McLaren Honors F1 Legend Ayrton Senna With Its Least-Usable Road Car Yet

McLaren’s highly anticipated “track weapon,” pays tribute to one of the outfit’s former driver’s legacy, both as a racer and a philanthropist.

On Tuesday, McLaren unveiled its new car, the Senna, limited to a production run of 500 unites and named in honor of the late Ayrton Senna, who won three Formula One world championships in his six years with McLaren. The automaker secured the rights to use the Senna name because the car is “the personification of McLaren’s motorsport DNA” — according to CEO Mike Flewitt — which the Brazilian driver had a large part in shaping.

With an output of 789-horsepower, the Senna’s twin-turbocharged 4-liter V-8 is the most powerful internal combustion engine McLaren has ever fitted to a street-legal vehicle. The lack of hybrid assistance means it produces less power than the P1, though it tips the scales at just 1,198 kilograms (2,641 pounds) dry, making it the manufacturer’s lightest road car since the F1 and resulting in a power-to-weight ratio of 659 horsepower per metric tonne.

McLaren Senna

Photo via McLaren

The Woking, England-based manufacturer claims, unlike the P1, the Senna is “legalized for road use, but not sanitized to suit it,” something McLaren GT4 driver Bruno Senna, Ayrton’s nephew, said made him and his family proud.

“This is the first project that really connects with Ayrton’s racing spirit and performance,” Senna said in a statement. “The McLaren Senna honors my uncle because it is so utterly dedicated to delivering a circuit experience that allows a driver to be the best they can possibly be. There is an absolute, seamless connection between car and driver and this pure engagement, these sensory cues that a driver responds to and relies upon, ensure an experience so focused and immersive that you are left in awe of the depths of excellence the McLaren Senna possesses.”

The project also paid tribute to Senna’s philanthropic legacy, with the sole unreserved unit being auctioned off for $2.67 million. The proceeds from the sale will go to the Ayrton Senna Foundation, a non-profit that supports education programs for underprivileged children in Brazil.

Thumbnail photo via McLaren

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