horsepower, 590 lb-ft of torque from a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8, the most powerful street car engine yet from McLaren. He ‘d value it more for its power-to-weight ratio. With a carbon fiber main tub and carbon fiber skin, the Senna weighs in at an extremely lean and mean 2,641 pounds dry (no oil or other fluids).
As an example, McLaren’s use of new, lighter carbon fiber panels yields front fenders weighing simply 1.4 pounds each. The Brembo brake rotors are made up of a new type of carbon fiber that helps reduce both size and weight. The lightweight center-lock forged alloy wheels wear extreme efficiency Pirelli P-Zero Trofeo R tires.
The turbocharged V8 sends power to the rear wheels via a 7-speed dual clutch automatic transmission and limited slip differential. Owners can expect to achieve 60 miles per hour in 2.8 seconds, according to McLaren, with a leading speed of 211 mph.
One glance at the exterior should make it clear that beauty was not the primary top priority. Every surface area has been shaped to make use of the air flowing over the car, exploitation that supplies some latitude for change. For example, the angle of the rear wing can be altered to increase downforce or decrease drag. Likewise, the air intakes on either side of the front bumper have adjustable flaps that can increase front end downforce, stabilizing the impact of the rear wing.
With the adjustable elements set to create maximum pressure, and the speedometer reading over 120 mph, the Senna’s downforce is ranked at a formidable1,764 pounds, according McLaren. Beyond that, there’s a race mode baked into the auto-adjusting suspension settings that drops the ride height about two inches, enhancing the aero result and additional lowering drag.
The Senna’s scissor-style doors yield access to a minimalist interior– a set of racing-style seats with light-weight frames and very little padding; a main touch screen governing secondary controls; a primary audio system; a tiny space behind the seats for stowage; and settings for four operating modes: Comfort, Sport, Track, and Race.
An odd feature for a high-priced supercar is two-piece side windows. A fixed pane surrounds a central section that can be raised or decreased. Subaru utilized this method for its SVX coupe, and McLaren had it on the F1. The word elegant does not enter your mind. But elegance wasn’t the Senna’s main design objective. While couple of would characterize it as gorgeous, it’s impossible to ignore, and says speed in every line and angle.
The rate? If you need to ask, you can’t manage it. The base rate in England is $837,000. But in this case, if you even ask, you’re too late– the Senna’s whole 500-car was promised before McLaren loaded up to head for Geneva.
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