So powerful was the wake of the F1 that it took the British automaker 15 years to develop a worthy successor. The P1 was introduced in 2012 as a hybrid supercar to rival Ferrari’s LaFerrari and Porsche’s 918 Spyder. While not as groundbreaking as the F1, the P1 laid the foundation for McLaren’s commercial success.
Now, just five years after the P1 broke cover, McLaren is back with its most aggressive production car yet. Rumors about the codenamed P15 have circulated for over a year, but details have been virtually non-existent, amplifying our anticipation. This week, the sports car manufacturer showed the world what it’s been cooking up: the McLaren Senna.
Owing its name to legendary Formula 1 driver Ayrton Senna (who won three drivers’ championships with the McLaren F1 team), the Senna will face off against Aston Martin’s forthcoming Valkyrie, Bugatti’s Chiron, and Mercedes-AMG’s Project One in the latest bout of the badies.
Already the McLaren Senna’s design has divided enthusiast opinion. Styled exclusively for function, the Senna is a radical shape of aerodynamic efficiency. Though based loosely on the 720S, the Senna has a completely bespoke form that features sharper edges, bigger air channels, and a truly enormous rear wing. McLaren hasn’t declared exactly how much downforce the car’s body will generate, but it could be well in excess of 2,000 pounds at VMAX.
Power is provided by a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 making 789 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque. While that isn’t as much grunt as the 903-hp P1, the Senna weighs 400 pounds less thanks to an all-new carbon fiber tub and advanced lightweight materials. The claimed curb weight is a featherweight 2,641 Pounds. Time from 0 to 60 mph and top speed figures are TBD, but we’d estimate low-2.0 second sprints and a top speed deep into the 200-mph grouping.
Whether you love or hate the wild exterior styling, there isn’t much to get excited about inside the cockpit. A pair of carbon fiber sport bucket seats can be molded to the driver’s body, a thin infotainment tablet is tacked onto the Spartan dashboard, and ignition, door open/close, and window switches are centered mid-cabin overhead.
The McLaren Senna will be built next year and all 500 planned production units were sold before the car was even revealed. The Senna has a few options that can raise its price, but the “base” model starts at $837,000.