McLaren release track-only car inspired by Ayrton Senna
McLaren Senna GTR will cost $1.4 million
Developed with contribution from Senna's nephew
In the month since the unveiling of the new McLaren Senna – the most extreme road-legal track car ever built by the manufacturer – all 500 units have been sold.
Now McLaren has unveiled a fresh, track-only version – the Senna GTR.
Its McLaren’s fastest ever non-F1 car and it will cost $1.4 million.
The price tag may be hefty but it buys exclusivity. A maximum of just 75 cars will go into production.
For McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt the car’s attraction lies in its affinity with the racing circuit.
“The very limited number of customers who secure this car will be buying the closest experience you can get to a race car without actually lining up on a circuit grid,” Flewitt said in a press release.
It’s an appropriate aim for a car bearing the name of one of motorsport’s greatest drivers.
Senna’s legacy with McLaren
Over the past three decade, the Brazilian driver has ascended to a near-mythic status, lodging himself firmly in the global consciousness with his three Formula One world championships in 1988, 1990 and 1991 before his tragic death in an accident at the San Marino Grand Prix in 1994.
Senna’s career and legacy are central to the identity of the McLaren team and the naming dedication on these two cars is tribute to the man’s importance to F1 history.
McLaren Vehicle Line Director Andy Palmer told CNN Sport: “Senna was renowned for his exceptional powers of concentration and single-minded focus on being the best on the track.
“Ayrton was completely hardwired into the dynamic experience and renowned for meticulously analyzing his laps and being able to feel even the smallest change made to his racing car.
“He would also look at every single detail to make the car go faster – this spirit still lives on at McLaren and is embodied by the car bearing his name.”
Attached to that aim is the company’s dedication to working together with the Senna Foundation, founded in 1994 by Ayrton’s sister Viviane.
Bruno Senna – son of Vivianne and nephew of Ayrton – is a McLaren brand ambassador, racing for the team in the FIA World Endurance Championships, and also contributed to the development of the Senna GTR.
McLaren also auctioned off one of the cars at their Winter Ball in December, raising $2.79 million for the Senna Foundation.
Although the car displayed at the Geneva Motor Show is “not the finished article” according to McLaren Design Engineering Director Dan Parry-Williams, potential buyers will be asked to register interest before the cars are hand-assembled in Woking, England in 2019.
Parry-Williams explained: “The McLaren Senna was designed from the outset with the full spectrum of road and track requirements in mind, so developing a GTR version is within the scope of the original project.”
The new design is entirely focused on maximizing the aerodynamics of the car, with a larger front splitter than its road-car equivalent and the outer skin of the doors squeezed tight into the center of the car to direct airflow and increase speed.
In terms of speed, the GTR will fall in line with McLaren’s attempt to bring the track-based experience to its customers, posting its fasted circuit lap times outside of F1, thanks to an increased horsepower of 825PS.
Despite the inflated price tag, it looks likely that once again McLaren’s exclusive range will sell out in record time.