McLaren Senna

McLaren reportedly plans Senna LM, Senna Can-Am

McLaren’s Senna is already a pretty special car but the British firm is reportedly working on two new special editions, each based on the track-only Senna GTR.

CarBuzz on Tuesday reported that McLaren is working on road-going versions of the Senna GTR that will carry the company’s famous LM and Can-Am designations.

Apparently McLaren had 23 unallocated build slots for the 75-car run of Senna GTRs so decided to use them for 20 examples of a new Senna LM and three examples of a new Senna Can-Am. Both are expected to feature McLaren’s signature papaya orange as their hero colors.

The Senna LM is a spiritual successor to the legendary McLaren F1 LM which was a road-going version of the F1 GTR race car. The LM designation was a nod to the F1 GTR’s overall win in the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans, and McLaren also used the designation on the P1 LM launched in 2016.

2016 McLaren P1 LM prototype

The P1 LM was based on the track-only P1 GTR but was street-legal thanks to a road-car conversion developed by fellow British firm Lanzante. It’s possible the same company is also handling road-car conversions for the Senna GTR.

As for the Senna Can-Am, it celebrates McLaren’s success in Can-Am racing throughout the 1960s and ’70s. McLaren claimed five back-to-back world championships between 1969 and 1974 and has previously celebrated this feat in 2013 with a 12C Can-Am.

The Senna GTR features the same 789-horsepower, 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 as the regular Senna but is slightly lighter and also benefits from more extreme aerodynamics. Unlike the original F1 GTR, the Senna GTR isn’t a homologated race car. It’s a track special that well-heeled drivers can use to develop their skills behind the wheel.

According to CarBuzz, deliveries of the new Senna LM and Senna Can-Am are due to commence in December so a reveal should be coming up soon. Stay tuned.

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Formula One, McLaren Senna, Nico Rosberg, Videos

Nico Rosberg drives the McLaren Senna and 720S back-to-back

What happens when former Formula One world champion Nico Rosberg puts two of McLaren’s best on a track for some head-to-head fun? This video from the Dubai Autodrome tells the tale.

Rosberg has spent time with both cars before, but this is his first opportunity to get the McLaren Senna on a race track, which has him pumped. He raves about its 1,700 pounds of downforce and how much of a difference that can make in high-speed cornering. So will its svelte, 2,641-pound curb weight.

“This thing is going to be fun today because the last time I drove this with you it was at a driving school in the South of France,” Rosberg says of the Senna. “But today, we have a proper race track, like kind-of F1 track, with the high speed corners and everything. It’s going to be epic.”

2019 McLaren Senna, Portugal Media Drive, June 2018

2018 McLaren 720S

2018 McLaren 720S

Both are serious machines. On paper, the 720S has the disadvantage in power, with 710 ponies on tap to go with its 568 pound-feet of torque. It can hit 60 mph in less than 3 seconds and 124 mph in 7.8 seconds. Its curb weight checks in at a mere 2,800 pounds.

The Senna, on the other hand, is a bit more technical—a real track weapon. It packs 789 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque from its 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8, with 0-62 coming in 2.8 seconds and 0 to 124 mph in just 6.8. It will also crack off a quarter mile in 9.9 seconds on the way to a 211-mph top speed.

And straight-line performance matters in this case, as Rosberg’s first stop is a makeshift drag strip. The cars trade wins thanks to not-so-professional launches and cold tires, but clearly Rosberg and his competition are enjoying themselves. 

On the circuit, Rosberg praises the Senna’s downforce, saying it behaves more like a race car than a road car. Jumping into the 720S is a step backwards, Rosberg says, thanks to its street tires and comparatively limited downforce. But honestly, you can’t really go wrong with either car.

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Formula One, McLaren Senna, McLaren Ultimate Series

McLaren Senna XP specials celebrate their eponymous F1 legend

With its brutalist styling, punishing performance, and severe lack of creature comforts, McLaren’s Senna is certainly an acquired taste. However, there’s no denying the desirability of the latest Senna XP developed by McLaren Special Operations on a commission from McLaren Beverly Hills.

Just three of the Senna XPs have been built, each of them carrying a price tag of $1,435,328. Considering the Senna is sold out, the price could be considered a bit of a bargain by some.

While McLaren has built and sold 500 Sennas to customers, there are additional prototype versions. Denoted an XP by the automaker, short for “Experimental Prototype,” these are the cars that were used for development of the Senna. McLaren Beverly Hills managed to secure three of these prototypes and has since commissioned the MSO personalization department to rebuild the cars for public sale.

Each of the rebuilt XPs are unique thanks to liveries that highlight the national flags of countries were Ayrton Senna, the Formula One legend from which the cars draw their name, made astonishing achievements.

McLaren Senna XP – Photo credit: Robert Grubbs

The Home Victory car features the flag of Senna’s native Brazil and celebrates his win in the 1991 Brazilian Grand Prix. Against all odds, he managed to cross the finish line first despite a malfunction in the closing laps that left him with only sixth gear to rely on. After the race, Senna said, “It wasn’t the greatest victory of my life, but one where I gave everything I had.”

McLaren Senna XP - Photo credit: Robert Grubbs

McLaren Senna XP – Photo credit: Robert Grubbs

The Master of Monaco car celebrates Senna’s six wins, five of which were consecutive victories, at the iconic Monaco street circuit between 1989 and 1993. Although speed isn’t a major factor here, the drivers get closer to the barriers than at any other Grand Prix, making it quite the challenge as drivers can never relent on their focus throughout the race.

McLaren Senna XP - Photo credit: Robert Grubbs

McLaren Senna XP – Photo credit: Robert Grubbs

The Lap of the Gods car pays respect to one of Senna’s greatest victories, when at the 1993 European Grand Prix held at the United Kingdom’s Donington Park, he managed to move from fifth to first place in wet conditions by the end of the first lap. To this day, it’s still regarded as one of the best opening laps of an F1 race.

The special liveries have been applied by hand over exposed gloss carbon fiber body panels. The cars also feature custom cabins to match their exteriors, with special touches like etched accelerator pedals, custom embroidery, and a plaque signifying each of the cars as one of one. More than 780 hours of work has gone into creating each of them.

No change was made to the mechicals, meaning peak output registers at 789 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque courtesy of a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8. McLaren says 0-62 mph comes in 2.8 seconds, while 0 to 124 mph happens in just 6.8 seconds. Should an owner ever line a Senna up at the dragstrip, the supercar will dispatch the quarter mile in 9.9 seconds. Top speed? A brisk 211 mph.

Anyone keen to get a close-up look at the Senna XPs will find them on display at the Sunset GT car meet organized by the O’Gara Coach dealer group taking place in Los Angeles on December 8.

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