The McLaren Senna is the most powerful and track-focused street legal car that the British supercar maker currently sells. That doesn’t mean it can’t go faster, especially if the Senna didn't have to conform to road or racing regulations. How fast can it go?
The McLaren Senna GTR, revealed in production form at the 2019 Geneva auto show, attempts to answer that question. With over 800 horsepower in a vehicle that weighs a mere 2619 pounds the result is the fastest McLaren this side of a Formula 1 track. Peak downforce is 20 percent more than on the roadgoing Senna, and it's available at significantly lower speeds. The Senna GTR is also wider, lower, and lighter than its street-legal sibling. Though the Senna GTR cannot race with McLaren’s GT3 team, the car's suspension was derived from the setup the team uses.
The latest member of McLaren's top-tier Ultimate Series, the Senna GTR also the most exclusive. Just 75 examples will be made, in left-hand-drive format only. Don't bother getting out your JP Morgan Chase Palladium Visa just yet: All 75 are already spoken for. Each will likely be one-of-a-kind as every Senna GTR will be built to order and go through personalization by the McLaren Special Operations Options department.
Priced from slightly over $1.4 million USD before taxes, the Senna GTR sold out within weeks of its reveal in concept form at the 2018 Geneva show.
It has about 25 hp more than the road-legal Senna, due to a recalibrated ECU and elimination of the secondary exhaust catalytic converter, normally required to pass emissions standards. The concept shown last year had side exhaust pipes, but the production version routes exhaust gasses in the same high-rear outlet as on the production Senna, which turns out to weigh less and had more efficient airflow. Not having to comply with road regulations also allowed McLaren engineers to locate the rear wing at least partially outside of the car's footprint, allowing it to work better in conjunction with the under-chassis diffuser.
Throwing away the rulebooks means that the Senna GTR features the active aerodynamics of the street-legal McLaren Senna, which are not permitted in GT3 racing. An automatic Drag Reduction System trims the rear wing for maximum straight-line speed while under extreme braking, the wing flips up to act as an air-brake.
Though its 22 pounds lighter than the street Senna, the GTR is still fitted with necessary track equipment like onboard pneumatic air jacks, pit radio, fire suppression system, and data logger. Items like the sound system and touch screens have been deleted. It can get hot out on a track, particularly in the Gulf States, where McLaren sells a few cars, so air conditioning remains.
Driver assist and safety systems like ABS, traction and stability control, tire pressure and temperature monitors, and anti-collision radar are retained from the road Senna, though airbags have been deleted to save weight. The driver's seat is FIA approved, made of carbon fiber, and comes with a six-point FIA approved safety harness.