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Geneva show: McLaren reveals additional Senna details

Woking wonder: The McLaren Senna can complete the zero to 100km/h sprint in just 2.8 seconds, just edging out the 720S.

Performance figures and aerodynamic abilities of Senna detailed by McLaren

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McLaren logo8 Feb 2018

By ROBBIE WALLIS

MCLAREN has released additional information about its most powerful petrol-engined vehicle, the savage Senna supercar, ahead of its public debut at the Geneva motor show next month.

First unveiled in December, the Senna is McLaren’s latest edition to its Ultimate Series range, and packs a twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 punching out 588kW/800Nm, making it McLaren’s most powerful internal combustion engine.

Now the British manufacturer has released additional information regarding its latest model, including the impressive performance figures and aerodynamic capabilities of its aggressively-styled exterior.

On the acceleration front, it has been revealed the Senna can complete the landmark zero to 100km/h sprint in just 2.8 seconds, edging out the mechanically related 720S by 0.1s.

Reaching 200km/h takes 6.8s, while top speed is rated at a dizzying 340km/h.

Its blistering performance is helped by its feather weight, which at just 1198kg (dry) is the lightest road car built by McLaren since the iconic F1 hero of the 1990s.

A carbon-fibre monocoque chassis with an inbuilt roll cage helps keep weight down, while the lightweight material is also found on body panels and interior, with the exposed elements of the Monocage III chassis found through the interior.

While the car itself may struggle to keep planted on the track with its light weight, the large number of vents, inlets and aerodynamic touches, as well as a huge rear wing spoiler, can help generate up to 800kg of downforce on the vehicle.

McLaren has gone for a ‘form over function’ approach to the Senna, which has resulted in functional air vents and aerodynamic enhancements being implemented throughout the vehicle’s exterior.

As soon as air hits the front of the car, four surfaces – the front splitter, active aero blades and secondary aero blade slot gaps next to the headlights – are ready to manipulate air flow.

The rear of the car has also been designed with efficiency in mind, namely the gurney flaps and louvred engine cover that direct air down the sides of the body, therefore drawing hot air out of the engine bay and radiators.

Crafted from a single piece of carbon-fibre, the hulking rear double diffuser creates a low-pressure zone which keeps the Senna stuck to the ground, while the striking triple-exit exhaust sit lower than any McLaren road car.

The crown jewel of the rear end is the massive hydraulically-operated, double-element carbon-fibre rear wing that can adjust itself to optimise downforce. Weighing 4.87kg, it can support more than 100 times its weight in downforce.

As previously reported, only 500 examples of the Senna will be produced, which are predictably entirely spoken for.

All will be hand-crafted at McLaren’s Woking facility in a process that takes around 300 hours, and will sell for £750,000 ($A1.3m).

The sole example not allocated to private buyers was auctioned at a private event, selling for £2m ($A3.55m), with the proceeds going to the Ayrton Senna Institute, a non-profit organisation that provides education for nearly two million underprivileged Brazilian youths.

The Geneva motor show kicks off on March 8.

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