McLaren writes Ayrton Senna’s name in stone by giving his name to its most extreme road car

McLaren will create two new Ultimate Series cars. The first would be its most extreme road car ever, known by its codename P15, and the other will be a grand tourer to honour the F1, codenamed BP23. McLaren has unveiled the former in all its glory this Saturday (December 12). And the fact that it is the most extreme road legal car the brand has ever created is also not as important as the name it will bear. This Ultimate Series will be named Senna.

It is only fair that McLaren’s most iconic F1 pilot ever names a car that McLaren intends to be as iconic. The question is: will it be up to the task? In what relates to power, there is no question. After all, the M840TR mill, a 4.0 biturbo V8, generates 588 kW (800 cv) and 800 Nm of torque for the rear wheels. And counts on no electric engines apart from the one used to power the electro-hydraulic power steering and some other smaller ones around the car. In other words, this is by no means a hybrid, even if the BP23 will be. The Senna is aimed at providing the purest track experience possible. And that requires a lot of weight saving.

The McLaren Senna weighs as little as 1,198 kg. Besides the F1, which weighed 1,138 kg, no other vehicle McLaren ever produced was this light. Even the glasses on the lower parts of the Senna’s doors are made of thin Gorilla glass and most of the car structure uses carbon fiber. Everything to provide the “purest connection between driver and car of any road-legal McLaren” to date, according to the brand.

Even if it does not look very impressive or gorgeous, the Senna is said to take aerodynamics to an entirely new level. The company has not released performance numbers to let us know what its new creation is capable of, but has informed us 500 units will be produced. At £750,000 a piece. But all of them have already been sold. And the last one, auctioned at the presentation event, was sold for £2,000,000, with the money raised donated to the Senna Foundation, according to Autocar. The first public appearance will happen at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show and the first car will be at his owner’s parking spot before the end of 2018.

Gustavo Henrique Ruffo

I have been an automotive journalist since 1998 and have worked for many important Brazilian newspapers and magazines, such as the local edition of Car and Driver and Quatro Rodas, Brazilian's biggest car magazine. I have also worked for foreign websites, such as World Car Fans and won a few journalism prizes, among them three SAE Journalism Awards and the 2017 IAM RoadSmart Safety Award. I am the author of "The Traffic Cholesterol", a book about bad drivers that you can buy at Hotmart, Google Play, Amazon and Kobo.