McLaren Senna might not be pretty but it will be quick
There are many things in life where form follows function.
This is the latest edition to that category.
The McLaren seven.
Like I suspect most of you, until now, have been intrigued spectators of the McLaurin 7. When I saw the photos on the Internet, I also saw the reaction to those photographs, which was, it's fair to say varied.
Some people liked it, a lot of people thought it was a very very ugly car, and couldn't understand it at all.
I was somewhere in the middle.
I was prepared to give it the benefit of the doubt until I could actually see it in the carbon.
So what do I think?
Now I can see it in three dimensions.
Well, it's not pretty but it's very striking.
And it's one of those cars that you really do want to walk around.
And the more you see it the more you notice things on it.
And there are some extraordinary shapes, Voids in this car, spaces that I don't think I've ever seen certainly on a road car before.
It's intriguing and that of course McLaren has given us the numbers, the reasons for the way it looks.
The easy way to remember the headline figures of this extraordinary car is 800, 800, 800,
That's to say 800 ps or 789 brake horsepower.
800 newton meters or 590 pounds [UNKNOWN] torque and 800 kilos of downforce, 155 miles an hour.
Dry and in its lightest possible spec The car weighs 1198 kilos, which McLaren points out is the lightest car it's produced since the F1, although it makes that car's 60 kilo lighter curve weight look even more impressive.
Of course the Senna has a better power to weight ratio, 659 break horsepower per ton.
And from standstill it will hit 62 miles an hour in 2.8 seconds.
Going on to reach 124 miles per hour in six point eight seconds.
And 186 miles per hour in 17.5 seconds.
That's the 300 kilometers an hour in the amount of time it took to say that last sentence.
The standing quarter is over in nine point nine seconds.
And flat out, the [UNKNOWN] will do 211 miles per hour.
Of course you would need to stop in a hurry, It has that covered too.
New carbon strong breaks might take seven months to produce, they will bring the car to a halt from 124 miles an hour in just 100 meters.
Now, I'm not Eric [UNKNOWN], but I'm going to attempt to talk you through some of the reasons for why the shapes are as they are, and how the air is being, Channeled over the car, starting down here.
Now you might remember that other McLarens have had two low temperature radiators in front, situated on the side of the nose.
This has just got one big one in the center, here.
We've also got two nostrils here, which makes it look rather sort of shark-like, really.
And these generate down force by guiding the air through the front clamshell.
How the big downforce generator here is this front spitter.
It's 150 millimeters more prominent than it is on a P1, 75 millimeters more prominent than it is on a P1 GTR, even.
They've actually made it so you can replace and remove this front section in case you should clobber or clatter.
Curve on the curve.
You can see these active aero blades in here which work symmetrically on both sides.
They channel air up to fixed aero blades further up in the car and actually all they generate the air force the reason for being active is probably mor to bleed off some of the aero dynamic such is the effectiveness of this front splitter.
The help to keep the car balanced particularly under braking.
Ligths are also here, I mentioned those 21 LEDs in each one, and they are adaptive lights, but where as usually you'd have motors to move the lights, these are done by reducing teh brightness of various LEDs within them to help them point, and illuminate in different directions.
Obviously the front wheel arches are an area of sort of real high pressure build up.
So the air is forced out of the wheel arches, extracted and taken down here to cool the rear brakes and also to feed the big double diffuser at the rear.
However there's also air being channeled through this section which a little bit reminiscent of the 720s Between the wing mirror and this A pillar here.
And that then feeds one of the high temperature radiators in the side here.
As we move around to the back, it's worth noting that aesthetically I think it is the rear three quarters section that really jars and caused the uproar.
The big flat area around the back wheel, although I'm sure aerodynamically efficient, looks a suit with the shoulder pads gone wrong.
Anyway, the engine is essentially the 720S's dry sump flat plain crank four liter V8 with electrically actuated twin scroll turbo charges.
However, it has inlet and manifold system, light cam shafts and pistons, requires two fuel pumps.
Thus it's designated the M840TR.
And it's mated to the familiar seven-speed seamless shift dual clutch gearbox.
Thankfully they've managed to install the the 675 LT ignition cut technology for sport mode.
So you should get those lovely cracks on upshifts.
It's hard to know actually where to look first at the back of the car.
There is so much going on here.
We'll start with these [UNKNOWN] here, because a lot of this is about getting heat out of the engine.
But crucially, not disrupting the air flow to this massive rear wing.
And it is enormous, I mean if you've seen the rear wing on a P1.
Wow, that's pretty big, this is on a whole other level.
It looks high because this rear deck is so low as well.
It's got these swan supports to keep the air flow clean underneath.
There's 25 degrees of movement between full DRS so low drag mode and then full high down force mode.
And the whole thing here 4.87 kilos.
That's all it weighs.
Yet it can support over a hundred times its own weight in driving force.
The other thing that instantly captures your eye around back of the car is the exhaust.
By these three exits here is slashed in line with that rear deck.
Titanium internal, it's.
It's not the easiest way to exit the exhaust apparently, but it is the way that keeps the airflow the least disrupted from the rear wing and the double diffuser.
Which we come down here, this enormous but intricate double diffuser is made of just one single piece of carbon fiber.
It's helped by the fact that the car is actually nine millimeters higher in the front when it's in its full race mode, giving it a bit of rake and just helping it to then be sucked to the ground.
I love the fact, as well that if you say In another center, following this, you'd be able to see all the mechanical governs through the diffuser.
At the core of the 1750's thousand pound center is the carbon Monocage 3.
McLaren says that it's innovative double-walled rear crash structure negates the need for an additional roll cage, thereby saving weight.
On the suspension front Mclaren has introduced second generation race active chassis control.
Or RCC2 for short.
It's complicated but perhaps the most notable thing is that although there are small light weight and [INAUDIBLE] Soft springs and suspension, mechanical springs have largely been replaced with a hydraulic circuit.
McLaren says that the main benefit of this over a normal system is that it allows variable ride height and variable spring stiffness.
Of course, this is where you really want to be in the McLaren Center.
In the driving seat and it's a case of where do you look first, I mean there are bits that you recognize from other McLaren's but there's so much that is new.
Starting with these seats, I mean as soon as you get in to the car you have to get in past these prominent sides sort of [INAUDIBLE], that seats themselves weigh just eight kilos and if you take the shells alone, weigh less than four kilos, which is pretty extraordinary.
Locks of [INAUDIBLE] carbon fiber everywhere you look.
And of course the seat back and forwards and of course buttons attached as well.
Talking a button look up here this is where the engine start is race we've got windows in here as well and there's actually quite a lot going on up there and you've this which is the actual dynamics panel where you are going to have the.
McLaren telemetry system that you can have and also the VDC or variable drift control all up in the screen.
But it appears from where I'm sitting it just seems to be floating there which is very beautiful.
We've got the dash which obviously is in its low track mode here but also folds up for the road if you want.
And it's just its sport but also very beautiful and really really interesting.
I suppose the other big feature happens when you close the door, i'll pull this down.
And you have the optional see through panels here which means you'll actually be able to see.
If you already have hit that apex or not.
It's a lovely thing, and I really look forward to driving the car and seeing the road rushing by like that.
It reminds me a bit of the Lotus 340R.
I think those would seem translucent rather than actually transparent.
Talking of that, talking of things you can see from in here.
Look behind then you can actually see into the engine and that [UNKNOWN] and of course sitting here you'll be able to hear the air rushing in through that intake up there.
And that's really what this car is gonna be about.
We don't know yet what's it gonna feel like, how one of these responses gonna be like, the hydraulic [UNKNOWN] to steering.
Is it gonna be reeling with feel, how's that suspension going to work?
It's gonna be interesting.
One thing I haven't noticed before, so the front wheels and tires, they're 245-section.
Which is quite narrow, especially compared to the 315s on the rear.
So do you get to feel a bit around the steerage, which we always did in the P1 as well?
Also gonna be a very F1 or I suppose endurance racing push to drink system for those really long session on track.
And this car's got the camera system so you've got three cameras which can overlay with telemetry just to see how bad you really are on the track.
Look at that, an exposed gastro for the door just to save weight, And the stereo, optional.
Not sure if it really kinda make sense in a track orientated car but it weighs just over 7 kilos.
So it's extremely lightweight.
Well done Bowers & Wilkins.
All in all.
I just can't wait to drive it now.
We've just got to hear it start up, and roll out in the pit lane.
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