66 Magazine Issue 4 Summer 2018 - Page 22

M C L A R E N ’ S U LT I M AT E R OA D - LEGAL TR ACK C AR ARRIVES IN NZ Bearing the name of a Formula 1 legend, the McLaren Senna has been designed to be the most responsive and engaging road-legal McLaren ever. One example of the hand-assembled McLaren Senna hypercars delivered to customers globally arrived in New Zealand recently. Following McLaren’s ‘form follows function’ design philosophy to its extreme, the Senna is a mid-engined, rear-wheel drive road-legal track car which exhibits all the hallmarks of a stripped-back racer. Purposefully aggressive in appearance, the Senna features a variety of performance enhancements engineered specifically for the model. Built around a carbon-fibre Monocage III chassis, the Senna boasts carbon body panels which make it the lightest road car the Woking- based manufacturer has built since the iconic F1. Active front and rear aerodynamics provide for up to 800kg of downforce, while even the cockpit has been pared back so only essential instrumentation is displayed. The driver sits in an ultra-light, one-piece carbon fibre racing seat, with a roof-mounted ‘snorkel’ intake helping to enliven the experience in the driver’s seat. The Senna also features advanced RaceActive Chassis Control II (RCC II) suspension and Comfort, Sport, Track and Race handling modes. Adding to the drama is a unique Iconel and titanium exhaust system which exits through an ultra-low carbon fibre rear deck. Underneath the engine cover lies the most powerful engine ever configured for a McLaren road car: a 4.0-litre, twin-turbo V8 producing 800PS (789bhp) and 800Nm of torque. The impressive weight saving measures McLaren’s engineering team has achieved, combined with the power output of the V8 means the Senna offers a power-to-weight ratio of 668PS-per- tonne (659bhp). As to be expected, the Senna offers savage performance: 0-100km/h in 2.8 seconds, or 0-200km/h in just 6.8 seconds. But it also offers unprecedented stopping power, braking from 200km/h to standstill in just 100m. “The power, torque and performance are mind-blowing and on throttle, with the intake above you and the air mixing in the carbon fibre plenum, it feels like the engine is right there alongside you in the cockpit,” said McLaren Automotive Chief Engineer, says Marcus Waite at the Senna’s unveiling. The McLaren Senna will be strictly-limited to 500 builds, all of which have been allocated to customers. S P E E DTA I L HARMONISES PIONEERING TECH AND SEAMLESS DESIGN Only 106 McLaren Speedtail ‘hyper-GT’ road cars will be built and will each cost £1.75m plus taxes. It has been a busy year for McLaren, with multiple high-performance models – including the Senna and 600LT (see p50) – released in the latter half of 2018. The highlight for many, however, is the revealing of what the manufacturer is calling the ‘next chapter’ in its Ultimate Series of hypercars. Unveiled in October, every element of the Speedtail has been considered as part of an all-encompassing mission to reduce drag and maximise top speed. The Speedtail is narrower than a McLaren P1, but more than half a metre longer. When viewed from above it looks like a teardrop – the fastest shape in nature. The Speedtail’s sculptured form creates the 20 66 MagAzine SUMMER 2018 smoothest initial contact with the air at the front splitter, while the dramatically long tail ‘bleeds off’ the airflow to reduce turbulence at high speeds. McLaren states the essence of the Speedtail is the amalgamation of modern design and craftsmanship in its truest sense, along with the very latest digitally-developed technologies. By radically rethinking every aspect of the exterior design, aerodynamic drag efficiency has been maximised and acceleration improved. As both the name and the shape of the Speedtail suggests, the car is all about high- speed performance. A top speed of 403km/h is achievable through McLaren’s unique Velocity mode which was developed especially for the Speedtail. Velocity mode optimises the hybrid powertrain for high-speed running, while also tailoring the angle of the active rear ailerons. Additionally, the digital rear-view camera in the car can be retracted to reduce drag, while Velocity Active Chassis Control can lower the Speedtail by 35mm, leaving the highest point of the vehicle just 1120mm above the road surface, and increasing aerodynamic performance. The result? A true hypercar capable of accelerating from zero to 300km/h in a remarkable 12.8 seconds.