McLaren has been promising two insane new models for a little while now. Well, the first one's out, and as promised, it's a doozy.
Named after one of Formula 1's most iconic drivers, the McLaren Senna is billed as the "most extreme McLaren road car yet." And with some of these specs, it's hard not to take McLaren at its word, even though it has a history of building some properly nutso road cars.
We'll start with the beating heart of the Senna -- a 4.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V8. There's no hybrid system here, just good old-fashioned gasoline putting out a substantial 789 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque, all of which is sent to the rear wheels by way of a seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission. Comfort, Sport and Track modes are available, the latter of which stiffens the suspension and lowers the car's ride height. The intake is located above the cockpit, which you'll definitely notice every time you step on the gas.
The body is... interesting. From a direct side view, it looks a little odd, with a decent front overhang that runs counter to most automakers' attempts to minimize it. The rest of the exterior is a menagerie of vents, channels and angles that seek to produce as much downforce as humanly possible, which in turn keeps the shiny side up at ever-increasing speeds. My favorite parts are the doors, which can be optioned with a glass lower panel.
Underneath that wild skin is an evolution of the same carbon fiber chassis found in the. Carbon fiber extends beyond the chassis, comprising every one of the Senna's body panels, which contributes to its low curb weight of just 2,641 pounds -- the lightest since the McLaren F1 of yore.
The interior is sparse for a road car, but it still has everything an owner could need. Once the doors swing upward, occupants are met with either leather or Alcantara suede seats, depending on one's preference. There isn't any other trim inside, though, to help keep weight low. Even the switches and gauges have been streamlined, but there's still a centrally located infotainment screen and a standard gauge cluster that can fold down to provide only necessary figures. There's storage space behind the seats, but only enough to accommodate a couple helmets and race suits.
Simply put, the thing is ludicrous. But it needs to be, because it has a lot to live up to -- as the spiritual successor of sorts to the, it needs every inch of capability its masters in Woking can muster. Only 500 examples will be built starting in 2018, at a price of £750,000 inclusive of taxes ($1 million, directly converted).
Not that it matters, because every single one is already spoken for. In the world of small-batch hypercars, by the time you've heard about them, they're already gone.