• Invaluable McLaren Senna LM Gets Trashed By Former F1 Driver

Monaco is the scene of yet another saddening supercar wreck

The McLaren Senna is without a shadow of a doubt among the single craziest road cars we’ve ever seen. Boasting active aerodynamics, the sort of stuff that isn’t even allowed in racing, the Senna is more than just a 720S on steroids. With 790 horsepower on tap coming from an upgraded version of the 720S’ V-8, it’s menacing to drive, and that’s still the case even if you’re a former Formula 1 driver as Adrian Sutil apparently found out over the weekend when he rammed a lamp post with his Senna. What gets us to tears is that the car isn’t even a normal Senna, instead, it’s a Senna LM of which only 20 exist.

Papaya gone bad

It seems like only yesterday we were reporting on the wreck of a Ferrari F40 in Australia. Today we bring you some equally sobering news as the internet’s been turned on its head by a high-profile crash.

News spread on Reddit and Instagram that former Sauber F1 driver Adrian Sutil from Germany was involved in a crash while driving his McLaren Senna LM around Monaco.

At the time of writing, it’s unclear whether or not Sutil was actually behind the wheel when the accident occurred but as recently as late June pictures emerged of the German posing next to his new acquisition so it’s fair to assume he would be behind the wheel of a car he just bought. The cause of the accident is also unknown right now, but from the pictures that have been made available, it’s clear to see that the front end of this Papaya Orange Senna LM definitely received quite a beating. Happily, though, it seems like no one was injured in the crash and that’s the best possible news out of this whole thing.

The car does looks repairable, although we can’t even begin to think how much it would cost to repair a car so rare that McLaren is yet to acknowledge its existence. The Woking-based company was said to build a modern-day tribute to the McLaren F1 LM based on the Senna GTR track car but that was back in December and we haven’t heard much about the project for months. It all changed back in June when the McLaren dealership in Auckland, New Zealand, took delivery of one of these ultra-sought-after machines and images of it found their way onto the internet.

What McLaren’s done here is something quite mad. So, as we all know, the McLaren Senna is, effectively, the Mr. Hyde to the 720S’ Dr. Jekyll.

In essence, McLaren took the 720S monocoque and its 4.0-liter, twin-turbocharged, V-8 engine and hid everything underneath a somewhat ugly but most certainly purposeful bodywork with the end goal of making a road car that would squash all others on the track.

To that end, the engineers in Woking developed an all-new aero package featuring a tall swan-neck rear wing that moves up and down to produce extra downforce mid-corner.

The Senna’s V-8 makes 790 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque, all of which gets sent to the rear axle through a seven-speed box. With the whole thing tipping the scales at just over 3,000 pounds, a 0-62 mph time of 2.8 seconds is possible en route to a top speed of 211 mph - incredible when you consider all the downforce that the car produces. Maybe dissatisfied - or urged on by insatiable customers - McLaren then created the Senna GTR which, as the name suggests, is an even more ludicrous version that is bound to stay on the race tracks.

The Senna LM is a nod to the five McLaren F1 LMs built by the company all the way back in 1995 to mark its dominant run in the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans (McLaren built only five LMs because five F1s finished the race that year). Akin to the LM, which is effectively an F1 GTR modified in order to earn its plates, the Senna LM is based off of the GTR. That means that the midship-mounted V-8 develops some 815 horsepower and the car is even lighter. The Senna LM, whose production run has been limited to just 20 units, is rarer than the Senna GTR of which 75 units have been built. Meanwhile, McLaren assembled some 500 standard Sennas.

We don’t know how much a Senna LM cost but we do know that, back in 2018, the Senna’s MSRP was about $967,000 although the last Senna fetched over $2 million at auction. We have been able to find a Senna LM for sale with a price tag of $1.4 million but, frankly, it’s not our cup of tea simply because, while fitted with the LM-style five-spoke OZ Racing rims, it’s grey instead of Papaya Orange.

2019 McLaren Senna specifications
Engine 4.0-liter V-8
Horsepower 789 HP
Torque 590 LB-FT
Transmission Dual-clutch, seven-speed transmission
Weight 2,641 LBS
0 to 60 mph 2.7 seconds
Top Speed 211 mph

Source: The Drive

Michael Fira
Michael Fira
Associate Editor and Motorsport Expert - fira@topspeed.com
Mihai Fira started out writing about long-distance racing like the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans. As the years went by, his area of interest grew wider and wider and he ever branched beyond the usual confines of an automotive writer. However, his heart is still close to anything car-related and he's most at home retelling the story of some long-since-forgotten moment from the history of auto racing. He'll also take time to explain why the cars of the '60s and '70s are more fascinating than anything on the road today.  Read full bio
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