The McLaren Senna is One of the Wildest Road Legal Cars Ever

Sam McEachern
by Sam McEachern

The new McLaren Senna track car, which carried the internal working name P15, has made its debut during a special event in England.

The McLaren Senna is described by the British manufacturer as the most extreme road-legal car it’s ever built. It also claims the car is “legalized for road use, but not sanitized to suit it,” and thus forgoes almost all creature comforts in the name of outright track performance.

Sitting midship is McLaren’s twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8, which is making 789 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent to the rear wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox with elongated carbon fiber paddle shifters. The Senna will have three drive modes: Comfort, Sport or Track, with McLaren promising “suitably savage,” and “neck-snapping” acceleration in all modes.

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The Senna utilizes a new, third-generation version of the carbon-fiber McLaren ‘Monocage’ chassis and weighs just 2,641 lbs. Also present is a hydraulic double-wishbone suspension system dubbed RaceActive Chassis Control II, which works in harmony with the car’s front and rear active aerodynamics systems. McLaren engineers did “painstaking work” on the damping and electrohydraulic steering to ensure the car feels as lively and energetic as possible, even if it’s being driven well below its limits. The braking system is the most extreme fitted to any McLaren road car (that includes the P1) and sits behind ultra-lightweight centerlock alloy wheels shod in Pirelli Trofeo R tires.

The cockpit is equally as race-inspired as the rest of the car, with only the seats, dash and side airbags covered in upholstery (leather or Alcantara is available). The central infotainment screen and a McLaren Folding Driver Display, the latter of which debuted in the 720S, help relay information to the driver. There’s almost no room for luggage or other items, save for a small space behind the seats for two race suits and two helmets. A roof-mounted snorkel intake also feeds an intense, high-frequency noise into the cabin to create a more raw, visceral driving experience.

“The McLaren Senna delivers true performance, all the way to the limit of a driver’s ability,” said McLaren vehicle line director, Andy Palmer. “With a truly astonishing power-to-weight ratio, this car is about performance that is accessible and attainable, yet at the same time exciting and challenging for the very best drivers in the world – and with an intense, sensory experience to match.”

Just 500 example of the McLaren Senna will be built, each of which have already been sold at a price of £750,000 including taxes – or about $1 million USD.

Discuss this story on our McLaren forum.

Sam McEachern
Sam McEachern

Sam McEachern holds a diploma in journalism from St. Clair College in Windsor, Ontario, and has been covering the automotive industry for over 5 years. He conducts reviews and writes AutoGuide's news content. He's a die-hard motorsports fan with a passion for performance cars of all sorts.

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