CHRISTMAS has come early for 500 McLaren owners with the launch of the company's "most extreme road car yet".
McLaren has dubbed the car the Senna in tribute to the legendary F1 racer Ayrton Senna; a name synonymous with passion and commitment.
Effectively a race car that can be registered to drive to and from the track, the Senna is expected to cost an undisclosed number of Australian buyers more than $1.3 million.
To add more credibility to the moniker, Ayrton's nephew Bruno Senna is one of the development drivers for McLaren and says this vehicle is a fitting tribute.
"The McLaren Senna honours my uncle because it is so utterly dedicated to delivering a circuit experience that allows a driver to be the best they can possibly be," he says.
The Senna is powered by the same V8 twin-turbo found in the $500,000 720S supercar. In this case it has been boosted for 588kW and 800Nm but the headline number is the car's 1200kg mass. That's 85kg lighter than a 720S and, backed by the extra power, should see the Senna easily run down the 720S's 2.9-second sprint to 100km/h and the 7.8-second run to 200km/h.
The brakes are carbon ceramic discs and motorsport-developed pads to help rein in that performance
To achieve "the purest connection between driver and car of any road-legal McLaren", every facet of the Senna has been engineered for aerodynamic efficiency, highlighted by the massive rear wing that extends from underneath the rear of the car.
The interior has been stripped of anything that might add weight - even the stereo is an option. Leather or alcantara covers the race seats and dash but all other surfaces are left exposed to reduce weight and show off the carbon fibre weave that forms the basis of the Senna's chassis.
A space behind the seats engineered to take a pair of helmets and race suits is the only concession to carrying luggage and reinforces the hypercar's track-biased development.
To complete the sensory overload engineers deliberately let sounds from the roof-mounted "snorkel" engine intake enter the cabin, backed by engine mounts that transmit low frequency resonance through the carbon fibre tub.
The McLaren Senna will be officially unveiled at the Geneva motor show in March, meaning owners should get their track toys in time for Christmas next year.
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