Have you heard of Senna before?
Ayrton Senna; the legendary Brazilian Formula One driver of the '90s who was an absolute master behind the wheel that was tragically taken too soon. Did you know there was also a car built for his namesake? The Mclaren Senna, which is the third supercar in what Mclaren calls their Ultimate Series level of cars; sharing that tier with the F1 and P1.
Senna drove with Team Mclaren for the majority of his Formula One career. With his incredible skills driving, he brought 3 drivers' championships, 35 Grand Prix wins and 4 constructors' championships for team Mclaren. Ayrton tragically passed away during the San Marino Grand Prix in 1994, at which point he was driving for Williams-Renault.
The Senna you see before you is owned
by a well-known Vancouverite,
Robbie Dickson. Robbie has always been very
passionate about motorsports and it
As the co-creator of the
famed Diamond Rally (which Team 604 helped set a world record at this past year) and Bullrun Rally. He is also deeply involved with Area 27, a full-size racecourse in the Okanagan. When Robbie had the opportunity to purchase a formidable track weapon named after what many consider one of the greatest drivers of all time, he couldn't resist.
However, Robbie took it one step
further and covered the Senna in a
livery from Mclaren Racing's 1988
Formula 1 season during their partnership
with Honda. In that season, Mclaren won
all but one race, with Ayrton Senna
dominating the podium. The resulting wins
earned Senna his first driver's title that
season and Robbie felt it would be a fitting
homage to the late racer.
The Senna is built on a modified version of the same carbon-fiber monocoque used for the 720S and its' main focus was to achieve faster lap times regardless of the form of competition. Thus it uses a number of aerodynamic enhancements such as a dual-plane electronically adjustable rear spoiler, twin sectioned diffusers and a Formula One inspired roof scoop.
Power comes from a modified version of the 4.0 liter twin-turbocharged V8 dubbed the "M840TR" which was also lifted from 720S. This particular version is capable of producing 789hp and 590lb/ft of torque thanks to dry sump lubrication, twin-scroll turbos, and electronic wastegates. All of that power is put to the ground through a 7 speed dual-clutch transmission exclusively to the rear wheels. Unlike the P1, the Senna does not use an electric motor nor have any sort of hybrid functions in order to keep weight low at only 1198kg (2641lbs). This gives the Senna an incredibly advantageous power to weight ratio of 658hp per ton, beating out other contemporary supercars such as the LaFerrari, Bugatti Veyron Super Sport and Porsche 918 Spyder. Using that power, the Senna slingshots from 0-100(62mph) in 2.8 seconds, through the quarter-mile in 9.9 seconds and onto a top speed of 335km/hr (208mph).
With all of that power comes the need to use it effectively and of the most important need: to stop. The Senna has also taken the RaceActive Chassis Control 2 suspension system from the 720S as well, albeit modified to suit racing conditions. This system is a semi-active hydraulic system. Which essentially means the vehicle has no traditional springs or struts.
The entire system is computer controlled and uses needle valves to adjust each corner individually in accordance with road conditions and all driver inputs. Stopping power comes from Brembo in the form of carbon-ceramic discs and 6 piston monobloc calipers inspired by Formula 1 that measures 390mm (15.35in) at all four corners.
The braking system is greatly aided by the enormous rear spoiler and a set of actuated dividers that sit in the front bumper, these tricks allow the car to produce intentional drag whenever the driver demands the Senna to come to shed speed as fast as possible.
The Senna is a real showcase for what building a track-focused supercar really means and we quite enjoy that. Do you think this car is a fitting homage to Ayrton Senna?
-The stopping power of the braking system is strong enough for the Senna to hold the world record for 200km/hr-0 and does it in 100 meters.
- The doors use a dihedral opening system, more colloquially known as butterfly doors. They employ a hinge mounted on the A pillar and is similar to opening doors on the P1 and F1.
- At 249km/hr (155mph) the active aero is capable of producing 800kg of downforce and is able to achieve over 1000kg at higher speeds. That weight is almost equivalent to the curb weight of the current Mazda MX-5 Miata RF.