McLaren Automotive has always been well-known for building bleeding edge ultimate supercars, from the iconic F1 to the incredible and highly acclaimed P1 GTR track-only model. Now the company is set to write the next chapter in its Ultimate Series story with the unveiling of the McLaren Senna GTR. Introduced at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show, only 75 Senna GTRs will ultimately be completed, with precision hand-assembly taking place at McLaren’s Woking base throughout 2019. McLaren Automotive CEO Mike Flewitt said, “Excelling on the track underpins the heritage of the McLaren brand and is as important and relevant today as it has ever been,” explained Mike Flewitt. “The track-only McLaren Senna GTR will have more power, more grip and more downforce – up to 1,000kg – than the McLaren Senna and post even faster lap times; 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.” With orders and expressions of interest being taken on McLaren’s stand throughout the Geneva Show, the Senna GTR’s full technical specification will be confirmed later in 2018.
Current details released by McLaren Automotive are already rather mouth-watering. With bleeding-edge track car levels of core strength and rigidity guaranteed by the same Monocage III monocoque structure as road-going Senna, the Senna GTR will also have a weight similar to the road car’s 1,198kg lightest dry weight. Power and torque levels from the 4.0 litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine will be increased beyond even the road car’s 800PS and 800Nm, with horsepower growing to a minimum of 825PS, giving the GTR even fiercer straight line acceleration. To make the most of the increased output, an adapted double wishbone suspension, race-style transmission, and Pirelli slick tyres wrapped around track-optimised wheels promise to make the Senna GTR the quickest McLaren around a circuit, apart from the Formula 1 cars. Aerodynamics will also play a key role in fulfilling this track dominating ethos.
Already strongly embodied in the Senna road car, McLaren’s ‘form follows function’ design philosophy is followed even more evidently in the Senna GTR. With a widened track and new front and rear fenders, the GTR also possesses a simplified body structure with its aerodynamic components attached to the cockpit structure by a new ‘clipped on’ system, making it easier to modify its aerodynamics in line with continued development. Its front splitter is significantly larger than that of the road car and improves the front end’s aerodynamic performance, in tandem with the larger and longer rear diffuser. The Senna GTR also boasts the lowest rear of any McLaren to date for better aerodynamic performance and cooling; this also plays a role in optimising the active rear wing’s performance. Re-profiled doors also boost aerodynamic efficiency, with their outer skins having been pushed in as close to the car’s centre as possible for improved airflow channeling.
McLaren Automotive Design Engineering Director Dan Parry-Williams added, “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 McLaren Senna GTR Concept unveiled in Geneva is not the finished article but it does give a clear indication of our thinking for the car, which promises to be the most extreme and exciting McLaren to drive for many years, if not ever.”
Alongside the Senna GTR program, McLaren Automotive will also provide owners increased access to track driving experiences for its full car range. A new one-make race series will join Pure McLaren track events, allowing McLaren owners with at least an International D-grade licence to race in a 570S GT4 car with a full ‘arrive and drive’ package. A specialist network of McLaren retailers focused on selling and fettling McLaren’s track and motorsport models has been established to support these expanded track activities. An initial network of 10 retailers has been set up to support the European, North American and Asia Pacific regions.