Woking, England - Back in December McLaren announced its most extreme road car yet, the Senna, named after the late-great Ayrton Senna who won three Formula One titles with McLaren before his untimely death in 1994.
At the time it was revealed that the carbonfibre supercar wields a mid-mounted 4-litre twin-turbo V8 that produces bountiful outputs of 588kW and 800Nm, but how fast that made this mega-McLaren in a straight line was unknown.
Those performance figures have now been revealed ahead of the car's official public debut at next month’s Geneva motor show, with McLaren claiming 0-100km/h in a scorching 2.8 seconds, 200km/h in in just 6.8 seconds, and a quarter-mile (402m) sprint in only 9.9 seconds. This, along with its rated 340km/h top speed, gives this limited-edition car performance figures worthy of the great man whose name it carries.
Apart from its stunning straight line ability the McLaren Senna’s been designed to carve up a race track at the fastest possible pace with its traction and downforce.
It’s certainly not the most classically handsome sportscar with all those aggressive air scoops and cutaways, and you can’t follow a single body line from front to rear without it passing through a functional intake or vent. But McLaren wasn’t necessarily after a design that would grace the cover of a ‘beautiful cars’ coffee table book. It was after laptimes, and all those busy aerodynamics make the Senna capable of generating a staggering 800kg of downforce.
Above 250km/h the aero blades and rear wing are actively trimmed to preserve peak downforce levels, which would otherwise continue to increase with speed and impart excessive load on the suspension and tyres.
McLaren’s new ProActive Chassis Control system also makes its debut in the Senna. Called RaceActive Chassis Control II, the system includes adaptive dampers that are hydraulically interconnected both left to right and front to back, allowing the damping to be adjusted in just two milliseconds during cornering.
The braking system is the most advanced yet fitted to a McLaren road car. Each carbon ceramic brake disc takes seven months to create and has cooling vanes machined into the disc, rather than moulded.
Tar-clawing traction is supplied by bespoke Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tyres (245/35 ZR19 at the front and 315/30 ZR20 at the rear) that are designed for dry race tracks but also approved for road use.
McLaren will build only 500 units of the Senna priced at £750 000 (R12.7-million) apiece, and if you want one you’ve unfortunately missed your chance as they're all already spoken for.