Woking, Surrey - Much like the motorsport icon for whom it is named, the new McLaren Senna, set to premiere at the Geneva Motor in less than a week, is all about performance.
It’s street-legal (just) but hasn’t been sanitised for the road; it has been designed from the ground up for track days and Sunday morning hooning so, if that compromises its comfort levels or its suitability as a daily driver, well, you knew what you were getting into when you signed on the dotted line.
Just 500 examples will be hand-built at the McLaren production centre in Woking, in a process that takes close to 300 hours for each car - which is why they cost a cool £750 000 (R12.2 million) each - and yes, they’re all spoken for.
But wait, as they say, there’s more
The designers at bespoke division McLaren Special Operations have created five visual packages (‘themes’ in MSOspeak) - each of which adds another £300 000 (R4.88 million) to the base price - so that you can bling up your Senna without compromising its performance.
The first of these - and this is how the show car for Geneva has been finished - is the Carbon Therme, which is exactly what its name implies. All 67 of the exterior body body parts have been individually laid by hand so the the carbon-fibre mat is perfectly even and wrinkle-free, and then finished in clear lacquer so that the entire car is wrapped in a perfect weave.
To do this for a crash helmet or a motorcycle fairing is a exercise in skill and patience; to do it for a whole car takes almost 1000 hours of exacting detail work.