There’s a reason why Ayrton Senna is considered as one of the greatest race drivers in history

McLaren’s decision to use the “Senna” name on its latest supercar didn’t come without any curious reactions. The British automaker had adopted a simple alphanumeric naming strategy for its models, so it was surprising for the automaker to not only change that strategy but to use the name of arguably the greatest race car driver in history on its latest supercar creation. Why exactly did McLaren do it beyond the obvious reason that it wanted to pay tribute to the man who won three world championships for the team? The answer, according to McLaren, is in the details.

The reason point to the company’s goal of paying tribute to the legendary race car driver by giving him a supercar that’s worthy of his name

There had to be a reason McLaren decided to forego its traditional naming strategy on its latest model and use the name of its most accomplished race car driver. The British automaker didn’t just decide to do it one day; it couldn’t just throw Senna’s name on any car without good reason.

The reason, as we learned in this video, point to the company’s goal of paying tribute to the legendary race car driver by giving him a supercar that’s worthy of his name. Dan Parry-Williams, Mclaren’s engineering design director, explained Senna’s importance in the creation of the car that now bears his name. “His values, and his drive and determination, and his quest for excellence influenced, not only his life but the way we do cars in McLaren,” Parry-Williams said.

It wasn’t just because of Senna’s accomplishments. It wasn’t even because of his association with McLaren. Those factors played their parts, sure, but there’s more to it than Senna’s success while driving for McLaren. As the company’s powertrain and vehicle engineering director, Richard Farquhar, describes it, “His focus, his unwavering determination to go beyond the limit that in itself then becomes an inspiration. He was utterly focused to be the best he could be to achieve the highest levels in his sport.”

“Ayrton stood for that kind of obsession with detail, that desire to go fast,” McLaren chief engineer Marcus Waite added.

McLaren's Decision To Use The "Senna" Name Is Rooted in The Desires and Attention-to-Detail of the Three-Time World Champion Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 752221
Obsession and a desire to be great can make a man — or a company — do incredible things.

Obsession and a desire to be great can make a man — or a company — do incredible things. For Senna, it was about becoming the best racer he could possibly be. That desire turned into three world titles to go with the status of being one of the greatest to ever sit behind a race car.

If McLaren was going to develop a supercar that would deserve to be called the Senna, it needed to follow the same principles. It needed to design and develop a car that would do justice to getting the Senna name. For the most part, it did just that, unveiling the Senna earlier this year as another example of what the company is capable of if it’s dedicated to the task at hand.

The McLaren Senna is an incredible car. It really is. It has a far more aggressive design than any McLaren not called the P1. It may not be the best-looking McLaren of all time, but its design came as a result of McLaren fulfilling more important objectives than being the best-looking car at the party. For McLaren, the Senna’s true calling card, its true purpose, is to become the fastest, most agile, and most powerful McLaren on the block. The numbers back that up, too. The Senna is capable of producing 789 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque, enough power to make the deceased Brazilian icon proud.

References

McLaren Senna

McLaren Senna Goes Wild with GTR Concept in Geneva Exterior
- image 772126

Read our full review on the 2018 McLaren Senna GTR.

McLaren's Decision To Use The "Senna" Name Is Rooted in The Desires and Attention-to-Detail of the Three-Time World Champion Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 752221

Read our full review on the 2019 McLaren Senna.

no article
- image 745017

Read more McLaren news.

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: